BALTIMORE, MARYLAND – April 6, 2011 - The American Cancer Society, the largest non-government, not-for-profit funding source of cancer research in the United States, has awarded two grants totaling $732,000 to researchers at Johns Hopkins University and Mercy Medical Center, both in Baltimore, Maryland. The grants, which go into effect July 1, 2011, are among 132 national research and training grants totaling $51,473,000 in the second of two grants cycles for 2011.
For more than 60 years, the American Cancer Society has funded research and training of health professionals to investigate the causes, prevention, and early detection of cancer, as well as new treatments, cancer survivorship, and end of life support for patients and their families. Since its founding in 1946, the American Cancer Society’s extramural research grants program has devoted more than $3.5 billion to cancer research. It has funded 44 researchers who have gone on to win the Nobel Prize.
With the support of the American Cancer Society, in 2011 researchers like Patrick Brown, MD, the director of pediatric leukemia and lymphoma program at the Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins Hospital, are focusing on new discoveries to help achieve the Society’s goal of eliminating cancer as a major health problem. Dr. Brown, an assistant professor of oncology and pediatrics at Johns Hopkins Hospital, received a Research Scholar Grant from the Society for his work in improving the outcome for childhood leukemia with targeted epigenetic therapy. The standard treatments for childhood leukemia, including intensive chemotherapy and, in some cases, bone marrow transplantation, can cause significant, and not uncommonly debilitating, acute and late complications. Dr. Brown’s research focuses on developing new treatments that are just as effective against the disease, but less toxic to the patient and that will ultimately result in significant improvements in the cure rates for children diagnosed with leukemia.
Susan Scarvalone, MSW, received a Master’s Training Grant in Clinical Oncology Social Work from the Society to work with a multidisciplinary team at Mercy Medical Center’s Prevention and Research Center that provides clinical programs and research into the prevention, early detection, treatment and management of cancer. Scarvalone will co-facilitate a holistic-based group program for breast cancer survivors, as well as participate in social work-led groups in Mercy’s outpatient cancer center. Her primary responsibility will be to research and develop two new modules of the holistic-based group program to be integrated into the curriculum for new participants.
Grant applications are ranked on the basis of merit by one of several discipline-specific Peer Review Committees, each of which is composed of 12 to 25 scientific advisors or peers who are experts in their fields. The Council for Extramural Grants, a committee of senior scientists, recommends funding based on the relative merit of the applications, the amount of available funds, and the Society’s objectives. No member of the American Cancer Society’s Board of Directors or National Assembly may serve on a Peer Review Committee or as a voting member on the Council for Extramural Grants.
The Council for Extramural Grants also approved 82 research grant applications that could not be funded due to budgetary constraints. These “pay-if” grants represent work that passed the Society’s multi-disciplinary review process but go beyond the Society’s current funding resources, and which will be funded of additional monies become available. These grants serve as an important reminder that there continues to be promising research we would like to fund but cannot with our current resources. For more information about the American Cancer Society Research Program, please visit http://www.cancer.org/research.
About the American Cancer Society
The American Cancer Society combines an unyielding passion with nearly a century of experience to save lives and end suffering from cancer. As a global grassroots force of more than three million volunteers, we fight for every birthday threatened by every cancer in every community. We save lives by helping people stay well by preventing cancer or detecting it early; helping people get well by being there for them during and after a cancer diagnosis; by finding cures through investment in groundbreaking discovery; and by fighting back by rallying lawmakers to pass laws to defeat cancer and by rallying communities worldwide to join the fight. As the nation’s largest non-governmental investor in cancer research, contributing more than $3.4 billion, we turn what we know about cancer into what we do. As a result, more than 11 million people in America who have had cancer and countless more who have avoided it will be celebrating birthdays this year. To learn more about us or to get help, call us any time, day or night, at 1-800-227-2345 or visit cancer.org. For cancer news in your community, visit sacancernews.org.
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