• Cancer research

Breast cancer continues to be the most common cancer in women in Australia with 15 934  women expected to be diagnosed this year alone.* 

Your support of Mater Chicks in Pink through the RACQ International Women's Day Fun Run, will help Mater’s researchers take their findings from the bench to the bedside as quickly as possible, and share them globally to improve healthcare around the world.

Approximately 75% of all breast cancer patients have positive estrogen receptor forms of breast cancer, and are treated with hormonal therapy. 

However, only half of these patients will respond well to this type of therapy. 

These women currently have no other choice but to undergo intensive hormonal therapy, and its painful side effects, before waiting to see how their cancer responds. 

In half of these cases, the painful side effects come without any of the benefits; their cancer has remained the same or unfortunately grown and it can often be too late. 

But Dr Snell at Mater hopes to develop a test which will identify which women will respond positively to specific hormone therapies, giving specialists the information they need to rapidly personalise treatment plans for each breast cancer patient. 

What that means is that specialists will be able to better target a woman’s individual cancer. 

Commonly in breast cancer, patients do not die of the initial cancer; they die of metastatic cancer that has spread to another area, metastases to the brain in particular are associated with higher death rates.

Dr Snell’s work into ensuring more women are receiving the right therapy earlier could mean it reduces the chance of the cancer spreading.

Dr Snell’s research is extremely promising and has the potential to change the course of breast cancer treatment for women not just at Mater, but around the world.  

Your support can ensure the long-term funding for the continuation of this important work.


“There’s so much cancer out there, you just don’t know if it will ever be you. One day can be normal and the next day you get given a cancer diagnosis out of the blue. 

“Being fit and healthy doesn’t guarantee that you won’t get cancer—look at me, so we need to keep raising money to fund more research so we can kill off this disease and save women’s lives." 

Simone, diagnosed aged 44



*Cancer Australia, 2016. 

The Mater Foundation is registered as a charity with the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission ABN 96723184640.