Conquer Cancer Foundation Grantees Advance Cancer Care
Each year, the Conquer Cancer Foundation of ASCO funds Young Investigator Awards (YIAs) and Career Development Awards (CDAs). These research grants provide start-up funding for young physician-scientists as they embark on cancer research careers. Clearly, the programs are working: Six of the top research advances of 2011, as published in ASCO’s Clinical Cancer Advances, were spearheaded by former YIA and CDA grantees.
- Paul Chapman, MD (1989 YIA) and Antoni Ribas, MD (2000 CDA) led research on the new melanoma drug vemurafenib (Zelboraf). Their research was presented at the 2011 ASCO Annual Meeting, and the FDA subsequently approved vemurafenib for use in the United States.
- Carol Aghajanian, MD (1995 YIA and 1996 CDA) led research showing that patients with recurrent gynecologic cancers who received a combination of bevacizumab (Avastin) and a chemotherapy regimen lived significantly longer before the cancer progressed, and had more tumor shrinkage, than patients who were given chemotherapy alone.
- Apostolia Tsimberidou, MD, PhD (2007 CDA) was principal investigator of the IMPACT trial, which showed that studying the genetics of an individual’s tumor and choosing therapy based on this information yielded better response rates and increased survival compared with the standard approach.
- A 2009 YIA funded by Susan G. Komen for the Cure® supported, in part, work on end-of-life care by Alexi Wright, MD. Her research showed that patients who died in a hospital or intensive care unit, rather than at home with hospice care, experienced diminished quality of life.
- Leslie Boyd, MD (2008 YIA), published research revealing disparities in cancer care for patients treated in New York public hospitals. These findings could have important implications for the future of patient care.
- Bryan P. Schneider, MD, received a second grant from the Foundation in 2011. His study was the first to identify a marker of neuropathy caused by chemotherapy treatment. The follow-up study to replicate and confirm these findings is being funded through a 2011 Conquer Cancer Foundation of ASCO Advanced Clinical Research Award in Breast Cancer, supported by The Breast Cancer Research Foundation.
To support early-career researchers, please visit www.conquercancerfoundation.org/donate. ■