Part of 2013 Research Portfolio Aimed at Toughest Questions in Breast Cancer
DALLAS – August 1, 2013 – Susan G. Komen® today announced $4.5 million in new research grants specifically aimed at understanding the role that the environment may play in breast cancer development.
The environmental grants will be part of more than $42 million in new 2013 research grants announced today by the world's largest breast cancer organization. This year's investment brings the total amount that Komen has invested in breast cancer research since its founding in 1982 to more than $790 million, making Komen the largest nonprofit funder of breast cancer research outside of the U.S. government.
"These environmental grants will build on research that we have previously funded to expand our knowledge of the way that toxins and other factors contribute to breast cancer development," said Komen's Chief Mission Officer Chandini Portteus. "At the same time, we continue to invest in research along the entire breast cancer continuum, from prevention, to early detection, to more personalized treatments for metastatic and aggressive disease."
The 2013 environmental grants will build on Komen's groundbreaking work in 2011 with the Institute of Medicine (IOM), which examined the state of the science on environment issues in breast cancer development. The Komen-funded IOM report recommended large-scale research over the course of a woman's life, with a goal of developing interventions that can reduce breast cancer risk. Based on that report, Komen sought proposals for environmental research.
The five grants announced today include separate studies into:
The impact of radiation exposure on breast cancer development and in treatment
The impact of pollutants in areas where cancer rates are disproportionately high
The impact of air pollution on breast cancer development and
The role of synthetic chemicals called phthalates.
Specifically, Komen plans to fund:
"In each of these grants, we are attempting to move beyond theories to a solid base of scientific evidence to understand the specific role of environmental exposures and breast cancer development," Portteus said. Komen has already invested nearly $14 million into 38 research grants studying environmental and lifestyle factors that may affect breast cancer risk, such as chemicals, diet, weight, exercise and alcohol use.
The remainder of Komen's 2013 research portfolio will fund research along the entire cancer continuum and includes studies into prevention, screening, personalized treatments for aggressive and metastatic disease, and strategies to improve breast cancer outcomes in diverse populations.
Komen's research investment is one part of the organization's overall mission to end breast cancer through science, community health outreach, advocacy and global programs. Komen has also invested more than $1.5 billion since its founding into community health programs that provide payments for treatments, screening for low-income and uninsured women, patient navigation programs, and financial and social support to women and men facing breast cancer.
Other highlights of Komen's 2013 grant portfolio include:
Disparities in Outcomes
A complete list of Komen's 2013 research funding* can be found here. *Funding is contingent on a signed contract