Komen awards more than $800,000 to UNC Lineberger researchers

Susan G. Komen for the Cure has awarded more than $800,000 to researchers with the UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center to fund research into fighting cancer.

The late Robert Milikan, DVM, MPH, PhD, Komen Scholar Lisa Carey, MD, Shelton Earp, MD, and Charles Perou, PhD were awarded $300,000 to fund the work of the Carolina Breast Cancer Study, a population-based study of breast cancer in Caucasian and African American women. The money will go toward Phase III of the project, which studies how treatment decisions, access to care, and financial or geographic barriers impact breast cancer outcomes among African American breast cancer patients in low-income and rural areas.

Lisa Carey, MD, was awarded $225,000 for research into metastatic tumors. By examining tumors in different stages of metastasis, Dr. Carey’s research will help researchers better understand how the breast cancer drugs are working, and to identify markers that will predict resistance to targeted therapies.

An award of $175,000 went to Claire Dees, MD, MsC, to develop protocols to help metastatic breast cancer patients access phase I clinical trials. The new protocols will help improve patient access to new drugs while assisting in the development of new treatments.

Another $110,000 was awarded to Dr. Perou for his work in determining the beneficial molecular properties of certain types of tumor-infiltrating immune cells (TILs) and identifying how they infiltrate basal-like breast cancer tumors. Understanding these active immune responses could identify tumor antigens that may later be used as therapeutic targets.

The Komen North Carolina Triangle to the Coast Affiliate serves 29 counties in central and eastern North Carolina; holding two annual Race for the Cure events in Raleigh and Wilmington. Seventy-five percent of the net proceeds generated by the Affiliate stay in the service area. In 2013, $950,000 was granted to provide a continuum of breast health services to underinsured and uninsured women in our service area. The remaining twenty-five percent funded national breast cancer research; the Affiliate contributed $281,000 in 2013. That same year, $3.6 million was returned to the area in the form of research grants at Duke and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. 

Date: August 2, 2013

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