Impact on Communities
The economic downturn has hit numerous sectors, including cancer research. Some research institutions have had to decrease the scope of their studies or lay off staff, threatening to cripple the pace of research and discovery.
Recovery Act funding is enabling the National Cancer Institute to expand and enhance cancer research, helping to move exciting advances into the community at an accelerated pace.
The NCI supports various programs through Recovery Act funding, providing scientists with greater resources to help expedite the timeframe in which new cancer therapies move from discovery to development, and ultimately to patients. These Recovery Act-funded programs align with NCI's mission of reducing the burden of cancer by making NCI-supported research accessible to a greater number of communities.
Recovery Funds in Action
Recovery Act funding is more than numbers on a budget sheet. Funds awarded by the National Cancer Institute can help us better understand cancer and find new ways to fight the disease. Learn about how these grants are having an immediate impact on local communities:
Recovery Act Investment Update: Working toward a Blueprint for Cancer – 5/21/2012
Recovery Act funding has enabled cancer clinicians and scientists from around the country to explore the spectrum of genomic changes in cancer, making it possible for the scientific community to apply TCGA findings to research to improve the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of cancer. Read more.
Addressing the Burden of Breast Cancer through Recovery Act Funding – 10/17/2011
Modern breast cancer researchers are developing innovative approaches to improving management and care. Recovery Act funding is enabling researchers to develop a deeper understanding of the disease to address challenges associated with treatment, detection and prevention. Read more.
Training the Next Generation of Researchers in Comparative Effectiveness Research – 8/31/11
The NCI Recovery Act-funded Institutional Comparative Effectiveness (CER) Mentored Career Development Awards (KM1) enable academic research institutions to train and build interdisciplinary teams of scholars to pursue CER. This Recovery Act funding provides institutions and scholars with the support they need to pursue training and studies in CER—a relatively new research area—to understand which screening, treatment and management options may be most effective in specific patient populations. Read more.
Strengthening Community-Based Cancer Care through Recovery Act Funding – 5/16/11
The NCI Community Cancer Centers Program (NCCCP) has enhanced the level of science-based cancer care and research at community hospitals since 2007. With recent Recovery Act funding, the NCCCP network has expanded to 30 cancer centers in 22 states, bringing the latest scientific advances to more patients, and the potential for creating nearly 300 new jobs in the process. Read more.
Recovery Act Investment in Small Businesses Helping to Drive Innovation in Cancer Care – 3/21/11
Government-funded programs such as the National Cancer Institute's Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer (NCI SBIR & STTR) programs play an important role in helping small businesses bring innovative ideas for improving cancer care to market. Without financial assistance, new technologies or therapies that can benefit cancer patients may never become a reality. SBIR-funded grantees are eligible for supplementary American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (Recovery Act) funding. With the help of this combined assistance, small businesses are able to retain and hire new staff, and continue advancing potentially life-saving products in ways that would not be possible without the funding support. Read more.
TARGETing Genomic Mutations in Childhood Cancers to make Therapeutic Advances – 12/06/10
The NCI's Therapeutically Applicable Research to Generate Effective Treatments (TARGET) initiative aims to identify genetic markers in childhood cancers to rapidly develop more effective therapies. Recovery Act funding is helping to expand the types of childhood cancers that are being studied, and also to continue important neuroblastoma research previously started in a pilot phase. Read more.
Advancing the Science of Smoking Cessation Interventions through Recovery Act Funding – 11/18/10
The NCI's Cancer Information Service Contact Center has been helping smokers quit since the 1980s through its quitline, which was developed by NCI's Office of Communications and Education, with web resources provided by NCI's Tobacco Control Research Branch. With recent Recovery Act funding, the NCI will be able to evaluate and improve its smoking cessation program through new hires and the expansion and promotion of its services. Read more.
Searching the Genome to Understand Cancer Disparities among Minority Populations – 7/28/10
Recovery Act funding is enabling collaboration among researchers from different institutions to conduct sizeable genome-wide association studies (GWAS) to better understand the causes, incidences and mortality of leading cancers that disproportionately affect some minority populations. Researchers at institutions such as the University of Southern California, Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute/Wayne State University, University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, and University of California San Francisco, are aiming to reduce health disparities by identifying the genetic factors that contribute to prostate and lung cancer risks in African Americans. Read more.
Recovery Act Funding Helping to Inform Personalized Medicine – 5/5/2010
The NCI's Clinical Proteomic Technologies for Cancer program is helping design and initiate the human Protein Detection and Quantitation Project (hPDQ), an attempt to map all of the 250,000 to one million proteins in the human body. As the Human Genome Project mapped all of the body's 20,000 genes, the hPDQ seeks to open up entirely new realms of research by examining the cellular "engines" involved in almost all biological activities and the targets of most drugs. The sheer scope of this undertaking will require new tools and technologies that can accurately measure large numbers of proteins. A pilot study made possible by Recovery Act funds is studying the feasibility and scalability of emerging technologies to map all of the 250,000 to one million proteins in the human body. Read more.
ARRA Funds Support Comparative Effectiveness Research in Cancer - 3/4/2010
Comparative Effectiveness Research is a promising field of study that evaluates the impact of different options for treating or managing a given health condition in a particular patient group. Many health experts and policymakers believe that the results from well-designed CER studies can improve patient outcomes while improving overall healthcare value. So far, ARRA funds have enabled NCI to support approximately $70 million in comparative effectiveness research, including $50 million in Grand Opportunities and $13 million in Challenge Grants. These funds have helped create and retain research and support positions at institutions across the country and the projects funded are laying the groundwork to help physicians and patients better evaluate healthcare options in real-world settings. Read more.
Patient Navigators Ensure Cancer Patients Get What They Need - 1/22/2010
Better Cancer Care, Close to Home. The NCI Community Cancer Centers Program (NCCCP) is elevating the level of cancer care offered at community hospitals, enabling more patients to avoid leaving home for cancer treatment at a major medical center. With Recovery Act funds, NCCCP hospitals are recruiting highly skilled staff, including additional patient navigators to help patients through the confusing, often overwhelming course of cancer treatment, and to expand the entire NCCCP network of hospitals to more cities and towns in 2010. Read more.
Recovery Act Investment in The Cancer Genome Atlas to Create Integrated Network for Prospective Tissue Accrual - 11/30/2009
The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) is an innovative, collaborative effort involving dozens of institutions working together to catalog the key genomic changes that occur in cancer. The Recovery Act funding is helping to address the challenges of obtaining the quality and quantity of biospecimens necessary for this genomic research through the creation of a prospective tissue accrual network. The data collected through TCGA will be made publicly available so that researchers across the globe can advance the understanding of cancer and ultimately improve cancer prevention, diagnosis, and treatment. Read more.
Recovery Act Funding Opens Doors for a New Generation of Pacific Islander Researchers - 11/23/2009
Weaving an Islander Network for Cancer Awareness and Training (WINCART) is a Southern California-based network of programs designed to reduce health disparities among Pacific Islander populations in the United States. With an NCI Recovery Act grant, WINCART has doubled its number of research interns, training a new generation of researchers while at the same time educating the community they serve about serious health disparity issues. Read more.
ARRA Funds Accelerating the Pace of Highly Novel Early-Stage Research in Breast Cancer - 11/23/2009
Recovery Act investments have provided much-needed funding to the NCI's Accelerating Clinical Trials of Novel Oncologic Pathways (ACTNOW) program, an initiative supporting early phase clinical trials of promising new cancer treatments. Through this program, the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute has hired new researchers and has been able to accelerate the development of a new cancer drug called ABT-888, which the investigator calls "exciting, with the potential to work wonders." Read more.