Cancer research centers net $16M in ARRA funds
Researchers at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and the University of Washington (UW) Schools of Public Health and Pharmacy have received $16 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) funds to lead four research projects based on cancer genomics, cancer diagnostics, breast imaging and cancer screening.

As of Oct. 1, the Seattle-based research centers had received a total of $137 million for 261 projects.

The following two-year projects will account for roughly one-third of the National Cancer Institute's first investments in cancer-related comparative-effectiveness research, including:
  • Tissue-based biomarkers: A $4 million project based at the Hutchinson Center, which will fund the development of Cancergen, as well as design and conduct prospective, controlled clinical trials of promising cancer genetic tests.
  • Cancer diagnostics: A $4 million project based at the UW School of Public Health will fund research to evaluate the effectiveness of cancer diagnostics--from mammography and MRI to ultrasound, PET/CT and blood- or tissue-based biomarkers--to determine the extent of disease and plan treatment.
  • Breast imaging: A $4 million project, led by the Group Health Research Institute in Seattle, will support comparative-effectiveness research of conventional and cutting-edge breast cancer imaging techniques to help determine which modalities are most effective for women, according to individual patient demographics and risk factors.
  • Cancer screening: A $4 million project based at Group Health aims to lay the groundwork for studies to improve the effectiveness of colorectal and cervical cancer screening and increase participation in such screening.

In addition, Group Health is collaborating on a $4 million "grand opportunities" grant based at the Dana Farber Harvard Cancer Center in Boston, which will address the costs and effectiveness of treating advanced cancer and the shortage of population-based research on patterns and outcomes of cancer care in populations not covered by Medicare.