Breast Cancer Research Foundation Commits Record $58.6 Million in Research Grants

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The Breast Cancer Research Foundation (BCRF) announced its dedication of $58.6 million to breast cancer research at its annual Symposium & Awards Luncheon. Totaling $47 million, the 2014–2015 annual grants, awarded to more than 220 physicians and scientists on six continents, continue to fuel BCRF’s mission of advancing the world’s most innovative research. In addition, $11.6 million has been committed to the international Founder’s Fund project focused on metastasis.

Funding the ‘Game-Changers’

“At BCRF, we fund the game-changers,” President of BCRF Myra Biblowit said. “Thanks to the generosity of our donors and corporate communities, we are able to support over 220 women and men through our grants that will make a real difference and accelerate advances in the battle against breast cancer.”

Every year, BCRF brings together its international roster of grantees at its Symposium & Awards Luncheon in an effort to encourage collaboration and move the field forward with more speed and excitement. BCRF’s unique approach established by Scientific Director Larry Norton, MD, and Chairman of the Foundation’s Scientific Advisory Board Clifford Hudis, MD, fosters creativity and freedom to quickly move ideas from the lab to the bedside.

This year’s symposium, titled “Breast Cancer: Prevention Is the Best Cure,” included a panel featuring renowned BCRF researchers Graham A. ­Colditz, MD, DrPH (Washington University School of Medicine), Andrew J. Dannenberg, MD (Weill Cornell Medical College), Susan M.
Domchek, MD
(University of Pennsylvania), and Peter Greenwald, MD, DrPH (National Cancer Institute).

Celebrities in Attendance

The luncheon, which raised $2.2 million, was hosted by Good Morning America anchor, breast cancer survivor, and BCRF ambassador Amy Robach. ABC News broadcast legend Barbara Walters received the Sandra Taub Humanitarian Award for her contributions to women’s health. The Jill Rose Award for outstanding research excellence was presented to Dr. Greenwald in recognition of his lifelong contributions to research on cancer prevention.

“As someone who believes in the power of investigation, in the power of discovery and uncovering the truth, I am an advocate for research and education,” Ms. Walters said. “I believe that we all have an obligation and a responsibility to support and fund medical research.”

Over the past 20 years, research funded by BCRF has played a significant part in some of the biggest breakthroughs in breast cancer, including:

  • the finding that breast cancer is not one but many diseases
  • the role of genetics in breast cancer
  • the use of immunotherapy as a means to attack breast cancer
  • understanding the biology underlying cancer metastasis ■