Susan G. Komen Tissue Bank pushes for local tissue donations after Kenya project nixed

Learned about Kenyan women in process

INDIANAPOLIS - Local cancer researchers didn't get to fulfill their mission to gather Kenyan women's breast tissue, but the international efforts did result in some progress, officials said.

Last year, we shared a story with you about the Susan G. Komen Tissue Bank and its organizers’ hopes to collect breast tissue from women in Kenya. We’ve learned those plans fell through, and Good Morning Indiana’s Beth Vaughn was determined to find out what happened.

The majority of women in Kenya who get breast cancer get a certain kind. And that’s why breast tissue samples from the Kenyan population were so interesting to cancer researchers here in Indiana.

The plan was to gather tissue from Kenyan women to study the particular type of cancer they are more prone to getting: triple-negative breast cancer. But the Kenyan Institutional Review Board did not approve the project.

In a Komen Tissue Bank blog post, the group points to a number of cultural differences that stood in the way of advancing this effort. But, the group is not labeling the project a failure.

Komen learned Kenyan women are thirsty for knowledge and want to stay healthy, and that’s why doctors plan to sue what they learned in this international exchange for other projects in the future.

In fact, two trips are already in the works. Komen Tissue Bank plans to travel to Detroit and Houston in 2015, targeting women of certain cultural, ethnic or racial groups.

Here in central Indiana, nearly 2,400 women are in the “Interested Donor” list, and you can be too.

The Komen Tissue bank wants your healthy breast tissue to better understand how to cure breast cancer.

Find out how to donate here.

Follow Beth Vaughn on Twitter | @BethVaughnRTV6

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