Susan G. Komen® Announces $31 Million in 2017 Funding for 98 New Breast Cancer Research Grants, with Focus on Aggressive and Metastatic Cancers – Wisconsin Researchers Receive $630,000 in Research Funding

Susan G. Komen, the world’s leading breast cancer organization, today announced 2017 research funding of $30.7 million for 98 research grants, with a focus on new treatments and understanding of the most lethal forms and stages of breast cancer. Komen funding to institutions in 27 states and 7 countries also includes research into new screening technologies, treatments for metastatic and aggressive types of breast cancer and disparities in breast cancer outcomes.

The grants include $630,000 in new funding for research at two institutions in Wisconsin, bringing Komen’s total research investment in Wisconsin to $7,891,678 since 1982.

“We are focused on new treatments, ways to overcome drug resistance in breast cancer patients, and a better understanding of how and why breast cancer spreads, so that we can better treat metastatic breast cancer or prevent it all together,” said Ellen Willmott, interim president and CEO of Susan G. Komen. “This focus on aggressive and metastatic disease is the foundation of our Bold Goal to reduce U.S. breast cancer deaths by 50 percent by 2026.”

Metastatic breast cancer – which is breast cancer that has spread to other parts of the body like the brain, liver, bones or lungs – is responsible for almost all of the nation’s 40,000 annual breast cancer deaths. More than 154,000 women are living with metastatic disease in the U.S. today. By targeting metastatic disease, Komen is hoping to reduce breast cancer deaths dramatically in the U.S.

This year’s funding also includes $17.6 million to early-career investigators. “Funding for early-career researchers ensures a continuum of breast cancer research, across generations, which is critical in a time of tightening federal research dollars,” Willmott said.

Komen’s 2017 portfolio includes*:

    • – 37 grants expanding our knowledge of metastatic breast cancer and how to better treat it or prevent it;
    • – 37 grants looking into novel treatments for aggressive types of breast cancer (specifically, triple negative, inflammatory breast cancer luminal B, and ER-positive recurrent breast cancer).
    • – 59 grants focused on new therapies, including 10 for targeted therapies and 20 for drug development
    • – 24 investigating drug resistance (why drugs stop working in some patients)
    • – 9 on disparities in breast cancer outcomes and 2 involving Big Data
    *Eds Note: Numbers may add to more than 98 because individual studies may be classed in more than one category.

Komen’s Investments in Wisconsin

Komen’s research program is funded in part by contributions from Komen’s nationwide Network of Affiliates, which directs 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.

Since 1998, Komen Wisconsin has funded $19,021,173 to community programs serving local women and men, while contributing $6,442,107 to Komen research.

“We are so thankful for the friends, family and neighbors that fight alongside us, helping to reduce the number of breast cancer deaths in Wisconsin, both on the ground and through research,” said Nikki Panico, Executive Director of Komen Wisconsin.

In Wisconsin, researchers will receive…

The Medical College of Wisconsin, Inc.
Carmen Bergom, M.D., Ph.D., will receive $450,000 to identify tumor microenvironment genes that change the ability of radiation therapy to be an effective treatment. Once identified, these genes could be targeted to improve responses to radiation and ultimately improve patient survival.

University of Wisconsin Madison
Eui-Jun Kim, Ph.D., will receive $180,000 to study how the changes to DNA in triple negative breast cancer, through a process called methylation, controls genes that are involved in metastasis. Dr. Kim will study how the gene BAF155 contributes to breast tumor development. The goal is to prevent tumor development and metastasis through treatments targeting this process.

These new funds bring Komen’s total research investment in breast cancer to more than $956 million since opening its doors in 1982, the largest of any nonprofit and second only to 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 $2.1 billion has been invested in community programs that provide education, screening and treatment support.

About Susan G. Komen®
Susan G. Komen is the world’s largest breast cancer organization outside of the federal government, funding more breast cancer research than any other nonprofit while providing real-time help to those facing the disease. Since its founding in 1982, Komen has funded more than $956 million in research and provided more than $2.1 billion in funding to screening, education, treatment and psychosocial support programs. Komen has worked in more than 60 countries worldwide. Komen was founded by Nancy G. Brinker, who promised her sister, Susan G. Komen, that she would end the disease that claimed Suzy’s life. Visit komen.org or call 1-877 GO KOMEN. Connect with us on social at ww5.komen.org/social.

Grants are contingent upon signed and executed contracts with Komen.

Nikki Panico
Komen Wisconsin
414.389.4881
nikki@komenwisconsin.org