A Center for Breast Cancer

Glenn Family Foundation supports wide-ranging research

Winship breast cancer researcher Ruth O'Regan says the Glenns' support "enables us to push the boundaries of diagnosis and treatment of this challenging disease."
Jack Kearse

One of every eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer—the most common cancer diagnosis for women—estimates the National Cancer Institute (NCI).

With these statistics in mind, the Wilbur and Hilda Glenn Family Foundation has made gifts totaling $10 million to Winship Cancer Institute to fund a center for breast cancer research and treatment.

These gifts name the Glenn Family Breast Center at Winship and will focus on support for the breast cancer program’s research priorities, including funding for investigator-initiated clinical trials, recruitment, and continued support for Glenn Scholars, which awards pilot grants to Winship research scientists engaged in high-impact breast cancer research.

The Glenns were inspired to give by their appreciation for the care Winship provided to their daughter in 2003. They were gratified to find a research-based cancer center in Atlanta at the forefront of breast cancer research and treatment.

“We have experienced the uncertainty of this disease, and Winship helped our family fight back with excellent care at the forefront of medical advances,” said Lou Glenn, vice chair of the Glenn Foundation. “While our gifts target breast cancer, we hope that others will invest in Winship’s research and exceptional care for all types of cancer so many more families can be helped. Just as we benefited from investments made years before we were touched by this disease, we are confident that this investment will help future patients survive and thrive.”

The Glenn Foundation gifts will bolster Winship’s cancer biospecimen bank, clinical trials, community access, and a multidisciplinary approach to screening and caring for women at high risk. One research focus is on better understanding triple-negative breast cancer, an aggressive form that disproportionately affects African American women.

President James Wagner says the Glenn Foundation’s leadership echoes that of Robert Winship Woodruff, whose philanthropy in honor of his mother’s battle with cancer led to the founding seventy-five years ago of what would become the Winship Cancer Institute.

Annually, Winship serves more than nine hundred patients with breast cancer through a team approach in which medical, surgical, and radiation oncologists, plastic surgeons, radiologists, nurses, and other experts collaborate to provide advanced, individualized care.

Winship is Georgia’s first and only cancer center designated by the National Cancer Institute, a status that defines Winship as offering the highest quality cancer care in association with an outstanding research program. Through Winship’s clinical trials, patients benefit from access to the latest therapies and opportunities to participate in early trials of promising treatments. Winship’s NCI designation, renewed in 2012 with an “outstanding” rating, has brought Winship into an exclusive group of nationally recognized cancer centers, whose researchers and physicians share a single-minded goal: to eliminate the burden of cancer for all. Nationwide there are sixty-seven NCI―designated centers treating adult patients with cancer.

The Glenn Family Foundation also previously funded an endowed chair in breast cancer research, held by Ruth O’Regan, a Georgia Cancer Coalition Distinguished Cancer Scholar and international cancer expert.

“We know that each patient represents a wider family circle affected by this disease, and we are honored to have the Glenn Foundation’s support,” says O’Regan, who directs Winship’s translational breast cancer research program.

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