Susan G. Komen® Announces $26 Million Investment in Research Focused on Metastatic Breast Cancer and New Treatments

Susan G. Komen announces $26 million in funding for research projects focused on metastatic breast cancer, developing more effective treatments, and addressing disparities in breast cancer outcomes. FY19-20’s grants focus on key areas that will help us achieve our bold goal of reducing the current number of breast cancer deaths in the U.S. by 50 percent by 2026.

These new funds bring Susan G. Komen’s total breast cancer research investment to more than $1 billion since its inception in 1982, and investment in research focused on metastatic breast cancer to $210 million. Next to the U.S. government, Susan G. Komen is the largest nonprofit funder of breast cancer research in the world, and much of that investment has been awarded to scientists and research institutions in San Diego. As a local office, Susan G. Komen San Diego has invested more than $19 million in global breast cancer research and local breast health services since our inception in 1995.

“In order to save more lives, we must address the main cause of breast cancer deaths: metastatic breast cancer,” said George Sledge, Susan G. Komen’s Chief Scientific Advisor, M.D., Professor of Medicine, and Chief of the Division of Oncology in the Department of Medicine at Stanford University.

Metastatic (stage iv) breast cancer is the most advanced stage of breast cancer, which does not yet have a cure. Breast cancer is classified as “metastatic” once it has spread to other parts of the body, often to the brain, bones, liver, and lungs. It is estimated that over 154,000 women are currently living with metastatic breast cancer in the United States, and metastatic breast cancer is responsible for almost all of the 41,000+ breast cancer deaths in the U.S. annually.

Susan G. Komen’s 2019 grant portfolio includes:

    • 38 grants totaling $17,504,384 are focused on better understanding metastasis – why it occurs and how to prevent and treat metastatic breast cancer
    • 39 grants totaling $15,579,815 for catalyzing the development of new therapies for all stages of breast cancer
    • 16 grants looking into novel treatments for triple negative breast cancer
    • 14 grants totaling $6,298,750 investigating drug resistance (why drugs stop working in some patients)
    • 9 grants focused on disparities in breast cancer outcomes
    • 5 that apply big data technology (e.g. Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning) to breast cancer research

These 60 grants total an investment of $25,689,384 (Numbers add to more than 60 because individual studies may be classed in more than one category).

“Breast cancer does not affect everyone equally and with the grants we’re funding this year, we’re moving closer to new therapies for aggressive forms of cancer, understanding why treatment doesn’t work in some patients and making sure everyone has access to the care they need,” said Paula Schneider, CEO, Susan G. Komen.

To learn more, click here for the full announcement.