Vera Bradley Foundation for Breast Cancer Research Laboratories

The Vera Bradley Foundation for Breast Cancer Research Laboratories at the IU Simon Cancer Center includes more than 30 physicians and scientists who are focused on preventing, treating and curing breast cancer. No two women are the same; similarly, no two cases of breast cancer are exactly the same.

For this reason, the researchers in the Vera Bradley Foundation for Breast Cancer Research Laboratories are working to develop treatments that are customized to individual patients. To accomplish this, scientists here study the genetic and protein blueprint of each woman’s tumor and choose drugs based on that information to not only get the best treatment response but also the least side effects.

The ultimate goal is to apply research data to deliver the right drug to the right woman at the right time—an approach known as Monogrammed Medicine.

Targeting one of the most difficult-to-treat forms of breast cancer

Treatments for breast cancer have improved remarkably. Today, nearly 90 percent of patients are alive five years after being diagnosed. But for patients with a specific type of breast cancer called triple-negative disease, the numbers are more sobering. Triple-negative breast cancer tends to be more aggressive and spread more rapidly than other forms of breast cancer, and it disproportionately affects younger women—particularly young, black women. It also has a higher recurrence rate, and once it has returned, standard therapy is often ineffective. For this reason, several members of the Vera Bradley Foundation for Breast Cancer Research Laboratories are focused on finding new ways to treat the devastating triple-negative breast cancer and have launched an innovative clinical trial that seeks to prevent triple negative breast cancer from recurring.

The vision for research at the Vera Bradley Foundation Laboratories at IU Simon Cancer Center is to combine targeted chemotherapy with the developing field of immunotherapy to ultimately cure women with triple negative disease.

“We all know someone who has been affected by breast cancer. Our researchers and clinicians are partnering with colleagues across the country to finally end suffering caused by this disease. We will corner this beast, and we will defeat it.”
Jay Hess, MD, PhD, MHSA; Dean, IU School of Medicine

About the Vera Bradley Foundation for Breast Cancer

The Vera Bradley Foundation for Breast Cancer has provided critical dollars to support breast cancer research at Indiana University School of Medicine and IU Simon Cancer Center since 1999. Vera Bradley, a company based in Fort Wayne, Indiana, is a leading designer of women’s handbags and accessories. The company’s co-founders, Barbara Baekgaard and Patricia Miller, decided to raise money for breast cancer research beginning in 1993 shortly after the death of a friend and colleague. The Vera Bradley Foundation has since committed $35 million to IU to advance research and treatment in Indiana and around the world. Learn more about the Vera Bradley Foundation’s extraordinary support of breast cancer research at the IU Simon Cancer Center.

Breast Cancer Research News