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Susan G. Komen for the Cure(R) Announces Largest Grants Slate Ever: $100 Million to Speed Delivery of Breast Cancer Discoveries, Cures

'Promise Grants' Offer Individuals, Corporations Unique Opportunities to

Invest in Significant Collaborative Research Ventures

DALLAS, April 21 /PRNewswire/ -- Susan G. Komen for the Cure(R), the world's largest breast cancer organization, today announced the awarding of more than $100 million in research grants, representing the largest single-year investment in research in the organization's 26-year history and a 30 percent increase over last year's award total of $77 million. The 2008 grants slate moves Komen for the Cure closer to accomplishing its goal of investing another $2 billion in breast cancer research and community health programs by 2017.


With this year's slate of 143 grants, Komen for the Cure has fully activated new funding mechanisms designed to speed the discovery and delivery of the cures for breast cancer. The 2008 slate funds projects designed to promote breast cancer research collaboration and cost efficiencies, arrive at reliable and replicable research results more quickly, motivate bright young investigators to commit to breast cancer research careers and keep career researchers intensely focused on breast cancer.

"We've made it clear that our money will fund projects that focus on ways to significantly reduce breast cancer incidence and mortality within the next ten years," said Susan G. Komen for the Cure President and CEO Hala Moddelmog.

Specifically, Komen for the Cure is funding research initiatives exploring key breast cancer issues, including genetic risks, risk modulation, breast cancer stem cells, new targets for breast cancer therapies, therapeutic vaccines, treatment resistance, the molecular basis for chemotherapeutic response, strategies for the reduction of tumor progression, the role of micro-environments, the role of specific proteins in metastasis and treatments for bone metastasis.

An Overview of the 2008 Komen Grants Slate

Komen for the Cure expanded the types of requests for applications it issues from two to four this year and unveiled its new Promise Grants, which promote collaboration between basic and clinical researchers and different institutions to speed the discovery and delivery of the cures. The awards provide up to $1.5 million per year over five years to address major issues critical to breast cancer. Promise Grants also provide unique opportunities for individuals or corporate partners to make direct investments in breast cancer research.

"Many individuals and corporate partners share Susan G. Komen for the Cure's sense of urgency in discovering and delivering the cures and finding ways to prevent breast cancer. Promise Grants allow donors to act on strong philanthropic impulses and essentially have a direct hand in writing a significant chapter in breast cancer research history," said Dr. Eric P. Winer, Susan G. Komen for the Cure's chief scientific advisor and leader of the organization's Scientific Advisory Board.

This year, Komen is funding seven Promise Grants focused on estrogen-negative breast cancer, inflammatory breast cancer, the effects of obesity on the progression of breast cancer, molecular targets of treatment response, the development of hormonal therapies tailored to individual tumor and patient characteristics and the treatment of HER2-driven breast cancer.

Komen for the Cure is funding more than $35 million in Promise Grants for 2008.

Along with the new Promise Grants, Komen for the Cure this year launched its Career Catalyst Research grants -- a new award mechanism that provides support for particularly promising young investigators to make the critical transition from training to scientific independence in breast cancer research. The awards offer $300,000 per year for two years, with option of an additional, performance-based award of $150,000 in year three. Komen is funding $10.8 million in Career Catalyst Research grants for 2008.

Susan G. Komen for the Cure continues to offer Post-doctoral Fellowships to support training for investigators who are in the early stages of their research careers. With awards of up to $60,000 per year for two years and performance-based option for an additional $60,000 in year three, the awards are intended to attract new scientists to careers in breast cancer research. Komen for the Cure is funding just over $8 million in Post-doctoral Fellowship grants for 2008.

Komen for the Cure's scientific research portfolio continues to support Investigator Initiated Research projects by providing $600,000 per year for two to three years for the exploration of new ideas and approaches leading to reductions in breast cancer mortality and/or incidence within the next decade. Komen is investing more than $35 million in Investigator-initiated research grants for 2008.

Komen for the Cure also awarded a grant to the American Association of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) to create programs and provide grants that will support tangible improvements in access to and the delivery of cancer care, with special emphasis on addressing disparities in care and participation in clinical trials.

2007: Identifying, Funding Top Breast Cancer Priorities

Komen for the Cure's transition from funding a variety of largely investigator-initiated research projects to the funding of projects that fall within priority areas of focus began last year with funding of grants in four specific categories: ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS), experimental model systems, identification and validation of bio-markers and the development of environmental research methods. Several 2007 Komen for the cure research awards have enabled researchers to focus their attention on key and growing areas of concern within the breast cancer research community. For example:

-- A 2007 Komen for the Cure grant was awarded to Insoo Bae, Ph.D., of

Georgetown University to identify environmental agents that cause DNA

damage to BRCA1 defective breast cells, triggering the development of

cancerous tumors.

-- A Komen for the Cure grant is supporting the work of

Amy Trenthan-Dietz, Ph.D., of the University of Wisconsin-Madison as

she focuses on whether human exposure to a large number of chemicals

in the environment with estrogenic properties (called 'xenoestrogens')

is sufficient enough to increase breast cancer risk.

Dr. Trenthan-Dietz is making use of a new technique to measure total

xenoestrogen exposure burden -- the sum of estrogenic activity of all

xenoestrogens to when an individual is exposed. Findings could prove

instrumental in helping public health officials identify and target

potential sources of exposure.

-- Dr. Donald Lannin of Yale University is using Komen grant money to

study the intricacies of ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) in order to

determine more clearly which cases are likely to become invasive.

-- Komen for the Cure is enabling Dr. Michael A. Tainsky of Wayne State

University in Michigan to test a unique combination of techniques for

cancer detection, including robotics and computer-based informatics to

identify hundreds of potential biomarkers specific to DCIS and

determine which cases may become invasive.

-- A Komen for the Cure grant to support the development of experimental

model systems is helping Dr. Celeste Nelson at Princeton University to

develop a three-dimensional microlithography-based model system to

study what happens in and around breast cells as they undergo

malignant transformation. Looking at complex chains of events and

cellular cross talk in a setting that closely mirrors what happens in

the breast will eventually lead to better, more accurate therapeutic


More information on grants awarded by Susan G. Komen for the Cure can be found at under "Grants Program." Details about all of Susan G. Komen for the Cure's 2008 research grants will be available online as contracts are finalized and signed.

About Susan G. Komen for the Cure(R)

Nancy G. Brinker promised her dying sister, Susan G. Komen, she would do everything in her power to end breast cancer forever. In 1982, that promise became Susan G. Komen for the Cure(R) and launched the global breast cancer movement. Today, Komen for the Cure is the world's largest grassroots network of breast cancer survivors and activists fighting to save lives, empower people, ensure quality care for all and energize science to find the cures. Thanks to events like the Komen Race for the Cure, we have invested more than $1 billion to fulfill our promise, becoming the largest source of nonprofit funds dedicated to the fight against breast cancer in the world. For more information about Susan G. Komen for the Cure, breast health or breast cancer, visit or call 1-877 GO KOMEN.

SOURCE Susan G. Komen for the Cure
Copyright©2008 PR Newswire.
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