The Hope We Need to Battle Disease

For Jeff and Robin Lyons, fighting metastatic breast cancer is personal: Robin is receiving treatment for the disease at Virginia Mason.

“With this terrible diagnosis, it is difficult to know where to find hope,” Jeff says.

They wanted to support research and were excited to learn about breast cancer studies at BRI.

BRI’s team doesn’t only study autoimmune diseases — they examine the immune system as a whole, studying how it maintains a healthy balance and what goes wrong in disease. This ranges from what causes inflammation in asthma to how the immune system fails to fight off cancer cells.

That helps explain why studying a protein called TSLP, which plays a key role in asthma, led Steve Ziegler, PhD, and Emma Kuan, PhD, to a groundbreaking breast cancer discovery: TSLP also helps breast cancer tumors grow. When they blocked TSLP in models, it slowed tumor growth and kept cancer cells from spreading. The Lyons decided to support this research which could lead to promising new treatments.

“It was such a blessing to find someone in our community, Dr. Ziegler, working on a new process which has a direct impact on metastasis,” Jeff says. “Virginia Mason and BRI give us the hope and information we need to battle this disease. We hope BRI can help obliterate metastatic breast cancer for everyone.”

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