Susan G. Komen unveils $26 million investment in research, focused on metastatic breast cancer

MILWAUKEE – MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 30, 2019 – Susan G. Komen®, the world’s leading breast cancer organization, today announced $26 million in funding for new research projects that focus on metastatic breast cancer, developing new, more-effective treatments, and addressing disparities in breast cancer outcomes. This year’s grant slate focuses on key areas that will help the organization achieve its Bold Goal to reduce the current number of breast cancer deaths in the U.S. by 50 percent by 2026.

These new funds bring Komen’s total research investment in breast cancer to more than $1 billion since opening its doors in 1982, and Komen’s investment in research focused on metastatic breast cancer to $210 million.

Komen’s national research grants program is supported in part by funds raised by the organization’s nationwide network of Affiliates. Each year, Affiliates contribute at least 25 percent of local funds raised to national research, while the remainder of their funds help provide vital education and real-time support to people facing breast cancer today in their communities.

Since 1999, Komen Wisconsin has contributed $7,009,172 to Komen’s research program and invested $19,768,911 to support people in our community facing breast cancer today.

“The research Komen funds each year and the programs we support in our community are making a difference in the lives of breast cancer patients,” said Nikki Panico, executive director, Komen Wisconsin. “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.”

More than an estimated 154,000 women in the U.S. are living with metastatic breast cancer – the most advanced stage of breast cancer that has spread outside the breast, often to the brain, bones, liver and lungs. Currently, there is no cure for metastatic breast cancer, and it is responsible for almost all the 42,000 breast cancer deaths in the U.S. each year.

“In order to save more lives, we must address the main cause of breast cancer deaths: metastatic breast cancer,” said George Sledge, Susan G. Komen’s co-Chief Scientific Advisor, M.D., Professor of Medicine, and Chief of the Division of Oncology in the Department of Medicine at Stanford University.

Among the 60 grants Komen awarded, 38 are focused on better understanding and treating metastatic breast cancer. Grants were also given to researchers who are developing new therapies for breast cancer including aggressive subtypes such as triple negative breast cancer, investigating drug resistance, and addressing health disparities in breast cancer outcomes among specific communities.

“Breast cancer does not affect everyone equally and with the grants we’re funding this year, we’re moving closer to new therapies for aggressive forms of cancer, understanding why treatment doesn’t work in some patients and making sure everyone has access to the care they need,” said Paula Schneider, CEO, Susan G. Komen.

Komen’s 2019 portfolio includes*:

  • 60 grants totaling $25,689,384. Of these:
    • 38 grants totaling $17,504,384 are focused on better understanding metastasis – why it occurs and how to prevent and treat metastatic breast cancer
    • 39 grants totaling $15,579,815 for catalyzing the development of new therapies for all stages of breast cancer
    • 16 grants looking into novel treatments for triple negative breast cancer
    • 14 grants totaling $6,298,750 investigating drug resistance (why drugs stop working in some patients)
    • 9 grants focused on disparities in breast cancer outcomes and
    • 5 that apply big data technology (e.g. Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning) to breast cancer research

 *Eds Note: Numbers add to more than 60 because individual studies may be classed in more than one category.

Since our inception, Komen have funded more breast cancer research than any other non-profit outside of 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 $2.3 billion has been invested in efforts to provide critical education and real-time support to people in communities across the country

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