MD Anderson receives nearly $4.9 million in CPRIT funding for cancer prevention programs and recruitment

Funding supports program to promote physical activity in cancer survivors, tobacco cessation programs and tenure-track faculty recruitment

The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center was awarded four grants totaling nearly $4.9 million from the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT) to support the expansion of physical activity programs for survivors, the dissemination of targeted tobacco cessation programs and the recruitment of a first-time, tenure-track faculty member.

MD Anderson’s Active Living After Cancer (ALAC) program received continued funding from CPRIT via two grants totaling $2,448,643 to support broader dissemination and implementation in communities across Texas. ALAC was created to improve the quality of life for cancer survivors by promoting increased physical activity and by providing navigational support for survivorship issues. The program is offered free of charge in English and Spanish, incorporating both in-person and virtual elements to reach minority and medically underserved cancer survivors. The grants also will support online technical training, using the Project ECHO telementoring platform, to inform Texas health care providers to advise cancer patients about exercise.

“These awards are critical for us to continue providing this evidence-based program, which has been shown to significantly improve quality of life and physical functioning, to Texas cancer survivors,” said Karen Basen-Engquist, Ph.D., professor of Health Disparities Research and director of MD Anderson’s Center for Energy Balance in Cancer Prevention and Survivorship. “More than 1,500 cancer survivors, the majority living in medically underserved areas, already have benefitted from this program, and we are grateful to CPRIT for providing the support to help us expand its reach.”

CPRIT also awarded $449,776 to Lorraine Reitzel, Ph.D., professor of Health Disparities Research, and Maggie Britton, Ph.D., assistant professor of Health Disparities Research, to support the implementation and dissemination of the Taking Texas Tobacco Free program, an evidence-based tobacco control and relapse prevention intervention, in opioid use treatment centers.

In addition to these cancer prevention programs, CPRIT also awarded $2,000,000 for the recruitment of one first-time, tenure-track faculty member.

“We are thankful for CPRIT’s continued support of our efforts to lead exceptional cancer research and to implement impactful cancer prevention and survivorship programs that serve Texans everywhere,” said Peter WT Pisters, M.D., president of MD Anderson. “These awards are a testament to the unwavering commitment of our talented scientists and clinicians to develop and deliver interventions that improve quality of life and reduce the burden of cancer across our state.”

Since its inception, CPRIT has awarded more than $3 billion in grants for cancer research. MD Anderson investigators have received $593 million altogether, approximately 20% of the total awards. Programs supported by CPRIT funding have brought more than 295 distinguished cancer researchers to Texas, advanced the knowledge base for cancer treatment throughout the state and provided more than 9 million cancer prevention and early detection services reaching all 254 counties in Texas.