Monday, September 28, 2009

$11.5 million NCI SPORE Grant To Boost Leukemia Research At Ohio State

COLUMBUS, Ohio – The National Cancer Institute (NCI) has awarded the Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center – Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute (OSUCCC-James) a five-year, $11.5 million Specialized Program of Research Excellence (SPORE) grant to study and treat leukemia.

The SPORE grant represents a milestone for the leukemia program at OSUCCC-James, which is only the second recipient of such an NCI grant directed at leukemia research. Titled “Experimental Therapeutics of Leukemia,” the SPORE grant focuses on translational research to improve the understanding of leukemia cause, risk stratification and therapy.

Principal investigator Dr. John C. Byrd, and co-principal investigators Dr. Clara D. Bloomfield and Dr. Guido Marcucci were involved in planning and applying for this award, which encompasses laboratory and clinical investigation in acute myeloid leukemia, acute lymphoid leukemia and chronic lymphocytic leukemia.

The grant team includes a number of prominent senior investigators at OSUCCC-James who have worked together for years to improve prognostic factors and treatments for acute and chronic leukemias.

“This prestigious award will help an extraordinary team of accomplished cancer researchers at Ohio State’s Comprehensive Cancer Center engage in bedside and laboratory translational research of adult leukemia with the ultimate goal of improving clinical outcomes for patients,” said Dr. Michael A. Caligiuri, director of Ohio State’s Comprehensive Cancer Center and CEO of The James.

The SPORE grant supports five research projects, each led by Ohio State cancer center researchers including Byrd, Bloomfield, Caligiuri, Marcucci, Dr. Albert de la Chapelle, Dr. William Blum, Dr. Michael Grever, and Robert Lee.

Accompanying these five projects are five cores that provide a SPORE leukemia tissue bank and services for biostatistics, biomedical informatics, medicinal chemistry and administration and operations. The SPORE grant also supports a career development program geared toward young women and minority researchers, and a developmental research program to recruit innovative pilot projects that, if successful, may later become part of the SPORE.

The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center- Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute is one of only 40 Comprehensive Cancer Centers in the United States designated by the National Cancer Institute. Ranked by U.S. News & World Report among the top 20 cancer hospitals in the nation, The James is the 180-bed adult patient-care component of the cancer program at The Ohio State University. The OSUCCC-James is one of only five centers in the country approved by the NCI to conduct both Phase I and Phase II clinical trials.

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