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Breast Cancer Research: a meeting point as well as a journal

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Cancer is a fundamental problem in biology. We hope that by understanding the biology of cancer we will come closer to prevention or cure. That is the justification for much of the research money spent on breast cancer, and that is what we tell those who sign up for postgraduate research in the laboratory. However, for many years, it has proved difficult to cross the bridge from basic science to clinical application. Now things are changing. As always, it is technologies, such as polymerase chain reaction (PCR), genomic arrays, confocal microscopy, laser microdissection and transgenic models (to name only a few) that have expanded the limits of the possible; and the 'research pipeline' from basic research through translation to the clinic has now become a model for academic institutions as well as for industry.

Like most new developments, translational research grows best at the meeting point of different disciplines. Therefore, it is not only difficult, it demands that the researchers assemble knowledge from other fields and deploy it in systems with which they are less familiar. Thus, the molecular geneticist may need to understand the cell types and lineages in the mammary gland, or the principles of epidemiology, and similarly the cell biologist may become concerned with trials of endocrine therapy and prevention.

The aims of Breast Cancer Research, and the justification for another new journal, are to address exactly this need. Guided by 11 Associate Editors with a wide perspective of their specialist fields, and supported by a group of scientists active in the laboratory and the clinic, we will publish original reports in any area of biology or medicine related to breast cancer. We will also commission and publish a range of reviews, commentaries, up to the minute meeting reports and dispatches highlighting the latest developments. We aim to integrate and interpret biologically based research across the whole spectrum relevant to breast cancer, to make it accessible to the breast cancer community, and to keep in view the goal, however distant, of practical application.

Breast Cancer Research is no ordinary journal; the technical developments now available through the Internet have made it possible for a new type of publication to emerge with many advantages over the traditional printed format. As a result Breast Cancer Research will be primarily web-based. The Internet not only provides an ideal medium for the rapid publication of research but also a forum for comment and discussion. Our website will provide a gateway to the wide range of information available on the web which we hope will help our subscribers to gain access to new fields and develop their research.

In these ways we hope to be not just a journal, but a meeting point for the breast cancer research community. If you will, you can helps us make this happen.

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Correspondence to Bruce AJ Ponder.

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Ponder, B.A. Breast Cancer Research: a meeting point as well as a journal. Breast Cancer Res 1, 1 (1999).

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