Initial Avon/NCI breast cancer research grants awarded in 'Progress for Patients' awards program

The National Cancer Institute (NCI) and the Avon Foundation announced today initial grant awards to six applicants for the Avon-NCI "Progress for Patients" Awards Program. These grants, which total $2.5 million, are the first awarded from the unique public-private partnership between the Avon Foundation and NCI, and they encompass all areas of clinical investigation important to breast cancer, including prevention, detection, diagnosis, prediction, prognosis and treatment. The awards will help fund innovative translational science at 10 research institutions. Funding will support early clinical research in breast cancer, including the use of aromatase inhibitors as a prevention tool, new methods of radioimmunotherapy for women with metastatic disease, as well as other areas of research.

The Progress for Patients program was launched in October 2001 when the NCI received a $20 million pledge from the Avon Foundation to fund translational research on breast cancer. The pledge is Avon's largest single award ever. The funds were raised by the Avon Breast Cancer Crusade, which has generated more than $200 million in the Unites States alone from 1993 to mid-year 2002. Avon is one of the world's leading corporate supporters of the breast cancer cause, with programs in nearly 50 countries, and the only one to fund the whole spectrum of the breast cancer cause - medical research, clinical care, support services, education and early detection - with a focus on medically underserved women.

Applicants for the Progress for Patients grants were encouraged to include minorities and underserved women in their studies. According to Jorge Gomez, M.D., NCI, "the breadth of projects that we recommended for funding was truly impressive, which made choosing the final grant awardees a very difficult, but rewarding process."

Nine applications for the grants were received from the SPORE (Specialized Programs of Research Excellence) program, which target all ty

Contact: NCI Press Office
NIH/National Cancer Institute

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