SAN ANTONIO – Today, the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT) announced a new statewide initiative aimed at reversing the rising rates of liver cancer. Texas has the highest incidence rate of liver cancer among all states. Texans of Hispanic ethnicity living along the US-Mexico border have more than twice the incidence rate of liver cancer, also known as hepatocellular cancer (HCC), than non-Hispanic whites.
“CPRIT is uniquely positioned to foster collaboration between clinical liver cancer research and community stakeholders,” said James Willson, MD, CPRIT Chief Scientific Officer. “By encouraging new partnerships across the state, we can better identify risk factors for cirrhosis and HCC and implement more effective evidenced-based interventions among high-risk populations.”
CPRIT will invest up to $18 million to establish the state’s first “Collaborative Action Program for Liver Cancer” (CAP). A cornerstone of the program will be the CPRIT-funded Collaborative Action Center that promotes interactions and enables data sharing among Texas’s liver cancer researchers, encourages best practices for HCC prevention and early detection, and challenges content experts, health providers, and policy makers to develop transformative initiatives to prevent liver cancer. The initiative will also support up to six investigator-initiated awards to research the increased incidence, disparities and risk factors of HCC and to develop better early detection strategies.
The targeted initiative builds upon more than $46 million in academic research and prevention grants addressing HCC that CPRIT has awarded since 2010. In addition to eight CPRIT grants providing HCC prevention services to rural and urban areas across the state, CPRIT funds research projects at Texas institutions exploring the causes and developing treatments for HCC. These include a statewide multi-investigator research collaboration between all four Texas NCI-designated cancer centers (Baylor College of Medicine, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center and The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio).
CPRIT’s panel of preeminent cancer researchers and clinicians will review and recommend the CAP applications for approval by CPRIT’s Oversight Committee. CPRIT plans to announce the CAP awards in August 2019.
About the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas
To date, CPRIT has awarded $2.15 billion in grants to Texas researchers, institutions and organizations. CPRIT provides funding through its academic research, prevention, and product development research programs. Programs made possible with CPRIT funding have reached Texans from all 254 counties of the state, brought 159 distinguished researchers to Texas, advanced scientific and clinical knowledge, and provided more than 4.7 million life-saving education, training, prevention and early detection services to Texans. Learn more at cprit.texas.gov. Follow CPRIT at twitter.com/CPRITTexas and facebook.com/CPRITTexas.