CPRIT Grants $5.5 Mln To Cancer Institute To Increase Cancer Research Exponentially

The Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT) has awarded grants to the Harold C. Simmons Comprehensive Cancer Research Center on November 19.

The grant is aimed at increasing minority participation in trials, developing drugs to battle brain tumors, and increasing the research of developing new technology and drugs.

Director of the facility, Carlos L. Arteaga said, "This new funding comes on the heels of our redesignation by the National Cancer Institute as a comprehensive cancer center. These strong shows of support from the federal and state government bolster rigorous, promising work in cancer research and prevention. It will help underserved groups and advance cancer studies in some of the nation’s most prestigious labs."

Among the recipients of the grant are David Gerber, Professor of Internal Medicine and Population and Data Sciences and Associate Director of Clinical Research, who was awarded $1.5 million on a clinical trials project that will reimburse 350 participating patients from minority groups for their participation in the trials. The idea is to widen the demography of participation so that the scientists can arrive at a more conclusive study.

Moncrief Cancer Institute received $2 million from the grant to concentrate on the expansion of lunch cancer screening. The institute will provide free lung cancer screening to 85,000 patients of which 1,200 will be provided with nurse-driven clinical navigation as a part of the project The screening project will include tobacco cessation counseling. The institute will also use the county-tailored delivery model to maximize the reach of the prevention service especially reaching the low-income, uninsured sections across the North Texas area.

Kalil Abdullah, M.D., Assistant Professor of Neurological Surgery, who has been working on finding an effective cure to Gliomas, has been allocated another $1.5 million to continue with his study on the subject. Dr. Abdullh has been studying a drug that reduces tumor metabolism to inhibit the growth of malignant tumor cells in humans and mice. The grant will allow him to continue the study and develop a clinical trial program to understand the drug's potential.

Apart from these major grants, Biochemistry Professors Uttam Tambar, Ph.D., and Bruce Posner, Ph.D., and Jacques Lux, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Radiology received $250,000 and $249,000 grants. Dr. Tambar and Posner are to concentrate on developing new strategies to invent drugs for a broad range of cancers while Dr. Lux will use the money to treat metastatic cancer using microbubble-assisted ultra-sound immunotherapy.

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