Qatar Biomedical Research Institute (QBRI), part of Hamad Bin Khalifa University (HBKU), hosted a series of activities and workshops to mark International Breast Cancer Awareness Month this October, and educate the community on the disease, its symptoms, and the best means of prevention. 

QBRI 2The awareness campaign, led by QBRI Cancer Research Centre (CRC), was aimed at extending information to the broader communities in Qatar. The activities reinforced the call for early screening as a critical diagnostic measure that could possibly reduce breast cancer related mortalities.

According to the International Association of Cancer Registries (IARC), breast cancer accounts for 15% of all cancer-related deaths among women globally. The prevalence of breast cancer worldwide stands at 30%.

As part of the month-long campaign, two scientists from CRC delivered talks at the Cancer Immunotherapy Workshop 2018, organised by Hamad Medical Corporation, and held at Sheraton Grand Doha Resort and Convention Hotel.

QBRI scientist Dr Julie Decock highlighted her research on the identification of Cancer Testis Antigens as novel targets for breast cancer treatment and how the body’s natural immune system can be ‘re-educated’ to specifically recognise the molecules on cancer cells. Meanwhile, Dr Eyad Elkord, principal investigator at QBRI, discussed his research on the role of immune suppression in cancer as a critical mechanism used by tumors to escape immune recognition and destruction.

QBRI, in collaboration with Qatar Cancer Society, also led a ‘Think Pink, Be Aware, Act, and Save Lives’ public awareness campaign as part of its community outreach and engagement efforts. A presentation and a Q&A session was held at the North Nest, Qatar Foundation’s Female Housing within Education City, to help participants understand the importance of early detection, and to clear the common misconceptions associated with the disease. A similar event was held at Aspire’s Sugar and Spice. QBRI also welcomed visitors to its stand at the Mall of Qatar.  

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