The Ground We've Gained
Melissa, diagnosed with MBC in 2019

The Ground We've Gained

Cancer has existed for centuries and, as the disease evolved, research has kept pace offering new insights and revolutionizing our understanding. Explore the timeline of science’s greatest epic journey.


The National Institutes of Health launches The Cancer Genome Atlas, an international, multi-institutional effort to characterize the genetic changes that occur in cancer. Drs. Charles Perou, a BCRF grantee since 2003, and Matthew Ellis, a grantee since 2002, are selected to lead the breast cancer studies. 2009


The National Cancer Institute and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that the number of cancer survivors in the U.S. reached an all-time high of nearly 12 million in 2007. The report cites the significant progress in early detection and treatment as a major reason for the increased survival rate.


Dr. Michael Clarke, a BCRF grantee since 2005, and Max Wicha, a BCRF grantee since 2008, identify breast tumor origination cells, also known as breast cancer stem cells, as key components in metastasis.


Scientists decode the three billion DNA letters in the human genome, capping a 13-year international collaboration known as the Human Genome Project. The project paved the way for research on the genetics of cancer.


Dr. Charles Perou, a BCRF grantee since 2003, classifies breast cancer as a collection of diseases based on different patterns of genes. His discovery reshapes our understanding of breast cancer and helps to guide how treatments are selected. 2001