Grant is Part of $66 Million in New 2011 Research Funding
DALLAS – September 8, 2011 – University of Miami researchers will try to learn more about aggressive forms of breast cancer more commonly seen in Caribbean women, by studying the genetic characteristics of Caribbean women with the disease, with 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 that remain in breast cancer,” said Ambassador Nancy G. Brinker, founder and CEO of Susan G. Komen for the Cure.
At the University of Miami, Judith Hurley, M.D., will study the genetics and characteristics of breast cancer in 1,000 breast cancer patients from four Caribbean countries, looking for genetic mutations that are responsible for some breast cancers. The BRCA1 and BRCA 2 gene mutations are found in 23 percent of women with breast cancer in the Bahamas (compared with 3 percent to 5 percent in the United States). Hurley hopes to learn more by studying specific mutations throughout the Caribbean as well as in the U.S.
“This research may lead to a better understanding of issues unique to black women throughout the Caribbean and in the U.S., as we attempt to address breast cancer’s impacts across diverse groups,” said Elizabeth Thompson, Komen president. “This ties squarely to our mission to fund cutting-edge research along the entire cancer continuum – from prevention to early diagnostics, disparities, more effective treatments, and answers for aggressive and metastatic disease.”
The research announced by Komen today augments local funding from Komen’s Miami-Ft. Lauderdale Affiliate for local community outreach programs. In 2011, the Affiliate granted more than $2 million to screening, treatment, education and outreach programs in the area. In its 29 years, Komen and its Affiliates have invested more than $1.3 billion to community outreach programs. Seventy-five percent of funds raised by Komen Affiliates stay in their local communities; the rest helps fund national research programs.
“The 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.