DALLAS – August 18, 2011 – University of Oklahoma researchers are developing a program to increase breast cancer screening rates among Native American women, with grant funding announced today by Susan G. Komen for the Cure®.
The $600,000 grant is part of Komen for the Cure’s $66 million investment in new research, patient support and scientific conferences in 2011. Komen has spent more than $685 million for breast cancer research in its 29 years, making it the largest non-profit funder of breast cancer research outside of the federal government.
“Our research investments are geared to bringing results to the table – and soon – for the most difficult questions remaining in breast cancer,” said Ambassador Nancy G. Brinker, Komen founder and CEO.
Although Native American Indian women are less likely to develop breast cancer, or die from it, mammography rates are lower in this group, and breast cancer incidence has been growing over the past two decades.
“We want to better understand why this is, and provide tools that can address this trend,” said Komen President Elizabeth Thompson. “This ties squarely to our mission to fund cutting-edge science along the entire cancer continuum – from prevention to early diagnostics, disparities in outcomes, more effective treatments, and answers for aggressive and metastatic disease.”
The research will be led by Eleni Tolma, Ph.D.
The 2011 research grants augment more than $93 million in community grants provided in local communities by Komen’s more than 120 Affiliates nationwide. Seventy-five percent of funds raised by Komen Affiliates stay in the community for screening, treatment, education and support programs; the rest helps fund national research programs.
“The research projects we’re investing in today are critical to the momentum we’ve built during the last 30 years in our quest to understand, and ultimately solve, the many questions surrounding breast cancer,” said Eric Winer, M.D., Komen’s chief scientific advisor, chief of the Division of Women’s Cancers at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Professor of Medicine at Harvard University.
*All grants and awards are contingent upon receipt of a fully executed agreement.