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Congressional Report Affirms Need for Prevention and Environmental Research, Says Susan G. Komen for the Cure®
Report Underscores Prevention/Environmental Approach from World’s Largest Non-Profit Funder of Breast Cancer Research
DALLAS – February 12, 2013 – A new government report citing the need for additional breast cancer prevention and environmental research affirms Susan G. Komen for the Cure’s efforts in cancer prevention research, as the organization continues to work for cures through its global science program.
“We agree with the special panel’s report that we must get to the bottom of perhaps the most complex and difficult question we face – how to prevent breast cancer in the first place,” said Chandini Portteus, vice president of research, evaluation and scientific programs for Komen.
A report issued today by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences Interagency Breast Cancer & Environmental Research Coordinating Committee was commissioned by Congress in 2008 to analyze the state of breast cancer environmental research. The report “Breast Cancer and the Environment — Prioritizing Prevention,” concluded that not enough federal research funding is focused on environmental factors such as lifestyle, nutrition, chemical and other factors in breast cancer development.
Komen commissioned a similar report, released in 2011 by the Institute of Medicine, that laid the groundwork for meaningful research into environmental causes of breast cancer – a report that Komen is using as the starting point for $5 million in challenge grants to begin large-scale, population studies on environmental factors in breast cancer. Komen will announce recipients of the environmental research grants this spring.
“We’re determined to better understand these environmental and lifestyle factors, and bring solid scientific approaches to this issue,” Portteus said, citing Komen’s $75 million investment into breast cancer prevention and environmental research alone.
Portteus said the challenge to identify environmental risk factors is significant. “This will require large-scale population studies over many years to account for a variety of exposures – for example, the impact of exposure to potential cancer-causing agents at different times in a person’s life. But we simply must move forward, with solid science, to minimize risk and prevent breast cancer all together for future generations, and we invite others to join us.”
Komen has invested more than $750 million in breast cancer research in 30 years, making Komen the largest nonprofit funder of breast cancer research outside of the U.S. government. Currently, the organization funds more than 500 research projects globally, totaling more than $300 million, to find better prevention, early detection and treatment methodologies. An overview of Komen’s research program can be found at komen.org