Seed Funding Research Program Grant Awards
We congratulate the two investigators who received awards this round.
The sixth round of Duncan Family Institute Seed Funding Research Program awards have been completed. These awards will provide funding at $50,000 per year for two years for a total of $100,000 to support research in the broad topic of cancer prevention and risk assessment in order to allow faculty to obtain preliminary data to improve competitiveness of cancer prevention and risk assessment research grant proposals submitted to external agencies.
Targeting STAT3 for the Prevention of ER-negative Breast Cancer
Prevention of ER-negative breast cancer constitutes a clinical obstacle that greatly impedes the effort to reduce breast cancer incidence and mortality. In fact, all ER-negative breast cancers and a significant portion of ER-positive breast cancers are not preventable using currently available preventive drugs. This research chooses the STAT3 transcription factor as a new cancer prevention target based on the preliminary studies that STAT3 is activated in pre-cancer breast cells and mammary glands. We propose to use newly created, orally active inhibitors to suppress STAT3 activation in transgenic mouse models that develop ER-negative mammary tumors highly representing human breast cancers. Thus, this project has significant potential to lead to a reduction in breast cancer incidence and/or mortality within next decade. Successfully carried out, this project may bring 1-2 potent, well-characterized, highly optimized, orally active STAT3 inhibitors into advanced preclinical development as a new class of preventive agents for prevention of many types of human cancer including ER-positive and ER-negative breast cancers.
Prevention of ER Negative Breast Cancer by Targeting P70S6K
Breast cancer is one of the most common women’s cancers in the US and one in eight women develops breast cancer during their lifetime. The most effective way to reduce breast cancer mortality is prevention of early disease; therefore, it is very important to develop early detection and intervention strategies. Tamoxifen (Tam) has been successfully used in the prevention of estrogen receptor (ER) positive breast cancers. However, no agents could effectively prevent ER negative (ER-) breast cancer. We have identified key molecular alterations in ER- breast lesions and will test whether we could effectively prevent ER- breast cancer by targeting these alterations using specific targeting agents. If successful, our findings can be translated to the clinic to prevent ER- breast cancer in high risk women.
Cancer Survivorship Research Seed Grant Award - Older Cancer Survivors
Who will take care of gynecologic cancer survivors: You can't always get what you want
This study focuses on the health care needs and expectations of gynecologic cancer survivors. As the number of cancer survivors continues to grow, it is critical to identify physicians who will take care of these patients after the surveillance period. In this mixed methods (quantitative and qualitative) study, we plan to evaluate the preferences of gynecologic cancer survivors for follow-up care (oncologists vs OB/GYNs) and identify the support and resources OB/GYNs need to broaden access for gynecologic survivorship care in the community. Our study will be among the first to identify barriers and challenges to community-based survivorship care for women with a history of gynecologic cancer and will specifically evaluate age-related barriers to survivorship care from the perspectives of both health care providers and patients. This is an essential first step toward transforming the health care system to accommodate the growing ranks of long-term survivors.
Research Video Gallery
Institute Faculty in the News
- Smoking and tobacco-cessation campaign to be launched by Texas and Mexico institutions Ernest Hawk, M.D., M.P.H.
- Current breast cancer screening guidelines may lead to more missed cases Therese Bevers, M.D.
- Black patients fare worse with kidney cancer: study Wong-Ho Chow, Ph.D.
- Researchers find evidence of 'chemo brain' Jeffrey Wefel, Ph.D.