We are really excited today to announce $58 million for new research through our 2011 Susan G. Komen for the Cure grants program. Some $55 million will go to 80 research projects and another $3 million will fund patient support programs and conferences.
You can find the full slate here, but we’d like to call out our two big Promise Grants for 2011. Promise Grants are the multi-million dollar, multi-year grants we launched in 2008, designed to get theories out of the lab and to the bedside quickly. With today’s announcement, we now have 16 of these large grants being funded, with 16 clinical trials either underway or on tap for the coming year.
New this year is a $6.5 million Promise Grant to the University of California at San Francisco to look at genetic interventions to the immune system to treat triple negative breast cancer – an aggressive form of the disease more commonly diagnosed in African American women. In St. Louis, a $6.5 million grant to researchers at Washington University could lead to a personalized vaccine to prevent the recurrence of breast cancer.
Imagine that. A personalized vaccine that could keep cancer from coming back. That would be a big breakthrough, and that’s what we’re after – big breakthroughs. We’ve been after them since we began funding research nearly 30 years ago, and with $610 million invested to date, we’re proud to say that we’ve touched every major advance in breast cancer science since then.
The research is getting results: mortality rates have declined by 31% in the U.S. since 1990, 5-year U.S. survival rates are 98% for early stage breast cancers, and there are today more effective treatments for many women with this disease.
But as we all know, there’s a lot left to understand, so we’re going after the really tough questions: how breast cancer forms, how it grows and spreads, how to stop it if it does spread, why some racial or ethnic groups have worse outcomes from the disease, and whether it’s possible to prevent breast cancer entirely.
Your support will help us get to those answers – hopefully very soon. Thanks for all that you do to help save lives.
We are proud and humbled to share the news that we have again earned Charity Navigator’s prestigious four-star rating for the fifth year in a row, a feat accomplished by only 5% of the nation’s nonprofit organizations. This rating assures all of our current and potential donors that we consistently excel in financial stewardship of donors’ funds. And if that isn’t enough reason to celebrate, we have been ranked among the top two nonprofits in terms of brand equity and as a charity people are most likely to donate to by The Harris EquiTrend® poll. The Harris poll has listed us in the top 10 of the nation’s most trusted nonprofits, too.
“This is an important statement to the individuals and partners who support our work to fuel the best science and make the biggest impact in communities across this country. We believe that it is our responsibility to not only lead the breast cancer movement, but also to set the standard for stewardship of the funds that are entrusted to us,” our founder and CEO Ambassador Nancy G. Brinker said of these honors.
Thank you to all who are helping to fulfill our promise to save lives and end breast cancer forever. Together we’ll see this promise through to the end.
In Nigeria, as many as half of women who need breast cancer surgery are turning it down. In Mexico, women may wait up to six months to find out if they have breast cancer once they suspect it. These are just some of the findings of newly published findings in the April 1 edition of The Breast, a report by the Breast Health Global Initiative, operated by the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center in partnership with Susan G. Komen for the Cure. Consensus statements and 11 research papers were based on projects presented last June at the Breast Health Global Initiative Summit last June in Chicago. An executive summary of the consensus statements was published simultaneously in the April 1 edition of The Lancet Oncology. More information is located here.
A big part of our work is reaching out to women who are considered “medically underserved,” that is, the poor or uninsured, under-insured; women who don’t know about breast health or who have no idea how to access the healthcare system (with few resources) if something is wrong. Susan G. Komen for the Cure and Komen Affiliates have funded thousands of community grants aimed at these women over the years, and we’re delighted today to report on a new grant, from the KeyBank Foundation in Cleveland, that will really help this work along.
KeyBank is granting $1 million over four years to train almost 500 people as Komen Lay Health Advisors. Lay health advisors work one-on-one with women in their communities to educate them about their breast health, provide information, refer them to health care resources, support them during health care visits, and more.
This Lay Health Advisors program will be established first in Northeast Ohio, where Komen’s Northeast Ohio Affiliate is already familiar with the benefits of one-on-one connections through programs the Affiliate is already funding locally. Over four years, the KeyBank Foundation funding will help establish similar Lay Health Advisor programs in 16 other cities currently served by KeyBank and Komen Affiliates. Also on tap: regional breast cancer summits to educate and raise awareness about breast cancer issues locally.
KeyCorp president and CEO Beth Mooney and Ambassador Nancy G. Brinker announced the grant in Cleveland this afternoon. Mooney noted that breast cancer’s impact is especially devastating for women of color, who are more likely to die from breast cancer, and for poor or uninsured women who lack access to health care resources. “Our investment in this innovative program reflects our corporate diversity vision and is just one way we give back to the communities where the people of Key live and work,” Mooney said. Brinker echoed the sentiment, saying the grant will help Komen reach women who might otherwise not be reached.
This partnership is yet another example of how our partners are helping to meet important needs around the world.
Thanks to all of our partners for making this work possible!
Read more about it in our full press release.
More than 1,000 Susan G. Komen for the Cure breast cancer advocates, grantees, corporate partners and volunteers converged in Fort Worth, Texas, for the 2011 Susan G. Komen Leadership Conference this past weekend. It was two days of learning, sharing and re-committing to the community outreach, research and advocacy that only Komen does in thousands of communities and 50 countries worldwide. A highlight of the weekend was a visit from philanthropist David Rubenstein, who shared his unique insights on charitable giving:
We’re grateful for donors like David, and for our more than 200 corporate partners, hundreds of grantees and of course, our Komen Affiliates who make our work possible in your neighborhood. We heard about how our research is moving the needle on metastatic and aggressive disease; and how our community programs helped screen some 700,000 women last year. Our advocacy is helping to keep breast cancer programs intact for low-income and uninsured women across the country; and our global work is opening doors for women in countries where cancer still brings stigma and shame.
We were so happy to have members of our family in town to share best-in-class knowledge and practices, celebrating our accomplishments in the breast cancer movement and inspire each other to keep moving forward.
We are truly the boldest community united against breast cancer.
Be sure to check out some pictures from the Leadership Conference below and on Flickr.