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UNC Lineberger’s Lisa Carey, MD, was awarded $400,000 to evaluate how HER2-positive tumors respond to HER2-targeted therapies.

Susan G. Komen has allocated $1.125 million to support breast cancer research at the University of North Carolina Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center.

The new round of funding is part of Susan G. Komen’s effort to reduce breast cancer deaths in the United States by 50 percent by 2026. Komen’s most recent new investment totaled nearly $26 million for 62 new research projects, which included more than $2 million to institutions in North Carolina.

“More than 41,000 women and men will lose their lives to breast cancer this year alone,” said Komen President and CEO Paula Schneider in a statement. “I lost my mother to the disease a few years back, and I myself have been treated for aggressive triple negative breast cancer. The idea that it could impact my daughters is unacceptable. We all have a personal reason or passion that we support the fight against breast cancer, and we’re proud to invite people to support the work that means the most to them. It will take all of us working together to save lives and ultimately end this disease.”

The newly announced grants will investigate critical areas in breast cancer research, including, but not limited to, projects focused on drug resistance and metastasis, triple negative breast cancer, new treatments such as immunotherapies; and health disparities.

UNC Lineberger’s Lisa Carey, MD, who is the Richardson and Marilyn Jacobs Preyer Distinguished Professor in Breast Cancer Research, chief of the UNC School of Medicine Division of Hematology/Oncology, and a member of the Komen Scientific Advisory Board, received a $400,000 grant to evaluate how HER2-positive tumors respond to HER2-targeted therapies. This project will integrate and analyze data from more than 1,300 women participating in six neo-adjuvant clinical trials of HER2-targeted therapy.

“HER2-positive breast cancer has been an amazing success story,” Carey said. “With multiple effective drugs, it has gone from being the breast cancer subset with the worst prognosis to one of the best. However, the challenge we face now is that we have developed these complicated, difficult, and expensive regimens that many patients may not need. This award will allow us to examine a large dataset of patients with HER2-positive breast cancer so we can identify those who need less aggressive treatments, and who need more.”

Komen also awarded $725,000 to support the Carolina Breast Cancer Study Phase 3. CBCS3, one of the largest population-based studies of women with breast cancer, seeks to identify determinants of disparities in breast cancer clinical outcomes, including biologic, racial, socioeconomic, behavioral factors and identify modifiable factors in clinical care (delivery and access) that address the causes of disparities.

Founded in 1982, Susan G. Komen is the world’s largest breast cancer organization, funding more breast cancer research than any other nonprofit outside of the federal government while providing real-time help to those facing the disease. Komen has funded more than $988 million in research and provided more than $2.2 billion in funding to screening, education, treatment and psychosocial support programs serving millions of people in more than 60 countries worldwide.