The U.S. Department of Defense Breast Cancer Research Program has awarded a $413,000 research grant to the John Wayne Cancer Institute (JWCI) to study chemoresistance in breast cancer cells.
The principal investigator of the study will be Valerie Gouaze, Ph.D., researcher at JWCI‘s Breast Cancer Research Program, whose proposal, “Mechanisms of Chemoresistance in Breast Cancer Cells,” was selected through a peer-reviewed and competitive process.
The program is directed by the U.S. Congress as part of the U.S. Army’s Medical Research and Material Command, which manages biomedical research programs and fills the gaps in ongoing research sponsored by other agencies. It supports basic and clinical research relevant to breast cancer that will lead to substantial improvements over today’s approaches to the prevention, detection, diagnosis, treatment and biology of the disease.
“Breast cancer is the most frequently diagnosed cancer in American females and a significant cause of cancer-related deaths in the U.S.,” said Dr. Gouaze. “The major issue we will study is the build up of chemoresistance in breast cancer cells during breast cancer treatments, which may include medication, radiation or chemotherapy.”
Dr. Gouaze said that if researchers can identify how breast cancer cells are strengthening its chemoresistance, more targeted therapies can be developed, and as a result, make chemotherapy treatments more effective for patients.
In 2004, more than 211,000 women will have been diagnosed with breast cancer, and 43,300 will die. One in seven women has or will develop breast cancer in her lifetime. In addition, 1,600 men will be diagnosed with breast cancer and 400 will die this year.Since 1981, John Wayne’s family has been committed to pioneering cancer research and education in memory of their father who died of cancer. The John Wayne Cancer Institute has made advances in melanoma (skin cancer), breast and colon cancer as well as immune therapy of cancer. Other areas of research include prostate and liver cancer.