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University of Iowa News Release

 

July 20, 2007

National Cancer Institute Renews $11.9 Million Lymphoma Research Grant

Leaders with Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of Iowa today announced the upcoming renewal of an $11.9 million Specialized Program of Research Excellence (SPORE) grant for lymphoma research from the National Cancer Institute (NCI).

The five-year grant is the first lymphoma SPORE grant ever to be renewed by the NCI. It is currently one of three lymphoma SPORE grants in the country. The SPORE is a joint effort of the UI and Mayo Clinic and is under the direction of George Weiner, M.D. (photo, left), director of Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center.

"It is an honor and a privilege to be awarded support from the NCI for our SPORE program for another five years. Basic research continues to yield important information about why lymphoma cells behave abnormally, Weiner said. "The SPORE funding will provide the resources to help translate these scientific advances about the nature of lymphoma into better lymphoma treatments and allow us to continue our highly productive collaboration with the Mayo Clinic. We look forward to even more rapid progress in the years ahead."

SPORE funds will be used to support four major research projects, four shared research cores, clinical trials and early pilot projects in lymphoma research taking place at both Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center and Mayo. Each project is designed to test new approaches to cancer therapy that are based on advances made in the research laboratory.

Projects supported by the SPORE will include laboratory research and novel clinical trials exploring approaches to using the immune system to treat lymphoma and evaluating targeted therapy designed specifically to block the abnormal signals that cause the inappropriate growth of lymphoma cells. The SPORE support will also be used to assess how the individual genetic makeup of patients with lymphoma impacts on how well they respond to therapy.

In addition to Weiner, investigators from the Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center involved in SPORE research include Brian Link, M.D., Zuhair Ballas, M.D., Gail Bishop, Ph.D., Terry Braun, Ph.D., Raymond Hohl, M.D., Ph.D., Steve Lentz, M.D., Sergel Syrbu, M.D., Ph.D., Brian Smith, Ph.D., and numerous other faculty and staff.

Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center is Iowa's only National Cancer Institute (NCI)-designated comprehensive cancer center. NCI-designated comprehensive cancer centers are recognized as the leaders in developing new approaches to cancer prevention and cancer care, conducting leading-edge research, and educating the public about cancer.

STORY SOURCE: Joint Office for Marketing and Communications, University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, 200 Hawkins Drive, Room E110 GH, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-1009

MEDIA CONTACTS: Tom Moore 319-356-3945, thomas-moore@uiowa.edu or Mary Lawson, Lawson.Mary18@mayo.edu