Research grants flow to Roswell

May 27, 2011 Updated May 27, 2011 at 7:14 AM EDT

By WKBW News
By Business First - by Tracey Drury

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May 27, 2011 Updated May 27, 2011 at 7:14 AM EDT

Roswell Park Cancer Institute researchers have received nearly $10 million in new grants in recent months, including $8.5 million dedicated to addressing disparities in breast and prostate cancer.

The funding came from a variety of federal agencies in recent months, addressing ongoing and new research related to cancer.

Four grants were awarded through the federal Office of Cancer Health Disparities Research, and designed to help reduce or prevent cancer disparities in vulnerable and medically underserved populations:

• Christine Ambrosone, chair of the department of cancer prevention and control, and Michael Higgins, associate member in the department of molecular and cellular biology, received $3.89 million from the National Institutes of Health to study breast cancer in African-American women.

• Dr. Willie Underwood III, associate professor in the department of urology, and Heather Orom, assistant professor in the department of community health and health behavior in the University at Buffalo School of Public Health and Health Professions, received $3.1 million from the National Cancer Institute aimed at identifying the underlying causes of racial differences in prostate-cancer treatment and post-treatment regret.

• Dr. James Mohler, professor of oncology and chairman of the department of urology, received $818,878 from the Department of Defense Prostate Cancer Research Program to explore the role of androgen receptor and androgen-regulated genes in prostate cancer.

• Levi Ross, assistant member in the department of cancer prevention and population sciences and a faculty member of the Office of Cancer Health Disparities Research at RPCI, received a five-year, $690,000 grant from the National Institutes of Health to explore ways to improve treatment decision-making support for African-American men with prostate cancer.

Another $1.3 million in grants were awarded to four Roswell researchers for various projects from the NIH, the federal medical-research agency that operates as an arm of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services: Nicoletta Sacchi, distinguished member in the department of cancer genetics, $421,423; Steven Pruitt, associate member in the department of molecular and cellular biology, $337,455; Dr. Peter Demant, distinguished member in the department of molecular and cellular biology, $302,508; and Dr. William Cance, chairman of the department of surgical oncology, $299,657.

Additionally, Dr. Stephen Edge, professor of surgery and oncology, was awarded a three-year grant of $105,000 from the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) to participate in a national project to assess and improve breast-cancer care at major cancer centers. RPCI is among 10 cancer centers analyzing all aspects of breast-cancer care to identify ways to improve cancer outcomes and the experience for patients.

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