See exactly where your 2020 donation went!

Greetings Drink for Pink family!

As we enter October, and Breast Cancer Awareness Month, we wanted to share some content that is close to our mission. But first, we wanted to thank you for your patronage, donations, and attendance at our events throughout the years. This community is dear to us and we appreciate your support in raising as much money as possible every year for the fight against Breast Cancer. We also want to thank our Board and Volunteer core, who take the time out of their schedules to help us plan and execute every event you attend. Finally, our partnership with our Corporate Sponsor, Coterie Collective, and Cancer League of Colorado, for giving us the infrastructure we need to be successful.

Now, on to the content we promised :)

When we started Drink for Pink in 2015, we wanted to connect every dollar donated to the research it was funding. We have been able to fulfill on this promise every year, and in some occasions we are able to sit down with the actual Research team and learn more about their work.

In this video, we sat down with the 2020 Drink for Pink funds recipient, Dr. Carol Sartorius, to learn about her project titled "Lipodependence of Endocrine Resistant Breast Cancer as a Therapeutic Target”. We were joined by Ashley Ward, a senior predoctoral student, as she is finishing her dissertation on this project.

For anyone curious on the actual notes on the project, we have included it below:

Breast cancer has the second highest incidence in cancers among women and is estimated to cause ~700 Colorado deaths in 2021. Most (>75%) breast cancers have the estrogen receptor (ER) and women are given endocrine therapies (ET) for 5-10 years following initial diagnosis and tumor removal to prevent recurrence. These include drugs such as Tamoxifen (i.e. Nolvadex), Fulvestrant (Faslodex), or aromatase inhibitors (i.e. Arimidex, Fumera) that target ER have provided the cornerstone of treatment for decades. Despite the efficacy of ET, up to one third of women will eventually suffer a recurrence, usually outside the breast, where the tumor becomes endocrine resistant and is considered incurable. New drugs such as Ibrance® extend lifespan but tumors eventually become resistant. While there are many reasons for ET resistance, there is no panacea for late-stage breast cancer and new approaches and therapies are needed.

One emerging understudied area is lipid metabolism. Lipids are a collection of molecules made from fatty acids that circulate in the bloodstream and are the essential building blocks of cell membranes. Thus, cancer cells require lipids to rapidly grow and divide. Because of this, breast cancers have learned to synthesize and store their own lipids from smaller building blocks and not rely solely on circulating lipids. With collaborator Dr. Kabos in Medical Oncology, Dr. Sartorius has generated patient-derived ER+ breast cancer cell lines (from patients in Colorado) that are ER+, and initially ET responsive. They exposed these cells to ET drugs over time to generate ET resistant cell lines, and then tested these cells for their overall lipid content by mass spectrometry (which can detect each lipid species) and by cell staining procedures. They found that compared to the original ET sensitive lines, ET resistant breast cancer cells forego lipid storage and uptake lipids from the environment (in this case media).

The objective of this proposal is to test how ET resistant cell uptake lipids from the environment using a “co-culture” system that includes the surrounding non-tumor cells that are putative suppliers of lipids in solid tumors. Experimental methods will take advantage of the ability to measure imported lipids labeled.

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