Komen Announces New Research Funding in Indiana

DALLAS – September 19, 2016 – Building on its bold goal to reduce current breast cancer deaths by 50 percent in the U.S. over the next decade, Susan G. Komen, the world’s leading breast cancer organization, today announced $32.7 million in new research grants for 2016. Awarded across 23 states and 7 countries, the projects span the entire continuum of breast cancer research, including research into metastatic disease, novel treatments for aggressive types of breast cancer, new technologies and health equity – areas that will make a significant impact in achieving the 50 percent goal.

The grants include $705,000 in new funding for research at Indiana University in Indiana, bringing Komen’s total research investment in Indiana to $27,488,932 since 1982.

“For nearly 35 years our organization has been a leader in the fight to end breast cancer, changing how people think about, talk about and treat this disease. Now, with a sharpened focus on our organization’s new strategic direction, we are delighted to announce new research funding that will play a significant role in making our bold goal a reality,” said Komen President and CEO Judy Salerno, M.D., M.S.

“Not only will these grants accelerate our understanding of key areas in breast cancer research, but they include funding for early-career investigators. As federal research dollars become increasingly difficult to secure, these awards give promising young researchers an opportunity to establish their careers, and help ensure breakthrough breast cancer research continues for years to come,” Dr. Salerno added. “Their work is essential to achieving our vision of a world without breast cancer.”

Grants from Komen’s nearly $33 million 2016 research portfolio* – including more than $16 million to early-career investigators – will focus on promising areas in research that have the greatest potential to save lives, including:

  • 38 grants expanding our knowledge of metastatic breast cancer and how to stop it.
  • 15 grants looking into novel treatments for aggressive types of breast cancer (specifically, triple negative, Luminal B and inflammatory breast cancer).
  • 21 grants advancing our ability to detect primary and recurrent breast cancer at its earliest stages.
  • 12 grants identifying the causes of breast cancer disparities and testing ways to overcome barriers to care.

Komen’s Investments in Indiana

Komen’s research program is funded in part by contributions from Komen’s nationwide Network of Affiliates, which direct 25 percent of funds raised locally to Komen’s national research program, while investing the remaining 75 percent into community outreach programs that serve local women and men facing breast cancer.

Komen Central Indiana has funded more than $20 million to community programs that deliver breast health services to local women and men within our 41-county service area.

“We are so thankful for the friends, family and neighbors who fight alongside us, helping to reduce the number of breast cancer deaths in Indiana, both on the ground and through research,” said Natalie Sutton, executive director of Komen Central Indiana.

In Indiana, researchers will receive $705,000, including:

Indiana University

  • Komen Scholar Kathy Miller, M.D., will receive $400,000 to evaluate the safety and impact of an exercise therapy for breast cancer survivors called low-intensity, offloaded-compressive therapy or LOFT. The goal of LOFT is to improve muscle strength, reduce fatigue and increase sleep quality in breast cancer survivors without excessive exertion or strain.
  • Komen Scholar Bryan Schneider, M.D., will receive $300,000 to continue his research to better understand why some patients suffer chemotherapy-related side effects, such as peripheral neuropathy and therapy-induced heart failure, while others do not. Dr. Schneider will review genetic information and lead a clinical trial to find the underlying cause of these toxicities and develop preventive therapies.

Indiana also has nine ongoing grants, awarded in previous years, including grants to Komen Scholars Sunil Badve, M.D., F.R.C.Path, and Harikrishna Nakshatri, Ph.D.

These new funds bring Komen’s total research investment to more than $920 million since opening its doors in 1982, the largest of any nonprofit outside the U.S. government. In addition to research, Komen and its nationwide network of Affiliates serve women and men in thousands of communities. To date, more than $2 billion has been invested in community programs that provide education, screening and treatment support.

About Susan G. Komen® and Komen Central Indiana

In the fight to end breast cancer, we are central Indiana’s locally led and empowered affiliate of Susan G. Komen®—a global organization whose name is synonymous with the cause. Susan G. Komen is the world’s largest breast cancer organization, funding more breast cancer research than any other nonprofit while providing real-time help to those facing the disease. Susan G. Komen Central Indiana works locally to improve outcomes for those facing breast cancer throughout 41 counties in central Indiana. Beginning close to home, funds are used wisely, locally and in ways that directly benefit women, men and families who are dealing with the costly challenge of breast cancer. Local dollars also serve beyond our community as they fund a significant portion of the best breast cancer research around the world. For more information, call 317-638-2873 or visit komencentralindiana.org.

*Contingent upon signed and executed contracts with Komen