Metastatic Breast Cancer Research

In 2014 Hope Scarves Founder, Lara MacGregor, was diagnosed with stage iv, metastatic breast cancer nearly 7 years after her original stage 2 diagnosis. While this news rocked our world it also strengthened our organization. It made us realize hope comes in many forms and for many cancer isn’t a one and done kind of gig. We no longer talk about beating cancer, but about living life over cancer. In 2015 we established a Metastatic Breast Cancer Research Fund to broaden how we bring hope to people facing cancer. A portion of each dollar donated to Hope Scarves goes toward translational research. Or, you can give directly to this fund and 100% goes to research.

photoOur first donation of $50,000 was presented to James Graham Brown Cancer Center at University of Louisville in December 2015.  There, Dr. Yoannis Imbert-Fernandez is working to determine the effects of simultaneous suppression of estrogen signaling and a key metabolic enzyme known as PFKFB3 on sugar metabolism, growth and survival of metastatic breast cancer.

In 2016 we raised $100,000 for research and helped found the Metastatic Breast Cancer Research Collective. Together with Twisted Pink and The Cancer Couch Foundation we raised $600,000 in 2017 and secured an anonymous 1:1 match for each dollar we raised for a total donation of $1.2 million.   With these donations we supported two cutting edge research projects:

  • Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center– Looking specifically at a new class of MBC drugs called CDK 4/6 inhibitors with the tools of DNA and RNA sequencing to understand and overcome resistance mechanisms.
  • Dana-Farber Cancer Center at Harvard University– Researchers there are working to create a “Resistance Atlas” for ER-positive metastatic breast cancer, which should help inform treatment decisions for individual patients and propel the development of new combination treatment strategies. The MBC Project, which Hope Scarves is an Advocate Partner, is a vital part of this ongoing work, providing access to an unprecedented database of genetic information from patients with MBC.

It is our goal to raise $100,000 annually for research.  Every dollar we raise is matched 1:1 by an anonymous donor.

Hope Scarves is a member of the Metastatic Breast Cancer Alliance and an advocate partner of the MBC Project.

Lara advocates passionately to help people, especially breast cancer survivors, understand the importance of supporting stage iv survivors and investing in metastatic research. It is her hope to transform our understanding of metastatic breast cancer to speed development of future therapies.

Facts about Metastatic Breast Cancer

  • Metastatic Breast Cancer or Stage IV breast cancer occurs when the breast cancer leaves the breast to other parts of the body. This is when breast cancer becomes terminal.  There are no long-term effective treatments and it is considered incurable.
  • Over 230,0001 people are diagnosed with breast cancer each year in the United States
  • 5% of those individuals are diagnosed as Metastatic or Stage IV from the start
  • Another 30% eventually progress from Stage 0, I, II and III to develop Stage IV2
  • In the US approximately 40,0001 people die from Metastatic Breast Cancer each year
  • It is estimated that in the US only 2-3% of all funding for breast cancer research is dedicated to Metastatic Breast Cancer3, even though 30% of breast cancer cases become metastatic.


Brittney – Anchorage, AK

Brittany was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma at 31, just a few days after the arrival of her newborn son. Facing motherhood and cancer simultaneously can be the reality of many women in treatment, and she handles it with strength and grace. Thank you for finding us, Brittany!

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