NCI and Avon Foundation Award More than $7 Million for Breast Cancer Research
The Progress for Patients Award Program, a partnership between the National Cancer Institute (NCI) and the Avon Foundation, announced in September its most recent round of grants for innovative research focused on breast cancer. The grants were awarded as supplements to existing funding of four projects led by NCI-designated Special Programs of Research Excellence (SPORE) breast cancer investigators, one project led by ovarian SPORE investigators, and six projects at NCI-designated cancer centers.
"Through this private-public partnership we have demonstrated that common goals can help participating partners to support research that directly benefits patients, in this case through various clinical interventions," said Dr. Jorge Gomez, chief of NCI's Organ Systems Branch in the Office of Centers, Training, and Resources.
The Avon awards were launched in October 2001 when the Avon Foundation pledged $20 million to NCI to fund translational breast cancer research. With an application receipt, review, and funding announcement process that takes less than 6 months, delays common to other funding mechanisms are minimized. Each grant application is reviewed by a minimum of four reviewers, including scientific experts, statisticians, and patient advocates, who evaluate and score each application. Following these reviews, final recommendations on funding are forwarded from NCI to the Avon Foundation for their approval. Read more
Adapting the Translational and Clinical Infrastructure to Meet Tomorrow's Challenges
In an analysis of cancer trends over decades, 5-year survival of patients with cancer has risen from approximately 20 percent in 1935 to 50 percent in 1971 to 64 percent by 2003. Although increased screening during this interval has influenced these survival trends, a very reliable endpoint, the number of cancer deaths per 100,000 Americans, has also been falling since about 1990.
Deaths from lung cancer, for example, have been declining in men since 1991 and in women have plateaued since 1995, predictably following the substantial decrease in per capita cigarette consumption that began in the 1960s. Mortality from colorectal cancer has been declining for women since 1975 and for men since the 1980s. Read more