Susan G. Komen for the Cure®’s 2012 research program takes aim at early and late stage breast disease while seeking answers in early detection, cancer prevention, and socioeconomic issues that often make breast cancer outcomes worse in minority and medically under-served women.
Komen today announced $58 million in new research funding for 2012, augmenting the $685 million that the organization has invested in breast cancer research since 1982. Komen is the largest non-profit funder of breast cancer research outside of the U.S. government.
“A special focus this year is on making sure that all women get the right treatments from the outset,” said Komen President Elizabeth Thompson. “This might mean no treatment, or very limited interventions, for lesions that might never develop into cancer. At the other end of the spectrum, we want new therapies that promise a full, high-quality life for women with advanced and metastatic disease.”
The Komen 2012 research program includes 154 grants to researchers in 22 states and seven countries. Komen currently funds more than 500 active research grants around the world.
The 2012 grants cover the full “continuum of cancer care,” Thompson said, including research into prevention, environmental issues, more sensitive screening, personalized treatments and factors that lead to worse breast cancer outcomes in minorities and special populations.
A complete list of Komen’s new peer-reviewed grants is available on Komen’s website at: www5.komen.org/2012grants.html
The portfolio includes $8 million in new Komen Promise Grants, the large-scale, multi-year research projects that reach across institutions and disciplines to find answers for big issues in breast cancer science. Komen has funded more than $84 million in Promise Grants since they were introduced in 2008.
This year, Promise Grant researchers will be investigating why some women, especially those with the most common forms of breast cancer, are more likely to have a late recurrence of their breast cancers, while others will not. Additionally, these grants will seek new methods to treat women whose cancers recur. With this year’s Promise Grants:
Estrogen-driven ER-positive disease is diagnosed in about 70 percent of breast cancer cases.
The focus on recurrence and more targeted therapies is essential for women today and for future generations, said Cheryl Jernigan, who serves as a Komen Scholar advising Komen about its research strategy and priorities from an advocate’s perspective.
“As a survivor, I can tell you that the worst part of this disease is not knowing whether you really are OK, whether the other shoe will drop, and what options will be available for you if and when it does. It’s essential that women get clarity about where their disease is going, and better treatments to eliminate their cancer all together,” said Jernigan.
Chandini Portteus, Komen’s Vice President of Research, Evaluation and Scientific Programs, said Komen’s 2012 program aligns with Komen’s philosophy of funding research that will translate to new approaches or treatments in the shortest period of time. The grants include:
Biomarkers for Early Detection
As in previous years, Komen is funding research to understand and address needs of special populations, such as minority women, women under 40, rural women, and low-income, uninsured and low-resource women. This year’s grants include:
Other Issues in Metastatic and Aggressive Disease
In addition to the 2012 Promise Grants, Komen is continuing to invest in research into metastatic and aggressive forms of breast cancer. These include (but are not limited to):
Komen’s research program is funded by national fund-raising programs, partners, and by Komen Affiliates who provide 25 percent of their locally raised funds to global research.
“None of this research or progress of the past 30 years would be possible without the generosity of our partners and donors in communities, and we are so grateful for those who understand and support all of our programs,” said Nancy G. Brinker, founder and CEO of Komen for the Cure. “Research has been a priority since ‘day one’ at Susan G. Komen. It continues to help us save lives and reduce suffering for women and men all around the world.”
*Grant awards are subject to contract acceptance