Moffitt Cancer Center Awarded Nearly $19 Million in Recovery Act Grants

November 19, 2009

Named 1 of 12 Physical Science-Oncology Centers

Tampa, FLMoffitt Cancer Center has been awarded nearly $19 million in grants from the National Institutes of Health under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, including a prestigious Grand Opportunities grant to study patient-centered outcomes research.  Moffitt was also selected by the National Cancer Institute as one of 12 institutions nationwide to serve as Physical Science-Oncology Centers to advance the use of physics, mathematics and related disciplines to study the development of cancer.

“Moffitt is making the most of every opportunity to leverage our country’s investments in medical research to benefit people battling cancer,” said William S. Dalton, Ph.D., M.D., center director and CEO of Moffitt.  “Funding from the Recovery Act allows us to move forward more quickly on a variety of fronts, accelerating the process of translating scientific discoveries into more effective patient care.” 

Moffitt has applied for 110 Recovery Act funded grants, to date. Through October, 26 grants have been awarded, representing the largest portion of the cancer-related NCI monies awarded in Florida through the Recovery Act. . Moffitt also ranks 23rd out of 757 grantee institutions by the NCI for all categories of grants with over $41.5 million in grant funding Notice on applications submitted are still pending and Moffitt continues to apply for new grant monies as request for applications are published. 

Moffitt’s $4 million Grand Opportunities grant is one of only seven in the nation awarded for patient-centered outcomes research in personalized medicine. Moffitt’s work in this area is focused on providing physicians and researchers access to health-related information for large populations of cancer patients, thereby improving outcomes, developing best practices and raising the overall standard of cancer care throughout the United States.

“As part of our Total Cancer Care research protocol, with over 44,000 patients consented to participate to-date, and an innovative framework that includes a Consortium of 17 health care providers in 9 states we have established a unique working model for patient-centered outcomes research. The Grand Opportunities grant allows us to further develop this infrastructure, which includes a large health care network backed by a robust health information system,” Dalton said.  “This work will open new frontiers for medical research, as well as provide patients and physicians with important information to determine the most effective treatment for each individual patient.”

The NCI’s establishment of a Physical Science-Oncology Center at Moffitt is recognition of the Tampa-based cancer institute’s emergence in the field of Integrative Mathematical Oncology. This very unique and innovative program will distribute $22.7 million among 12 grantees this year to fund projects that employ physics, mathematics and other disciplines not traditionally associated with cancer research to achieve a better understanding of the physical laws governing the progression of the disease.

The other 11 institutions named as Physical Science-Oncology Centers are:

  • Arizona State University, Tempe, Ariz.
  • Cornell University, Ithaca, N.Y.
  • Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Mass.
  • Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York
  • Northwestern University, Chicago
  • Princeton University, Princeton, N.J.
  • The Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla, Calif.
  • University of California-Berkeley
  • University of Southern California, Los Angeles
  • The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston

Moffitt is utilizing Recovery Act funding on the following types of research projects (see attached for complete list of grants):

  • How lung cancer tumors grow in the body, their resistance to certain drugs and the development of innovative therapies to combat them
  • Analyzing how the body’s immune system responds to cancer, how it can be used to fight cancer and the development of vaccines to aid this ability
  • The use of cutting-edge technology to better understand the genetic makeup of cancers and to more effectively analyze the information gained
  • Analyzing possible cancer-causing viruses, such as the human papillomavirus
  • Focusing on specific cancers such as adult glioma, colorectal, multiple myeloma, myelodysplastic syndromes, ovarian and prostate

“Expanding our research and health care consortium is vital to Moffitt’s efforts to develop, discover and deliver personalized medicine for cancer patients here in Florida, and we strive to make far-reaching improvements in survival rates and quality of life for cancer patients everywhere,” Dalton said.

For information regarding the distribution of Recovery Act funds by the NIH, visit http://grants.nih.gov/recovery.

About Moffitt Cancer Center

Located in Tampa, Florida, Moffitt Cancer Center  is an NCI Comprehensive Cancer Center - a designation that recognizes Moffitt’s 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.

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