About the Breastlink Medical Group & Breast Cancer Research Group

The Cancer Research Collaboration (CRC) was established in 2013 to continue and expand upon the work conducted by the Breast Cancer Research Group. 

In 1985, Dr. John Link partnered with world-renowned breast imaging specialist Lászlo Tábár to help establish one of the nation’s first comprehensive breast cancer treatment centers at Long Beach Memorial Medical Center. Dr. Link’s commitment to advancing the practice of breast cancer care continued when he founded the Breastlink Medical Group in 1995.

Breastlink, which has since grown into a network of three free-standing multidisciplinary breast health centers, was one of the first to implement a comprehensive treatment model in community settings. Over this time, Dr. Link invited several talented breast cancer specialists into his practice. An early addition to the team was Dr. John West, a breast-dedicated surgeon with decades of experience serving women during tenures with the Cordelia Knott Center for Wellness and the Center for Cancer Prevention and Treatment at St. Joseph’s Hospital.

As Breastlink centers began treating more and more women, opportunities arose to match researchers with patientswho have access tobreast cancer treatments, risk reduction strategies and diagnostic tools under investigation. The Breast Cancer Research Group was established in 1997 with the Breastlink Medical Group as a clinical partner in order to grow a clinical trials portfolio that could expand access to trials investigating novel therapies, technologies and interventions for cancer patients.

When experimental treatments become available, they are often available only at large urban hospitals and academic medical centers. However, by partnering with the Breastlink Medical Group and various researchers, the Breast Cancer Research Group made many treatments under investigation available to women in community settings. Patients and researchers alike benefitted from this clinical knowledge and expertise.

Over the next decade, the Breast Cancer Research Group participated in numerous Phase I through Phase IV drug and device trials, as well as Quality of Life and surgical trials. 

Birth of the Cancer Research Collaboration

Over time, the scope of work performed by the Breast Cancer Research Group expanded beyond matching breast cancer patients with breast cancer researchers. There was renewed interest in all types of cancer, ambitions to develop a biospecimen repository and a new focus on building collaborations to foster innovation in research.

For these reasons, the Breast Cancer Research Group was dissolved to pave way for the formation of the Cancer Research Collaboration. By 2014, the Cancer Research Collaboration had formed a diverse group of health care constituents for its Board of Directors and was granted non-profit status.

While still young, the Cancer Research Collaboration will build off of the achievements of the Breast Cancer Research Group to further advance cancer research and establish its own robust history as new accomplishments are realized.