Why is it so difficult to get funding for research, there seems to be plenty of money available for "finding the cure", so why is this research unfunded?

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DrKathleenTRuddy (Physician - Surgery - Breast (Verified) ) - 08 / 02 / 2011

Well, of course, it's hard to say for sure, but here is what may be involved in the delay. Professor Tuohy hails from the field of Immunology not Breast Cancer, so even though he is a full Professor and has received the most prestigious grants in the country, he is something of an unknown within the orthodox breast cancer community. Secondly, his innovation is what you might call disruptive. If his vaccine is as safe and effective in women as it is in mice, it could eliminate 95% of all breast cancer in this country within ten years. Breast cancer is a very big business - $30 billion/year at least - and it is not likely that anyone of the stakeholders making huge profits from breast cancer will step to the plate to help end it, once and for all.

Despite the apparent resistance, I am hopeful that change is close at hand. Tuohy's vaccine also has therapeutic potential, so I'm hoping that breast cancer survivors might step to the plate and raise a loud voice asking to get this funded to see if it works to improve survival - which I think it might.
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member7333 (Current Patient) - 08 / 02 / 2011

Thank you Dr. Ruddy for discussing Dr. Tuohy's research. I was awarded $5,000 to my charity of choice by Pink Power Moms (www.pinkpowermom.com) and gave it to his research. He called me personally to thank me. He is having... more tremendous challenges to obtain funding.I try not to be cynical, but I agree there is too much money to be made and that perhaps the medical industry and big orgs like Komen don't really want a cure. How can we help change this?
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