Moffitt Cancer Center receives prestigious SPORE grant worth more than $10 million

September 02, 2008

Tampa, FL – The National Cancer Institute (NCI) has awarded Dr. Gerold Bepler, program leader for thoracic oncology at Moffitt Cancer Center, and his team a Specialized Programs of Research Excellence (SPORE) grant in lung cancer. The grant totals $10,475,090 over five years. This is Moffitt’s first SPORE grant, which puts them in the company of other leading cancer centers like University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center, Johns Hopkins Hospital and Mayo Clinic.

“This grant acknowledges the continued translational work done by the entire lung team at Moffitt, which has been recognized nationally and internationally,” Bepler said. “Our entire team is extremely honored to be recognized by a panel of national lung cancer experts at the level of the NCI.  It will provide us the opportunity to continue and significantly enhance our efforts to contribute to the prevention and cure of lung cancer.”

            Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death for men and women. Florida is second behind California in the number of new lung cancer cases per year.

            Moffitt will conduct four research projects with various team members.

  1. E2Fs impact on therapeutic efficacy
    • Douglas Cress, Ph.D., Jiandong Chen, Ph.D., Bepler
  2. Antitumor mechanism of src inhibitors
    • Eric Haura, M.D., Jin Cheng, M.D., Ph.D., and Jack Pledger, Ph.D.
  3. Chemoprevention with enzasataurin
    • Bepler and Mark Alexandrow, Ph.D.
  4. P53-based vaccine for small cell lung cancer
    • Dmitry Gabrilovich, M.D., Ph.D. and Scott Antonia, M.D., Ph.D.

According to the NCI Web site, SPOREs are funded through specialized center grants that promote interdisciplinary research and move basic research findings from the laboratory to clinical settings, involving both cancer patients and populations at risk of cancer. The outcome of interdisciplinary research is a bidirectional approach to translational research, moving laboratory discoveries to clinical settings or clinical observations to the laboratory environment. Laboratory and clinical scientists share the common goal of bringing novel ideas to clinical care settings that have the potential to reduce cancer incidence and mortality, as well as improve survival and the quality of life. In order to achieve these goals, SPORE investigators work collaboratively to plan, design and implement research programs that may impact cancer prevention, detection, diagnosis and treatment. Additionally, SPOREs approach these goals through collaborative efforts within the individual multidisciplinary SPORE teams, inter-SPORE collaborations, partnerships with other NCI/National Institutes of Health (NIH) programs, and public-private partnerships with industry and nonprofit organizations. Key qualities of the program feature the inclusion of patient advocates in SPORE activities and international cooperation with investigators in Europe, Canada, Asia and Mexico.                                                                                      

About H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center & Research Institute

Located in Tampa, Florida, Moffitt Cancer Center is the only Florida-based cancer center with the NCI designation as a Comprehensive Cancer Center for its excellence in research and contributions to clinical trials, prevention and cancer control. Moffitt currently has 15 affiliates in Florida, one in Georgia and two in Puerto Rico. Additionally, Moffitt is a member of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network, a prestigious alliance of the country’s leading cancer centers, and is listed in U.S. News & World Report as one of “America’s Best Hospitals” for cancer. Moffitt’s sole mission is to contribute to the prevention and cure of cancer.