METAvivor Research and Support Inc., a non-profit organization dedicated to Stage IV metastatic breast cancer, announced four awards totaling $247,000 in research grants to fund scientific research. These grants will enhance better understanding of metastatic breast cancer and help develop greatly needed therapeutic options to combat this complicated disease. This is the 5th annual grant cycle funded by METAvivor.
Metastatic breast cancer (also known as Stage IV or advanced stage cancer) is the spread of breast cancer to non-adjacent parts of the body -- most commonly to the bones, liver, lungs and/or brain. Metastatic disease is fundamentally different from primary cancer (cancer in the breast) due to the molecular nature of the secondary site of cancer growth, and due to the changes in the physiology of both the patient and the metastasized cancer cells. Currently, metastatic breast cancer is minimally treatable, but not survivable. Metastatic breast cancer accounts for 100% of the 40,000 annual deaths due to breast cancer.
While there are many scientific hurdles to understanding this condition and developing new treatments, the most devastating barrier is the lack of funding to study this terminal disease. “Metastatic breast cancer is the only breast cancer that kills! Thirty percent of all breast cancers develop into metastasis; however, Stage IV cancer research is funded at an appallingly low 2-5 % of all available cancer funds. METAvivor.org is working to change this statistic by funding innovative research that will specifically benefit patients whose cancers have already metastasized.” says Dr. Arti Santhanam, Director of Research for METAvivor.
Since 2009, METAvivor has put 100% of donations into its peer-reviewed research grant program. Including this year’s grants, METAvivor has awarded a total of 14 grants to career metastases researchers to study innovative technology and develop models to better understand and treat metastatic breast cancer. This year a total of 19 applications were peer-reviewed and the following 4 grants were awarded based on their research focus, innovation, and the potential to make a lasting difference for the metastatic breast cancer community. Our 2014 award recipients are:
1. Dr. Balamurugan Kuppusamy, National Cancer Institute, Frederick, Maryland, "Inflammatory Breast Cancer: Role of the CEBPD-FBXW7 Signaling Pathway"
2. Dr. William P. Schiemann, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio,
"Implementing a Forward Genetic Screen to Identify Novel Proto-Oncogenes Operant
in Overcoming Metastatic Dormancy"
3. Dr. Swarnali Acharyya, Institute for Cancer Genetics, Columbia University, New York, "Reactivating anti-tumor granulocytic cells to provoke immune attack against
breast cancer metastasis"
4. Dr. Eran Andrechek, Michigan State University, Michigan, "Identification of driver mutations that regulate metastasis"
METAvivor Research and Support Inc. is an Annapolis-based 501(c)(3) all-volunteer non-profit organization that provides support to patients with advanced stage breast cancer, advocates for equitable funding for the disease and stands as the only national organization solely funding peer-reviewed research specifically targeting stage IV breast cancer.