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More than $34 Million in SPORE Grants Spurs Research in Leukemia, Endometrial, Pancreatic and Lung Cancers

More than $34 Million in SPORE Grants SpursResearch in Leukemia, Endometrial, Pancreatic and Lung Cancers
M. D. Anderson News Release, 10/13/2003

Recognized for its translational approach to cancer care –– bringing research findings from the lab to patient care –– The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center announced today (Oct. 13) that it has received more than $34 million in prestigious SPORE grants from the National Cancer Institute (NCI).

Three new Specialized Programs of Research Excellence (SPORE) grants –– totaling $12.75 million for leukemia, $10.4 million for endometrial and $4.7 million for pancreatic cancer research –– have been awarded to the institution. M. D. Anderson also received $6.5 million in renewed funding for its lung cancer SPORE, first awarded in 1996. All four grants have been awarded to the institution in the last quarter.

With the addition of the new, five-year grants, M. D. Anderson now holds a total of eight NCI-sponsored SPOREs and ranks first in the number of grants received nationwide by the NCI.

M. D. Anderson’s eight SPORE grants over the past seven years total more than $88 million. Before the new $6.5 million renewed award to M. D. Anderson, the grant for lung cancer research was originally given jointly to M. D. Anderson and the UT Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas in 1996. A second, $10 million SPORE grant for ovarian cancer research was awarded in 1999. In 2001, M. D. Anderson received both prostate and bladder SPORE grants, totaling $13.3 million and $13 million respectively –– making it the first institution to hold two such genitourinary cancer grants. A $12 million grant for head and neck cancer was awarded to the institution in 2002.

"We are grateful that M. D. Anderson has again been recognized by the NCI for its innovative and productive interdisciplinary research efforts," says John Mendelsohn, M.D., president of M. D. Anderson. "With these three new SPORE grants for leukemia, endometrial and pancreatic cancers, as well as renewed funding for our lung cancer SPORE, we will continue to build on our collaborative approach in the research and treatment of these diseases."

Federal funding plays an integral role in M. D. Anderson’s success as a leader in translational research. In 2002, the institution spent more than $262 million for research –– an increase of more than 110 percent in the last six years. Of that $262 million, $118 million (45 percent) of M. D. Anderson’s total research expenditures came from federally funded grants, such as SPOREs.

"Federal support is paramount to M. D. Anderson achieving its mission to eradicate cancer by funding the necessary infrastructure to sustain research in the laboratory, and by funding numerous research projects. Through our research, we are developing new approaches in clinical practice that we hope, in the near future, will greatly improve treatments impacting survival and quality of life for many patients with cancer," says Mendelsohn.

Monies from the highly competitive SPORE grants will fund research projects specific to each disease site, as well as establish a Career Development Program to train physicians and scientists, with a focus on translational research.

Since 1992, the NCI has awarded SPORE grants to certain cancer sites for concentrated research that focuses on projects with a translational emphasis.

© 2015 The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center