2012-2013 Research Grant Awards
Scientific Committee Report
The Scientific Committee completed a successful grant review process and recommends 4 Scientific Grant proposals totaling $363,224.49 to the executive Board for Final Approval. The process involved inviting qualified reviewers aside from the committee members to participate in selection grant proposals for funding. Attempts were made to stratify the proposals and assigned two reviewers for each proposal. The selection process for the reviewers was based on the expertise and background experience. The concept of conflict of interest was carefully observed in the review process. The following proposals are the selected applications for future funding.
Nova Southeastern University Health Professions Division/College of Pharmacy: Human Breast Tissue Engineering Model for Environmental Chemical Assessment-$99,974.49 Toxicologists assert that 85% of breast cancers may be caused or exacerbated by environmental factors. These environmental factors may include chemicals that mimic the effects of the hormone estrogen that are present due to the use of plastics, supplements in animal feed used in industrial agriculture, pollutants from industry as well as from improperly processed human sewage, and a host of other factors such as consumer products for lawn treatment and flame retardants. It would fill a major void in scientific data to have a model system comprised of human breast derived cells that shows clear evidence, that certain chemicals pose a risk to health by disrupting breast development at the level of microscopic tissue remolding. We will assess the impact of certain environmental agents, long considered to be suspicious of causing or accelerating breast carcinogenesis, directly in humans. Finally the link to cancer will be established by performing a mutation assay after chemical treatment.
University of Central Florida Research Foundation: Targeting Cytotoxic Peptides to Tumor Vasculature to Treat Breast Cancer-$100,000.00 In this proposal, a new type of anti?cancer agent is proposed that exploits the energy producing process that is needed for cancer cell survival. Our lab discovered that a small peptide composed of twenty amino acids (called CT20p) can kill breast cancer cells. Two important features of CT20p are that it kills independently of the of death machinery normally found in cells, and that it is most effective in cells that are producing energy through pathways not requiring oxygen, such as cancer cells. In this proposal we are going to evaluate the capacity of breast cancer cells of different types to produce energy and correlate this information to how effective CT20p is in killing these cells. This information is needed in order to optimally develop CT20p as new therapy for breast cancer, especially for patients with relapsing disease or when the cancer affects other organs such as the lungs.
University of Florida: Efficacy and Safety of Combination Nutraceutical Therapy in Xenograft Breast Cancer Model-$100,000.00 In designing our approach we began focusing on low toxicity agents that could be used in combination with standard care and in an adjuvant setting. The goal is to place a selection pressure on the tumor population diminishing its need or ability to develop resistance and to do so with minimal introduction of a safe adjunct treatment that will extend the time periods between changes in conventional (i.e. toxic) treatments and reduce their dosage with the intent of enforcing stable kinetics. Our therapeutic approach is effective, easy to deliver, safe, non-toxic and in comparison to many new targeted therapies affordable.
Watson Clinic Foundation: Survival Impact of Breast Cancer in Elderly Polk County, FL Women- $63,250.00 Many suggest that breast cancer in the elderly is less of a concern because of indolent biology or competing co-morbidities. However, we have observed that there is a population >75 years of age where this assumption may not be true. Our research will focus on the impact of breast cancer diagnosis in women > 75 years of age in Polk County, Florida. Our hypothesis is that breast cancer in women > 75 years of age does result in significant disease specific morbidity and mortality.