Cooper Foundation Gift Establishes Breast Cancer Initiative


Fred Cooper (center), chair of the Cooper Family Foundation, shown with Winship's Dr. Deborah Bruner and Dr. Andrew Miller, attended the Winship Quality of Life Seminar in March. His foundation is funding a study aimed at preventing and treating behavioral side effects associated with breast cancer therapies.

The Cooper Family Foundation has established a breast cancer initiative at Winship Cancer Institute that includes a two-part study aimed at identifying, preventing, and treating long-term side effects associated with breast cancer and its therapies. William P. Timmie Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences Dr. Andrew Miller and breast cancer specialist/radiation oncologist Dr. Mylin Torres will lead The Cooper Family Foundation Breast Cancer Initiative.

Problems, including long-standing anxiety, irritability, depression, fatigue, sleep disruptions, and difficulties with memory and concentration, “occur in up to one-third of breast cancer survivors and significantly impair quality of life,” said Dr. Miller. Currently there are few treatments for these behavioral problems, and those that are available have limited effectiveness.

Previous research funded by the Cooper Foundation suggests inflammation may be a major culprit in causing these complications. Inflammation is the body’s natural response to the challenge of cancer treatment, but can become chronic in some individuals. This latest gift will directly benefit breast cancer patients by helping scientists identify what happens during cancer treatment to cause chronic inflammation, who is at risk, and what methods of care might block inflammation.

In addition, these studies will leverage the infrastructure that is being created as a result of the Wilbur and Hilda Glenn Family Foundation gift to support breast cancer research. The Cooper Foundation studies will add a behavioral layer to this effort, providing important scientific depth to the breast cancer clinical database while opening up new research opportunities for investigators focused not only on a cure for breast cancer but also on the quality of life for survivors.

“Dr. Miller’s findings offer great hope that this research will lead to meaningful improvements in the quality of life of breast cancer patients. My family and I are pleased with the work Emory is doing in this vital area,” said foundation chairman Fred Cooper.

Table of Contents

The Winship Donor