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IU Simon Cancer Center physician/researcher receives $5.8 million Komen Promise Grant

  

INDIANAPOLIS -- (April 23, 2009) -- Bryan Schneider, M.D., assistant professor in the Division of Hematology/Oncology at the Indiana University School of Medicine and a physician/researcher with the Indiana University Melvin and Bren Simon Cancer Center, recently received a $5.8 million Promise Grant from Susan G. Komen for the Cure for his research that attempts to predict who will benefit from the powerful breast cancer-fighting drug bevacizumab (Avastin).

With the Promise Grant, Schneider and colleagues will try to establish biomarkers that physicians can use to better predict which breast cancer patients will benefit from bevacizumab and which cancer patients will suffer significant side effects.

The researchers will study genetic biomarkers in the ongoing IU-based E5103 phase III trial that is evaluating whether adding bevacizumab to standard chemotheraphy will improve disease-free and overall survival for women with potentially curable disease.

The Promise Grant will allow Schneider to use a cutting-edge genetic platform (a Genome Wide Association Study) to uncover the most clinically accurate biomarkers possible. Schneider and team also will include quality of life studies to better understand the physical and psychological effects women face.

"The time is ripe to apply cutting-edge therapeutic individualization to an important and emerging novel therapy, decreasing morbidity, decreasing cost, and improving quality of life for women with early-stage breast cancer," Schneider said. Schneider's grant is part of $60 million in research that Komen is set to fund this year to scientists worldwide who are seeking cures for breast cancer.

"Promise Grants are designed to bring the world's best minds together, to provide those experts with the resources to focus and solve one serious problem in breast cancer, and to get results to patients quickly," Hala Moddelmog, president and CEO of Susan G. Komen for the Cure, said.