Arizona Cancer Center members receive $4 million in federal stimulus grants

Arizona Cancer Center members receive $4 million in federal stimulus grants

Oct. 20, 2009
Contact: Sara Hammond (520) 626-2277

TUCSON, Ariz. – Nineteen Arizona Cancer Center members have been awarded a total of $4 million in federal National Institutes of Health stimulus grants through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.

Of the total, $1.5 million has been awarded by the National Cancer Institute to support nine cancer research projects and programs. The two-year grants range from $315,523 to $50,000 and will fund eight new positions and maintain 1.5 existing positions at the Cancer Center.

At the Arizona Cancer Center, the funding will be used

  • To develop imaging tools to discover how ovarian cancer originates, develops and spreads. Unlike other cancers, such as cervical cancer, ovarian cancer progression is not well understood. The ovary is inaccessible and ovarian cancer is usually asymptomatic in early stages, so many early-stage ovarian cancers are not seen. The imaging tools being developed are based on reflected light and fluorescence.
  • To support a clinical study of limonene, a component found in high concentration in citrus peel oil, as a potential breast cancer prevention agent. A clinical study of limonene is planned in women with a recent diagnosis of early breast cancer to determine if limonene could concentrate in the breast tissue and cause some beneficial changes.
  • To study the ability of sulforaphane – a natural compound in broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables – to block UV-induced skin cancer.
  • To discover anticancer drugs that act by novel mechanisms from plant- and lichen-associated fungi of the Sonoran Desert.
  • To test a targeted imaging contrast agent for therapeutic interventions and drug delivery with a primary focus on ovarian cancer.
  • To support a Native American post-doctoral student in the Cancer Biology Graduate Interdisciplinary Program at the University of Arizona College of Medicine – Phoenix in partnership with Arizona State University.
  • To identify and develop novel drugs that kill metastatic melanoma cells by selective induction of oxidative stress and energy depletion.