• For Immediate Release
    November 02, 2011 - AUSTIN, TX
  • For more information, contact
    Laura Kunz 512-344-2038

INSTITUTE AWARDS MORE THAN $100 MILLION TO FUND TEXAS CANCER RESEARCH, ATTRACT TOP CANCER SCIENTISTS


A state-of-the-art facility for testing new cancer drugs, a project examining ways to more precisely treat lung cancer with radiation, and testing undertaken by a biopharmaceutical company on a promising new drug that targets Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma are among the projects awarded funding today (Nov. 2) by the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT).

Under its latest grant cycle, the institute is providing more than $100 million to Texas cancer research projects. Statewide, the institute has awarded more than $550 million in funding for cancer research, prevention and commercialization projects over the last two years. Cancer institute funding also is helping attract leading scientists in cancer research to Texas, as six CPRITScholar in Cancer Research recruitment awards were announced at Wednesday’s meeting.

“In the two short years that we have been investing in cancer research, drug development and prevention efforts in Texas, we continue to be impressed by the quality of the work being done around the state,” said Jimmy Mansour, founding chairman of the institute’s governing board.  “The fact that this research is being done right here in our own state is a testament to the people of Texas who made a commitment to support the fight against this deadly disease.”

Highlights of projects awarded funding include:

  • A Dallas-Fort Worth effort in which scientists are creating a chemical “trap” for cancer cells in the body that use a particular protein as bait to lure the cancer cells into the trap where they can then be killed with targeted radiation or chemotherapy.
  • Funding for a Houston genetic sequencing facility that will allow scientists to better characterize different types of cancer to develop more personalized and effective treatments.
  • Two Amarillo projects that are exploring new methods to fight tumors caused by breast cancer that has spread to the brain.
  • An El Paso program that will provide cancer patients with better access to clinical trials and new cancer treatments while also better serving the cancer care needs of the city’s active duty military and their families.
  • Two drug development projects at Texas companies to refine and test drugs targeting blood cancers.

The funding announcement comes in a busy month for the cancer institute, which will hold its annual Innovations in Cancer Prevention and Research Conference on Nov. 15-17 in Austin. The conference will include sessions with some of the nation’s leading cancer researchers who will share information about new ways to fight the disease. Seven-time Tour de France winner and cancer survivor Lance Armstrong will be among the speakers, along with the newly appointed M.D. Anderson Cancer Center president Dr. Ronald DePinho.

“Texas is famous for its vast size and the pride and spirit of the people, but it’s also quickly gaining a reputation as a leader in cancer research and prevention. It is these efforts that we will showcase at our annual conference later this month,” CPRIT Executive Director Bill Gimson said. “CPRIT is funding research that is changing the way cancer is treated. This is seen not only through our latest round of funding but also through the projects that will be highlighted at this year’s conference.”

CPRIT accepts applications and awards grants for a wide variety of cancer-related research and for the delivery of cancer prevention programs and services by public and private entities located in Texas. More information about CPRIT is available on its website, www.cprit.state.tx.us.

 

About CPRIT

Texas voters overwhelmingly approved a constitutional amendment in 2007 establishing CPRIT and authorizing the state to issue $3 billion in bonds to fund groundbreaking cancer research and prevention programs and services in Texas. CPRIT’s goal is to expedite innovation and commercialization in the area of cancer research and to enhance access to evidence-based prevention programs and services throughout the state. CPRIT accepts applications and awards grants for a wide variety of cancer-related research and for the delivery of cancer prevention programs and services by public and private entities located in Texas. More information about CPRIT is available on its website, www.cprit.state.tx.us.

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