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Uterine Cancer SPORE


The Uterine SPORE is currently soliciting proposals for 2014-2015 Developmental Research (Pilot Project) and Career Development funding until June 6, 2014. Please download and review the Pilot Project RFA (pdf) and the Career Development RFA (pdf) for specific details.


Uterine Cancer Facts

Uterine (endometrial) cancer is the most common gynecologic malignancy and the fourth most common cancer in women. 

The American Cancer Society estimates that in 2014, 52,630 women, an average of 144 a day, will be diagnosed with uterine cancer in the United States, and 8,590 women, an average of 23 women each day, will die from this disease.

Despite being the fourth most common cancer in women, there is very little public awareness about uterine cancer, and research funding has traditionally lagged behind that for other cancers. Uterine cancer is highly curable if caught early. Significantly, there has been no decrease, and often an increase, in the incidence and mortality of this cancer over the last 20 years.

What is a SPORE?

Specialized Programs of Research Excellence (SPOREs) are funded by the National Cancer Institute (NCI) through specialized center grants (P50s) that promote interdisciplinary research and move basic research findings from the laboratory to clinical settings, involving both cancer patients and populations at risk of cancer. The outcome of interdisciplinary research is a bidirectional approach to translational research, moving laboratory discoveries to clinical settings or clinical observations to the laboratory environment.

Laboratory and clinical scientists share the common goal of bringing novel ideas to clinical care settings that have the potential to reduce cancer incidence and mortality, and improve survival and quality of life. In order to achieve these goals, SPORE investigators work collaboratively to plan, design and implement research programs that may impact cancer prevention, detection, diagnosis and treatment. Additionally, SPOREs approach these goals through collaborative efforts within the individual multidisciplinary SPORE teams, inter-SPORE collaborations, partnerships with other NCI/NIH programs, and public-private partnerships with industry and non-profit organizations. Key qualities of the program feature the inclusion of patient advocates in SPORE activities and international cooperation with investigators in Europe, Canada, Asia and Mexico.

Goals of the Uterine Cancer SPORE

The overall goal of the Gynecologic Cancer SPORE at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center is to conduct highly innovative translational research for the prevention and treatment of uterine tumors.

Encompassed within this overall goal are the following goals of the program:

  • Develop novel therapeutic strategies for advanced and recurrent endometrial cancer.
  • Promote novel strategies for chemoprevention of endometrial cancer in high risk cohorts, including obese women.
  • Incorporate molecular diagnostics into clinical decision-making.

The Gynecological Cancer SPORE in Uterine Cancers is a truly multidisciplinary program that includes clinicians and basic scientists with both oncologic and non-oncologic backgrounds. Such a multidisciplinary team is necessary to achieve a more thorough understanding of the pathogenesis, prevention and treatment of these tumors.

Highlights from the First Award Period 

In the first seven years of the SPORE (six years of funding, one no-cost extension year), the Uterine SPORE had many successes, including the completion of a phase II clinical trial of RAD001, an mTOR inhibitor, in advanced or recurrent endometrial cancer. Additionally, findings from all four original projects have been incorporated into three of the four new projects that are part of the current round of funding. Moreover, our Career Development Program provided funding to 12 promising young investigators, and our Developmental Research Program provided funding for 12 innovative pilot projects.

Highlights from the Current Award Period

In the fall of 2010, the Uterine SPORE began its second round of funding. Over the last 5 years, we have established a highly productive endometrial cancer translational research community that is unparalleled in breadth and depth. We have a pipeline of junior investigators at our institution and at our collaboration institutions who are actively pursuing novel basic, translational and clinical research.  To date, our Career Development Program has provided funding to 10 promising young investigators, and our Developmental Research Program provided funding for 8 innovative pilot projects.  There will be one final round of awards that will be selected in August 2014.

© 2015 The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center