In this email to our CEO, Bill Bro, Shannon Bell, Director, Office of Advocacy Relations, at the National Cancer Institute, describes new initiatives in kidney cancer research. Mr. Bro will attend the National Cancer Advisory Board meetings, in Bethesda, in his capacity as a liaison representing cancer survivors.
I would like to take this opportunity to call your attention to several of NCI’s exciting initiatives funded through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) in both cancer research generally and in kidney cancer specifically. I am pleased to report that the National Cancer Institute (NCI) has made significant strides in distributing the $1.26 billion it received under ARRA. As of mid-November 2009, the NCI has awarded $847 million in ARRA funds. These awards have enabled us to significantly expand our support of cancer research by increasing the percentage of grants funded, launching new interdisciplinary and collaborative programs, and accelerating clinical trials to get treatments to cancer patients more rapidly. These NCI ARRA investments are not only stimulating the economy through the support of biomedical and behavioral research, they are enabling opportunities for important scientific advances in cancer research. More detail about NCI’s use of ARRA funds can be found at: http://www.cancer.gov/recovery
To advance our efforts in the area of kidney cancer, the NCI has used ARRA funds to award 46 grants totaling $3,162,070. These awards, uniquely identified by project numbers, complement our existing portfolio and stimulate the economy by supporting research at 38 institutions in 22 states across the country. Individual investigators conducting hypothesis-driven science remain the backbone of NCI’s research portfolio, and for that reason, the support of investigators—established or new to the field—was the institute’s first priority. Thus, 4 of the awards are funding investigator-initiated research, using the R01 funding mechanism.
For example, one R01 grant recipient (Project # 3R01CA104505-05S1) aims to understand the molecular pathways that underlie renal cell carcinoma, which could support the development of effective therapy for this disease. Another grantee (Project # 3R01CA054498-18S1) will study the long term health of patients treated for Wilms tumor (WT) during their childhood and will monitor the patients’ offspring for cancer and birth defects. By elucidating the late complications of WT and its treatment, and by identifying susceptible subgroups, this study will enable future generations of childhood cancer patients and their physicians to select optimum treatments based on knowledge of long term risks as well as short term benefits.
ARRA funds are also being used to increase the number of studies under TARGET (Therapeutically Applicable Research to Generate Effective Treatments), an initiative which will expand research on the molecular basis of childhood cancers http://target.cancer.gov/
. The $25 million award to the TARGET initiative will allow NCI to further support two current TARGET projects and expand to include molecular characterization of three additional childhood tumors including Wilms tumor.
Remaining ARRA funds may be used to support additional kidney cancer research. To view research projects funded since November 2009, please visit the NIH Research Portfolio Online Reporting Tool (RePORT) at http://projectreporter.nih.gov/reporter.cfm
. To research NCI ARRA funded kidney cancer projects: 1) be sure to mark the box “Show only projects supported by NIH Recovery Act funds”, 2) include ‘kidney cancer’ as a search term, and 3) check the NCI as the Agency/Institute/Center you wish to search. To view the Institute’s funded research grants, contract awards, and intramural research projects prior to FY 2009, please visit the NCI Funded Research Portfolio at: http://fundedresearch.cancer.gov/
Thank you for your support of cancer research and the NCI. Please do not hesitate to contact me or members of my staff should you have further questions or require additional information.
Shannon K. Bell, MSW
Director, Office of Advocacy Relations
National Cancer Institute, NIH
Bethesda, MD 20892-2580