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Susan G. Komen® invests in critical research

October 7, 0014

SUSAN G. KOMEN® INVESTS IN THE FUTURE OF BREAST CANCER RESEARCH

New York Researchers Will Receive $1.6 Million in New Research Funding

DALLAS, TEXAS – Oct. 7, 2014 – Following through on a commitment to young scientists and clinicians, the Susan G. Komen® organization today announced new grants to more than 50 early-career breast cancer researchers -- almost half of Komen’s $34.7 million investment in new breast cancer research funding for 2014.

In New York, researchers will receive more than $1.6 million to investigate treatment resistance, the spread of breast cancer and potential therapeutic targets, bringing Komen’s investment in breast cancer research in New York to $43 million since 1982.

“Our 2014 grants are intended to ensure continuity in breast cancer research for years to come,” said Komen President and CEO Judith A. Salerno, M.D., M.S.  “With federal research dollars tightening, we’re deeply concerned that a generation of promising breast cancer researchers will be lost to other fields.

“While we fund young researchers, we’re also continuing to grant to established researchers whose work has led to significant progress against this disease,” she said.

Komen is funding nearly $16 million in new grants to early-career researchers – those who are still in training and those at the earliest stages of their research careers. The remaining funds are being granted to leading breast cancer scientists who have already made significant contributions to the field, and to support scientific programs and partnerships that advance Komen’s mission to end breast cancer forever.

Komen is the largest nonprofit funder of breast cancer research, with more than $847 million invested since its founding in 1982. But research is just one aspect of Komen’s mission: since 1982, Komen and its Affiliates have invested more than $1.8 billion in community health outreach and global programs that last year served more than half a million women and men facing breast cancer. More than 80 cents of every dollar Komen spends is devoted to mission programs.

Komen’s Investments in New York

Komen’s research program is funded in part by contributions from local Komen Affiliates across the country, which annually contribute 25 percent of net funds raised in their local community to Komen’s research program, with the remaining 75 percent staying in the community to fund community outreach programs. 

Since 1995, the Northeastern New York Affiliate has funded over $3.1 million to community programs serving local women and men, while contributing nearly $1 million to Komen research.

“We’re very proud that the funds we’ve raised in Northeastern New York are not only providing real-time help to our neighbors, but coming back to our universities and hospitals for research that can save lives,” said Executive Director Victoria Roggen.

In New York, researchers will receive more than $1.6 million to investigate treatment resistance, the spread of breast cancer and potential therapeutic targets.

  • $450,000 in funding to Emily Gallagher, B. Med. Sci, of Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai to explore if high cholesterol levels in the blood could be a causative factor in why elevated risk for breast cancer is observed in overweight or obese women.  This work could allow the use of cholesterol-reducing drugs to be added as a treatment for breast cancer.

  • $450,000 in funding to Sarat Chandarlapaty, M.D., Ph.D., of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center to determine how breast tumors develop resistance to anti-estrogen therapies by  using a comprehensive approach that will examine how changes at the genetic , messenger RNA and protein level changes occur during treatment that would mediate drug resistance.  This work could uncover new clinical biomarkers and novel use of therapies to treat drug resistance breast cancers.

  • $180,000 in funding to Hardik Patel, Ph.D., of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center to investigate the therapeutic potential for developing inhibitors that specifically target Grp94, a protein associated with advanced stage breast tumors.  Finding selective inhibitors that target Grp94 could be an effective new treatment for advanced stage breast tumors that are HER2+ or EGFR+, a protein similar to HER2.

  • $180,000 in funding to Carrie Oliver, Ph.D., of New York University School of Medicine to determine the role of Latent TGFbeta Binding Protein 1 (LTBP1) in how breast cancer cells move to other organs (i.e. metastasize).  Measuring LTBP1 could be used as an accurate clinical biomarker for metastatic breast cancer.

  • Almost $150,000 in funding to Salvatore Piscuoglio, Ph.D., of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center to investigate a rare type of breast cancer, called mucinous breast cancer, which lacks the similar genetic and cellular alterations  that are characteristic of hormone-sensitive breast cancers. This work will develop improved therapies for patients with this rare subtype of breast cancer.

  • $200,000 in continued funding to Komen Scholar Ramon Parsons, M.D., Ph.D., of Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai to continue his work to better understand the role of the tumor suppressor gene PTEN in preventing breast cancer development and how PTEN mutations contribute to the initiation of  ER+ breast cancer. This work could lead to novel combination of therapies that would enable PI3K inhibitors , which block the effect of PTEN mutations, to be more effectively used in the clinic.

A full list of Komen’s 2014 research grants can be found here.*

A list of community health programs funded by the Northeastern New York Affiliate can be found http://www.komenneny.org/grants/current-grant-recipients/.

For more information about Komen’s overall mission investments, please visit komen.org.