The Johns Hopkins Gazette: November 27, 2000
November 27, 2000
VOL. 30, NO. 12


Oncology Center Gets Prestigious SPORE Grant for Breast Cancer Research

Johns Hopkins Gazette Online Edition

Researchers at the Oncology Center have been awarded a five-year multimillion-dollar grant from the National Cancer Institute for breast cancer research. The prestigious grant, known as SPORE, for Specialized Programs of Research Excellence, will provide $2.7 million during the first year of funding for breast cancer risk assessment, diagnosis, treatment and prevention.

This latest grant gives Hopkins an unprecedented four SPORE grants. The others fund research in cancers of the colon, prostate and lungs.

"Receiving a SPORE grant from the NCI is incredibly important to our breast cancer research program. It will strengthen our ability to work with many scientists in different specialties throughout Hopkins to address important questions in breast cancer and give us the resources to build on what we're already doing," says Nancy Davidson, director of Hopkins' breast cancer SPORE grant and professor of oncology.

Among the research projects Davidson and others will lead are studies of the genetic alterations that lead to breast cancer and characterization of these genes for prevention, diagnostic and therapeutic strategies. Several genetic alterations that have been shown to be a hallmark of human cancer, largely through work done at Hopkins, will be studied as markers for staging and early detection methods. Scientists also will investigate a group of compounds known as polyamine analogs that target cancer cells by inhibiting cancer cell growth and promoting cell death. Other research projects include development and testing of a novel breast cancer prevention vaccine and identifying estimated breast cancer risk associated with a range of molecular markers.