Gift to Baylor College of Medicine

Baylor College of Medicine has recieved a $30 million gift for breast cancer research. The college is looking to match the gift from Lester and Sue Smith. Houston Public Radio's Capella Tucker has more on what researchers hope to accomplish.

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The Breast Center at Baylor College of Medicine will be named after Lester and Sue Smith. Sue Smith's sister died from breast cancer and Lester Smith is a cancer survivor.

"I've faced the guy many, many times and here I am strong as a bull as I like to say."

The $30 million gift will be split between the Smith Breast Center and the Human Genome Sequencing Center. Baylor officials say that partnership is what will lead to personalized therapies based on a persons own genetic make-up. When Smith Breast Center Director Doctor Kent Osborne started his research in the 1970s, a little less than half of breast cancer patients were cured after surgery. He says today mortality has dropped dramatically, only 20 to 25 percent of patients die of the disease. Osborne expects progress to pick up more speed.

"Maybe we will have cures for the remaining patients in the next decade or so. It wouldn't be unrealistic to think in that way. You have to remember though if we invented a new treatment today based on what we find in studying the genome it would take at least a decade before we would know through a series of research studies that that treatment is indeed better."

Part of the money will also be used for public education and community outreach about breast cancer. Capella Tucker, Houston Public Radio News.

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