$12 million SPORE grant spurs head and neck cancer research

The University of Texas M D Anderson Cancer Center has been awarded its fifth SPORE grant from the National Cancer Institute, a $12 million grant for head and neck cancer research.

With the five-year grant recognizing a Specialized Program Of Research Excellence (SPORE), M D Anderson is the first academic medical center to receive such a research grant for this cancer type.

"The SPORE grant pushes M D Anderson's already-strong translational research efforts in head and neck cancer to a new level, enhancing our multidisciplinary approach to the disease," said Dr Waun Ki Hong, head of the Division of Cancer Medicine and the principal investigator on M D Anderson's latest SPORE grant

"With this grant, we want to rapidly increase our progress in the basic understanding of the disease, so we can develop new approaches to prevention, treatment and early diagnosis of head and neck cancer," Dr Hong told the press.

The head and neck SPORE grant funds will support research in five areas: identifying genetic susceptibility markers and high-risk populations for head and neck cancers; angiogenic therapy; EGF receptors for chemoprevention; p53 therapy for reversal of pre-malignancies of the oral cavity; and apoptosis or cell death.

Since 1992, the National Cancer Institute has awarded SPORE grants into certain cancer sites for concentrated research that focuses on projects with a translational emphasis. M D Anderson has received five SPORE grants over the past six years totaling more than $53 million.