Lance Armstrong Foundation supports UHC research

April 15, 2005

CLEVELAND: The Lance Armstrong Foundation (LAF) has named Vivian von Gruenigen, MD, gynecologic oncologist at University Hospitals of Cleveland, the winner of a "Young Investigator" research grant to study lifestyle change and quality of life among obese endometrial cancer survivors.

Affecting more than 40,000 women annually, endometrial cancer is the most common gynecologic cancer in the United States and obesity is the largest risk factor for development of the disease. Dr. von Gruenigen will research the combined impact of exercise and dietary counseling on endometrial cancer survivors. Because most endometrial cancer patients are obese with increased risk of early mortality, an intervention in this group of women is optimal for cancer survivorship research to optimize health after cancer treatment. The grant is for $110,000.

"Obese women with endometrial cancer have a higher risk of death than patients with any other cancer," Dr. von Gruenigen said. "Funding from the Lance Armstrong Foundation will enable us to design a nutrition and physical activity lifestyle intervention program to improve the quality of life of obese endometrial cancer survivors."

The LAF is funding 20 research projects this year, worth a total of $3.3 million, an increase in support of more than $1.3 million over last year. The LAF funds research in two areas: cancer survivorship and the basic and clinical science of testicular cancer. The LAF also awarded funding to several other research projects, including follow-up care for African-American breast cancer survivors, the impact of exercise on lymphoma survivors, the psychological late effects of cancer and the fertility of women following chemotherapy for early breast cancer.

"We are thrilled to be partnering with top-notch institutions and researchers in the early stages of their careers like Dr. von Gruenigen," said Suzanne Kho, associate director of research for the LAF. "Though these scientists are exploring a variety of important topics, they all share a passion for helping people with cancer live strong."

A group of 40 researchers and diverse cancer experts reviewed 150 grant applications last September. The LAF's 2005 request for research funding proposals is posted on
About the Lance Armstrong Foundation
The Lance Armstrong Foundation (LAF) believes that in your battle with cancer, unity is strength, knowledge is power and attitude is everything. From the moment of diagnosis we provide the practical information and tools you need to live strong. We serve our mission through public health, advocacy, research and education, including the LIVESTRONG Resource for Cancer Survivors. The LAF was founded in 1997 by cancer survivor and champion cyclist Lance Armstrong and is located in Austin, Texas. For more information, visit and

About University Hospitals of Cleveland
University Hospitals Health System's 947-bed, tertiary medical center, University Hospitals of Cleveland (UHC), is the primary affiliate of Case Western Reserve University. Together, they form the largest center for biomedical research in the State of Ohio. The System provides the major clinical base for translational researchers at the Case Research Institute, a partnership between UHC and Case School of Medicine, as well as a broad and well-characterized patient population for clinical trials involving the most advanced treatments. Included in UHC are Rainbow Babies & Children's Hospital, among the nation's best children's hospitals; Ireland Cancer Center, designated by the National Cancer Institute as a Comprehensive Cancer Center (the nation's highest designation); and MacDonald Women's Hospital, Ohio's only hospital for women.

University Hospitals of Cleveland

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