A Diagnostics & Imaging Week

The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center (Houston) has been awarded a $4.6 million Specialized Programs of Research Excellence (SPORE) grant from the National Cancer Institute (Bethesda, Maryland) for breast cancer research, the 10th such grant earned by the institution since 1996.

With the three-year grant awarded exclusively for breast cancer research, M. D. Anderson said it holds more SPORE grants than any other institution in the U.S. It currently holds such grants in leukemia and melanoma as well as cancers of the pancreas, ovaries, uterus, head and neck, bladder and prostate, and shares a lung cancer SPORE grant with UT Southwestern Medical Center (Dallas).

With the breast cancer SPORE and the recent renewal of the ovarian cancer SPORE, the 10 grants total more than $107 million.

"The projects reflect a balance between early-stage breast cancer, which often can be successfully treated, and advanced disease, which can be very challenging," said Gabriel Hortobagyi, MD, professor and chair of the department of breast medical oncology, and the principal investigator of the newest SPORE. "In addition, it was important that we address specific needs and biology of minority populations. Ultimately, we want to make an impact on breast cancer science, treatment, detection and prevention worldwide."

The SPORE grant for breast cancer will fund these five primary projects, all of which advance personalized risk assessment, detection and treatment:

  • Molecular and epidemiologic classification of early-stage breast cancer tumor.
  • Cyclin E as a novel and powerful prognosticator for breast cancer.
  • Treatment of metastatic breast cancer with gene-modified mesenchymal stem cells.
  • PTEN deficiency and trastuzumab (Herceptin) resistance.
  • Targeting breast cancer-specific gene therapy.

In other grants/contracts news, Tm Bioscience (Toronto), which focuses on the commercial genetic testing market, said it has signed an agreement to supply Jacobi Medical Center (Bronx, New York) with Tag-It reagents for use in its Ashkenazi Jewish Panel and Cystic Fibrosis (CF) gene assays.

No Comments