Mayo Clinic receives $12M grant for breast cancer research

(ABC 6 News) – Mayo Clinic will receive a $12 million National Cancer Institute grant to be used towards breast cancer research.

The team of researchers from the Mayo Clinic Comprehensive Cancer Center has been awarded the five-year Specialized Program of Research Excellence (SPORE) grant from the National Cancer Institute (NCI).

It is the third renewal of Mayo Clinic’s breast cancer SPORE grant.

SPORE grants promote research to speed findings to patient care and to determine the biological basis for observations made in people with cancer or at higher risk for cancer.

The Breast Cancer SPORE program also supports start-up research that may advance to full SPORE research projects and an effort to identify investigators with the greatest potential to develop independent translational research programs.

The Mayo Clinic Breast Cancer SPORE principal investigator is oncologist Matthew Goetz, M.D., who says, “I am extremely grateful for this award from the National Cancer Institute and honored to have the opportunity to continue our critical work to translate breast cancer research into prevention, risk assessment and new treatments,”

The Mayo Clinic Breast Cancer SPORE program includes three projects:

  • A project that will study genes related to cancer risk and whether mutations in those genes increase the risk of breast and other cancers. It also will study whether those genes affect response to cancer treatments.
  • A study of the development of a hormone targeting drug, Z-endoxifen, for treatment of premenopausal hormone-receptor-positive breast cancer.
  • A project focused on developing a vaccine to prevent breast cancer.

To earn these grants, institutions must demonstrate a high degree of collaboration among top scientists and clinicians and excellence in translational research.

Mayo Clinic Comprehensive Cancer Center has four other current NCI SPORE grants in hepatobiliary cancer, lymphoma (shared with the University of Iowa), multiple myeloma and ovarian cancer.

Female breast cancer represents 15% of all new cancer cases in the U.S., according to the National Cancer Institute. Approximately 12.9% of women will be diagnosed with breast cancer at some point during their lifetime. In 2019, there were an estimated 3,771,794 women living with female breast cancer in the U.S.