World’s Leading Breast Cancer Organization and National Cancer Institute Sign Agreement for Five-Country Research with Major Implications for Latin Women Globally
WASHINGTON – February 18, 2010 – The largest study ever of breast cancer in Latin American women is being launched this year in a unique multi-country, public/private partnership with $1 million in additional funding from the world’s largest breast cancer organization, Susan G. Komen for the Cure®.
Spearheaded by the National Cancer Institute (NCI) Office of Latin American Cancer Program Development, the partnership signed today will support the development of programs for cancer research, clinical trials, training programs, technology and capacity building in five Latin American countries, with implications for Latinas in the United States and globally.
“Breast cancer is a leading cause of death in Latinas here in the United States and around the world, and requires a large-scale effort to address and overcome,” said Nancy G. Brinker, founder and CEO of Komen for the Cure. “This landmark collaboration between Komen, NCI, and five Latin American countries will help us get to answers about genetics, environment and social issues that contribute to breast cancer deaths in Latinas.”
“Importantly,” Brinker said, “They will also help us develop strategies to reduce breast cancer incidence and death in this large and growing group -- both in Latin American countries and among Hispanic populations here in the U.S.”
The research will be conducted in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Mexico and Uruguay. Brinker and NCI Director, John E. Niederhuber, M.D, signed an agreement for funding today in a ceremony in Washington, D.C. This follows the signing of bilateral agreements among the five countries and the NCI last fall.
The Latin American countries and the United States will link their research efforts through the cancer Biomedical Informatics Grid, an information network that allows researchers to share data and knowledge. They also will develop pilot projects to enhance research and improve delivery of cancer treatments to patients in the United States and Latin America.
This is the first major multi-country research effort specifically aimed at women in Latin American countries.
A crucial first step is building the information database to identify breast cancer patterns in Latin women.
"Clearly, making continued progress against cancer in the United States, and certainly across the globe, will require many resources, both public and private. For this initiative, we are most grateful for the generous support of Susan G. Komen for the Cure," Niederhuber said. "Not only is it crucial that we understand cancer incidence and trends in different countries; newfound genetic, genomic, and population-based knowledge will help elucidate the origins of breast cancer in Hispanic women from all of our nations."
From there, the project will develop strategies for improved breast cancer detection, management and treatment in Latin America, enhanced research training and developing a clinical research infrastructure for the future.
An estimated 14,000 cases of breast cancer were diagnosed in U.S. Hispanic women in 2009, with more than 2,200 deaths, making breast cancer the leading cause of cancer death among Latina women in the U.S. Breast cancer in Latinas is more often diagnosed at a later stage (when the disease is more advanced) than when found in non-Hispanic women.
Cancer incidence in Latin American countries continues to rise, according to NCI, and takes a large toll on Hispanic/Latino populations in the United States. It is estimated that the U.S. Hispanic population will climb to nearly 60 million and represent approximately 19 percent of the U.S. population by 2020. Reducing the burden of cancer in the United States and abroad will depend heavily on understanding and controlling cancer in this population.
About the National Cancer Institute (NCI)
NCI leads the National Cancer Program and the NIH effort to dramatically reduce the burden of cancer and improve the lives of cancer patients and their families, through research into prevention and cancer biology, the development of new interventions, and the training and mentoring of new researchers. For more information about cancer, please visit the NCI Web site at http://www.cancer.gov or call NCI's Cancer Information Service at 1-800-4-CANCER (1-800-422-6237).
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) -- The Nation's Medical Research Agency -- includes 27 Institutes and Centers and is a component of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. It is the primary federal agency for conducting and supporting basic, clinical and translational medical research, and it investigates the causes, treatments, and cures for both common and rare diseases. For more information about NIH and its programs, visit www.nih.gov.