UTMB receives $3.2 million to continue collaborative research on cancer in Texas

March 7th, 2014
The Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas has awarded the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston more than $3.2 million to continue a program aimed at creating a new state resource — a trove of population research on cancer treatments and outcomes in Texas.

One of 11 multi-investigator research continuation grants recently announced by CPRIT, the UTMB award will fund the work of the organization Comparative Effectiveness Research on Cancer in Texas for two more years.

Led by Dr. James Goodwin, vice president and chief research officer at UTMB, CERCIT is a multidisciplinary consortium of investigators from UTMB, the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Rice University and the Texas Cancer Registry.

CERCIT researchers are studying how screening for breast, colon and prostate cancer is conducted throughout the state. They are looking at how access to care and quality of cancer care affect patient outcomes. They are investigating how long health care providers carry out surveillance of cancer survivors.

"This has been a very rich collaboration. The investigators from these institutions work well together," said Goodwin. "Our different disciplines and skill sets create great synergy, not only in research, but also in training the next generation of cancer investigators."

CERCIT was originally funded by CPRIT in 2010. Since then, the organization has become a major presence in Texas's cancer research community.

One of its research projects culminated in the development of a white paper on cancer statistics among Hispanics in Texas distributed to 1,000 legislators and influential individuals and organizations in the Hispanic community nationwide. This is the first time any such research had ever been compiled and disseminated.

Over the course of its first four years, CERCIT has trained 24 new cancer researchers and published more than 80 peer-reviewed cancer studies in such high-profile journals as the Journal of the American Medical Association and the New England Journal of Medicine. To learn more, visit the CERCIT website at http://www.txcercit.org.

Founded in 2009, CPRIT has to date awarded more than $850 million in grants to Texas researchers, institutions, non-profits and private enterprises. Besides funding scientific cancer research, CPRIT also funds product development and prevention programs. Programs made possible with CPRIT funding have reached every corner of the state, brought more than 50 distinguished researchers to Texas, advanced scientific and clinical knowledge, and made life-saving education, training, prevention and early detection services accessible to more than 1.3 million Texans at risk of cancer. In 2013, CPRIT worked with the Texas Legislature and its stakeholders on restructuring measures that have strengthened agency governance and improved transparency and accountability.

Provided by University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston

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