Mayo Clinic Cancer Center receives SPORE grant for breast cancer research from NCI

September 22, 2005

ROCHESTER, Minn. -- Mayo Clinic Cancer Center has received a Specialized Programs of Research Excellence (SPORE) grant from the National Cancer Institute (NCI) for breast cancer research.

The SPORE grant brings $6.9 million over three years to Mayo Clinic to advance translational research intended to reduce the burden and deaths due to breast cancer. Mayo Clinic oncologist James Ingle, M.D., is the principal investigator for the SPORE. Dr. Ingle will lead a large multidisciplinary team of basic, clinical and population science investigators in translational research projects that will help breast cancer patients and those at risk for breast cancer.

"Breast cancer is the most common and most feared cancer among women, but the growth of scientific knowledge offers genuine hope for meaningful advances against the disease," says Dr. Ingle. "This grant award will allow scientists and clinicians to work together in research projects addressing what causes breast cancer, how to predict who will develop breast cancer and how to better treat breast cancer. This translational research will lead to new findings for the benefit of all women."

Translational research involves the movement from basic science to actual clinical application -- patient treatment. The four major projects to be funded by the SPORE include:
  • Investigating pathways involved with development of breast cancer and prediction of response to chemotherapy
  • Investigating inherited alterations in genes to determine those which predispose women to breast cancer
  • Developing a vaccine that could effectively treat as many as 90 percent of breast cancers
  • Identifying ways to determine which women will respond to aromatase inhibitors (the major class of hormonal treatment drugs for breast cancer) early in their therapy

    In addition to these research projects, the SPORE grant provides funding for a developmental research program to explore innovative research ideas and a career development program for the next generation of breast cancer scientists.

    Mayo Clinic Cancer Center is an NCI-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center, a national recognition of excellence in education, research and treatment of cancer. The Breast Cancer SPORE continues a tradition of cutting-edge research across Mayo's three locations in Arizona, Florida and Minnesota. Mayo Clinic has also been awarded SPOREs in brain, pancreatic and prostate cancer, and shares SPOREs for lymphoma and myeloma with other institutions.

    The NCI established the SPORE program in 1992 to promote interdisciplinary research and speed the transition of basic research findings from the laboratory to applied settings involving patients and populations. The program's goal is to bring into clinical care novel ideas that have the potential to reduce cancer incidence and mortality, improve survival and enhance patients' quality of life. Laboratory and clinical scientists work collaboratively to plan, design and implement research programs focused on cancer prevention and control, early detection, diagnosis, treatment and survival.
    For more information on SPORE grants, visit To find out more about Mayo Clinic research, visit

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