BY METAvivor Board of Directors


METAvivor Announces Grant Awards for Metastatic Breast Cancer Research

METAvivor Research and Support announces 23 new grant awards for metastatic breast cancer research totaling $3,650,000.  Metavivor is one of the few organizations that continued a research award program during this year of the Covid-19 pandemic. The grants hold promise for future treatments and therapies that will have a significant and positive impact for those living with metastatic breast cancer.

Metavivor Research and Support Inc., a non-profit organization dedicated to funding research for stage IV metastatic breast cancer (MBC), announces 23 grant awards totaling $3,650,000.  These research grants will enhance the understanding of metastatic breast cancer, help improve current treatments and develop greatly needed therapeutic options to combat this complicated disease. Since its founding in 2009, METAvivor has put 100% of donations into its peer-reviewed research grant program.

Metastatic breast cancer (also known as stage IV or advanced stage cancer) is the spread of breast cancer to other parts of the body -- most commonly to the bones, liver, lungs and/or brain. Approximately 30% of breast cancer patients metastasize, with the mean survival after diagnosis being 33 months. In the U.S., only 2-5% of all cancer research funds are dedicated to stage IV cancer research – yet 98% of all breast cancer deaths are caused by a metastasis. 

“2020 was a difficult year in many ways. We are thrilled we are able to continue our metastatic breast cancer research program in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. While so many organizations were unable to fund research in 2020, thanks to our donors and fundraisers, we were able to award critical research grants for metastatic breast cancer.”  Said Jamil Rivers, President of Metavivor’s Board of Directors.

Metavivor is awarding grants in three award categories.  The Early Career Investigator Award program is focused on funding grants for early career metastatic breast cancer researchers, The Translational Research Grant and Advisor’s awards program are targeted at career metastasis researchers with total awards of up to $250,000 per grant.  

Rivers said, “The 23 grants that we are presenting, bring our grand total of metastatic breast cancer-specific research awards to $17,250,000. It is our hope that these vital research grants will translate to new treatments and therapies that will one day, end death from metastatic breast cancer. We thank our donors, fundraisers, research partners, sponsors and the breast cancer community for their ongoing support and commitment.”


The METAvivor 2020 Grant recipients:


Metavivor Facebook Fundraisers Present - Reva Basho, MD, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center Samuel Oschin Comprehensive Cancer Institute - “Tucatinib in Combination with Pembrolizumab and Trastuzumab for Patients with HER2+ Breast Cancer Brain Metastases”           

#Lindasbug: A VW Beetle Fundraiser in Memory of Linda Kreizenbeck Presents: Isaac Chan, MD, PhD UT Southwestern Medical Center - “Using natural killer cells to eliminate breast cancer metastases”

Metavivor Facebook Fundraisers Present – Jessica Christenson. PhD, University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus - “Repurposing Lung Microenvironment Targeted Therapies for the Treatment of Established Breast Cancer Lung Metastases”

Minneapolis Metsquerade Presented in Memory of Erin Remme – Erin Howe, PhD, University of Notre Dame-Harper Cancer Research Institute - “Targeting endosomal trafficking to enhance immune recognition of breast cancer brain metastases”                 

Metavivor Facebook Fundraisers Present - Natasha Hunter, MD, University of Washington - “Tissue and liquid biopsy for breast cancer patients with bone-only metastases”     

Metavivor Facebook Fundraisers Present – Dennis Jones. PhD, Boston University - “Targeting breast cancer plasticity and immunosuppression in metastatic lymph nodes”

Presented in Honor of Abbey Rapoport – Srinivas Malladi, PhD, UT Southwestern Medical Center - “Targeting vulnerabilities of immune-evasive HER2+ Breast Adenocarcinoma Metastasis Initiating Cells”     

Play: CLE to Cure: MBC Presented In Memory of Dee Dee Miller - Diwakar Pattabiraman, PhD, Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth - “Differentiation therapy for metastatic breast cancer”                      

Metavivor Facebook Fundraisers Present – Shreyas Rao, PhD, The University of Alabama – “Engineered biomimetic hydrogels to probe metastatic tumor cell cluster–brain microenvironment interactions facilitating tumor progression”

MetaRaise DENJPA Presented In Memory of Our Friend Patty Ann Baldwin - Thu Truong, PhD, University of Minnesota, Masonic Cancer Center - “Progesterone receptor reprograms metabolic pathways to drive therapy resistant populations in metastatic breast cancer“

Metavivor Facebook Fundraisers Present - Yun Zhao, PhD, University of Notre Dame – “Targeting the pitfall of chemo-immunotherapy: Immunosuppressive myeloid cells induced by apoptosis”               

Southwest Florida Metsquerade Presented in Memory of Amanda DeFiebre – Guizhi Zhu, PhD, Virginia Commonwealth University - “Multi-epitope/di-adjuvant co-delivering albumin-binding vaccines (Medico-AlbiVax) for the combination immunotherapy of metastatic breast cancer”                      



We “Neeta” Cure Fundraiser Presented in Memory of Neta Meier - Stuart Martin, PhD, University of Maryland School of Medicine – “Targeting Tau-induced microtubule stabilization to reduce outgrowth of metastatic tumors”

Presented by #Cancerland in Memory of Champagne Joy – Danny Welch, PhD, University of Kansas Medical Center Research Institute, Inc. – “BMRS1 MSD: A potential new inhibitor of breast cancer metastasis”                    



#LightUpMBC from Moore Fight Moore Strong in memory of Jessica Moore Presents – Stacy Blain, PhD, The Research Foundation of the State of New York, SUNY Downstate Medical Center – “p27Kip1: A game changing target in metastatic breast cancer”  

Southwest Florida Metsquerade Presented in Memory of Karin Petrocelli – Fumito Ito, MD, PhD, Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center Health Research Inc - “In situ radio-immunotherapy to maximize the engagement of cross-presenting dendritic cells to treat metastatic breast cancer”                      

Presented in Honor of Beth Fairchild and Her Service to Metavivor Research and Support - Bethany Kerr, PhD, Wake Forest School of Medicine – “Profiling combinatorial treatment response in early and late bone metastatic breast cancer”

Northwest Arkansas Metsquerade Presented In Memory of Erin Leland - Traci Lyons, PhD, University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus - “Targeting therapeutic vulnerabilities of endocrine therapy resistant ER+ metastatic breast cancer”                                

Metavivor Facebook Fundraisers Present – Steffi Oesterreich, PhD, University of Pittsburgh – “Targeting mesothelial – tumor cell interaction to treat invasive lobular cancer metastases        “

Metavivor Facebook Fundraisers Present – Selvarangan Ponnazhagan, PhD, The University of Alabama at Birmingham – “Co-targeting immunosuppression and skeletal pathology for metastatic breast cancer therapy

Tami Bowling and METAvivors of NJ Present - Pranela Rameshwar, PhD, Rutgers New Jersey Medical School - “Preventing epigenetic-mediated DNA repair induced by bone marrow niche cells to eliminate drug resistance”

Monica Hill’s Be Bold and Behold, In Loving Memory of Monica Hill and Jasmine Charles, Presents - Brad St Croix, PhD, National Cancer Institute – “Improving the therapeutic index of ADCs targeting metastatic breast cancer”

2020 New York Fashion Week Presented in Memory of Halli Lannan – Alana Welm, PhD, University of Utah – “FORESEE: Functional precision oncology for metastatic breast cancer: a feasibility trial”    



METAvivor Research and Support Inc. is an Annapolis-based, volunteer-led, non-profit organization founded by metastatic breast cancer (MBC) patients in 2009.  The organization’s main focus is to fund critical research that will lead to advances in treatment options, quality of life and survival for patients diagnosed with MBC.  Since 2009, METAvivor has awarded 129 research grants totaling $17,250,000. METAvivor is the only national organization with a peer-reviewed grant program aimed at exclusively funding MBC research, and 100% of all donations go to fund research. 

METAvivor also raises awareness of MBC, provides support for people living with this disease, and offers opportunities for others to help make a difference for the metastatic community. METAvivor has gained a rapidly growing following within the breast cancer community and has become a leader the metastatic breast cancer community.

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