Cristine Meredith Miele Foundation

 CMM Foundation

The Cristine Meredith Miele Foundation was set up in loving memory of Cristine “Crissy” Miele, a devoted wife and mother and loyal member of the ImplantInfo family. Donations to the CMM Foundation support breast cancer research, specifically funding a project focused on identifying hereditary genetic markers for breast cancer.

About Crissy

Crissy was first diagnosed with Stage 3 breast cancer at age 28, while pregnant with her third child. Upon diagnosis, she underwent a radical treatment plan, which included a mastectomy, chemotherapy and radiation, a stem cell transplant and hormone therapy.

She fought her cancer courageously, yet it eventually came back and had metastasized in her liver, lungs and bones. Still, Crissy retained her competitive spirit. She cared for 3 young children and continued to compete at a high athletic level because she refused to give up the hope that she would beat the disease. Crissy lost her 12-year battle in July of 2010.

Genetic Markers

Crissy’s type of breast cancer was hereditary. Generic mutations have been detected in individual families where multiple members are affected by cancer. The most famous hereditary, cancer causing genetic mutations are BRCA1 and BRCA2, which were discovered by Dr. Kenneth Offit and his team in 1996. They are most closely associated with causing breast cancer and ovarian cancer.

While much has been made of the BRCA1 and BRCA2 discoveries, the reality is that only 5-10% of breast cancer cases can be explained by these known mutations. So many women do have gene mutations causing breast cancer, but are BRCA-negative. Crissy was one of those women.

Because her case was genetic, the specific gene effected would have shown a genetic marker. Unfortunately, because of limitations on current knowledge of cancer-causing gene mutations, it went undetected and remains undetectable for future generations who are likewise afflicted. The CMM Foundation is helping to raise money for a project headed by Dr. Offit and his team that would build on existing information to determine gene mutations in families that are BRCA-negative.

Dr. Offit's Project

Dr. Offit and his team at Memorial Sloan Kettering are now collaborating with Harvard University and M.I.T to further their existing research with a priority on clinical genetics. The group is working with families consisting of at least three breast cancer cases, indicating a definite hereditary strain, that do not show known identifying gene mutations. Research is then performed on DNA samples taken from these BRCA-negative families.

Innovations in medical technology have opened the door for Dr. Offit and his team to take clinical genetics research further than was previously possible. They are now able to perform whole-exome sequencing, which allows for sequencing on considerably more of the genome. The results of the sequencing of the affected DNA are then compared to samples from individuals without cancer. Their goal is to discover genome variations between individuals with and without breast cancer. The ability to pinpoint the specific gene mutations predisposed to breast cancer can then aid in early detection.

Continued Efforts

This type of clinical genetic research is very important to the CMM Foundation. As a mother of two daughters, this research can help her children. It is vitally important that these types of hereditary cancers be identified for future generations.

With the help of ImplantInfo, the CMM Foundation hopes to educate women about hereditary forms of breast cancer and raise funds for further research. It is necessary to continue work to increase awareness among women on the need for further clinical genetics studies to tackle the disease from this perspective. Defining these gene mutations can increase the probability for early detection in high-risk individuals to predict and treat cancer before it metastases.

Crissy was a warrior and an inspiration. Help us keep her efforts alive by donating here and supporting her cause.

ImplantInfo Support

In an effort to further education, ImplantInfo will be an active participant in the October Breast Cancer Awareness Month. We will be sharing information about breath health, cancer detection with implants, BRA Day, and more. Be sure to check back all month long for updated news and articles.

We want to hear from you. If you have undergone a mastecomy or breast reconstruction.

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