Minnesota Grants Part of $66 Million in 2011 Research Funding from World’s Largest Breast Cancer Organization
DALLAS – September 20, 2011 – Mayo Clinic scientists will seek a better understanding of how the presence of immune cells in breast tissue can contribute to reducing breast cancer risk, with the ultimate goal of developing a breast cancer vaccine, with research funds announced today by Susan G. Komen for the Cure®.
The $600,000 grant is one of two Minneapolis-area grants totaling nearly $800,000, 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 in breast cancer,” said Ambassador Nancy G. Brinker, founder and CEO of Susan G. Komen for the Cure.
The Mayo Clinic research is led by Amy Degnim, M.D., whose team will study patterns in immune cell systems that could help predict which women will develop breast cancer. The research could lead to vaccines or other methods to use the body’s immune system to prevent the cancer cells from growing.
Komen awarded an additional grant for $180,000 to Carol Lange, Ph.D., and Gwen Dressing, Ph.D., at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities to study how progesterone receptors are involved in cellular changes that can lead to breast cancer development.
“These grants address two very important issues in breast cancer: how it might be prevented, and how it can be more effectively treated in individuals,” said Komen President Elizabeth Thompson. “These grants tie squarely to our mission to fund cutting-edge breast cancer research along the entire cancer continuum – from prevention to early diagnostics, disparities in outcomes, more effective treatments, and answers for aggressive and metastatic disease.”
The local research grants augment $2.3 million in 2011 funding for outreach and community programs in Minnesota through Komen’s Minneapolis Affiliate, which has raised more than $30 million for Minnesota programs overall. Globally, Komen has invested more than $1.3 billion for community education, screening, outreach and patient support programs since it was founded in 1982.
“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.