Leader of Global Breast Cancer Movement Continues Unprecedented Investment in Research Despite Ongoing Troubled Global Economy
DALLAS – July 13, 2010 – From your breakfast cereal to your DNA, scientists armed with 2010 Susan G. Komen for the Cure® research grants will be looking for the cures for breast cancer or, better yet, clues to prevent it entirely.
Komen for the Cure, the world’s largest breast cancer organization, announced $59 million in 2010 research grants to 65 institutions today, adding to the nearly $500 million the organization has invested in research funding globally over the past 30 years.
This year’s grants include $5 million shared by Kansas and Texas researchers to see whether flax seed, a common ingredient in cereal and bread, can prevent breast cancer.
Another $5 million to Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston will help scientists do more testing of a promising class of drugs called PARP inhibitors to stop breast cancer’s spread.
These two grants are part of Komen’s unique Promise Grants program that funds large-scale, ambitious, cooperative and innovative research.
All told, Komen’s $59 million 2010 research commitment will fund 115 research projects around the world.
“We have a tremendous urgency to find the cures and to create a world where no one has to face breast cancer ever again,” said Ambassador Nancy G. Brinker, founder and CEO of Susan G. Komen for the Cure. “As we have for many years, we are again funding innovative research into prevention, while we also ask scientists to find better ways to screen for breast cancer, and better ways to effectively treat this disease. As far as we’ve come, we have much more to learn to unlock the secrets of how this disease forms and spreads.”
The wide spectrum of research to be funded this year by Komen includes:
- Treatment and outcome disparities (age, racial, ethnic) among women with breast cancer
- Improvements in diagnostic and screening approaches (biomarkers, new imaging techniques)
- Targeted therapies
- Characterization of breast subtypes
- Drug resistance and metastasis
Specific projects in the grants slate address the following:
- Breast cancer in African-American and Native American women
- Establishing mammography guidelines for women 65 and older
- Sending drugs directly into breast tumors
- New prevention strategies for triple negative breast cancer
Details of the 2010 Promise Grants include:
- Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston. Imagine being able to swallow a pill and kill breast tumor cells while sparing healthy ones. That’s the goal of researchers testing a new class of drugs, called PARP inhibitors, on women who carry the most common types of genetic mutations that often lead to the disease. This $5 million Promise Grant will try to determine if PARP inhibitor drugs can target tumor cells in women at higher risk of breast cancer while sparing healthy cells.
The Komen Promise Grant will include several co-investigating institutions:
- University of Michigan
- University of Pennsylvania
- University of California at San Francisco
- Dartmouth College
- Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center
- Duke University
- Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
- University of Kansas Medical Center, Kansas City, Kan., and University of Texas, Austin. This $5 million Promise Grant will investigate whether flax seed, a common ingredient in bread, cereal and baked goods, can reduce the risk for breast cancer, particularly in younger women who are premenopausal.
“Komen’s steadfast commitment to fund research projects in the U.S. and internationally is a critical component in the ongoing effort to treat and eventually prevent 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. “Without Komen funding, promising research projects could be threatened and promising young researchers may be forced to turn their efforts in other directions.”
Grants awarded by Komen for the Cure undergo a rigorous peer-review process by groups of laboratory scientists, clinicians and advocates. These grants fall into the following categories:
- Promise Grants: Large-scale grants up to $5 million each during a five-year period, targeted to research that brings science to the bedside quicker than ever before.
- Post-Doctoral Research: Grants of $60,000 per year for two or three years to attract and retain promising young researchers nationwide and internationally.
- Career Catalyst Research: Grants of $150,000 per year for two to three years to fill a critical gap in support and stimulate the transition from training to independence among promising cancer investigators.
- Career Catalyst in Disparities Research: Grants up to $450,000 over three years to foster independent careers in disparities research and support programs of research into disparities in breast cancer.
- Investigator Initiated Research: Grants of up to $200,000 per year for two to three years to explore new ideas and approaches leading to reductions in breast cancer mortality and/or incidence within the decade.
- Post Baccalaureate in Disparities Research: Grants up to $135,000 per student over three years to support training for students very early in their career to allow them to begin to define meaningful career paths focused on disparities in breast cancer.
View a complete list of 2010 grants designees