UB receives $59,031 cancer research grant

By ERIC CORTELLESSA
On January 27, 2013

  • Congressman Brian Higgins annouced UB was given a federal grant of $59,031 for cancer resarch by the National Cancer Institute. Courtesy of Brian Higgins

Representative Brian Higgins of New York's 26th congressional district, which includes Buffalo and Niagara Falls, announced last week UB was given a federal grant of $59,031 for cancer research by the National Cancer Institute.

The project will be overseen by Janet Morrow, a chemistry professor and UB researcher, who will use the funding to work on developing less expensive anticancer treatments. She will use new iron-based agents to keep surveillance on tumors that are being treated with alkalinizing therapies to determine their overall efficacy.

"We are very pleased with the grant and thankful for Congressman Higgins' continued support of the university and its researchers," said UB Spokesman John Della Contrada. "The funding will help professor Morrow continue her important work."

Higgins, a member of the Congressional Cancer Caucus - a bipartisan effort - has been a vigorous supporter of significant government involvement in cancer research and has long been active in trying to procure funding for the work happening at UB.

"Cutting-edge research is happening right here in Western New York with the help of talented UB scientists," Higgins said. "Federal research dollars invested in this community are delivering better treatments, detection and advancing the ultimate goal of bringing us closer to a cure."

Alkalinizing therapy is considered an alternative cancer treatment offered as a substitute or addition to standard medical treatment such as chemotherapy and radiation therapy.

Morrow wants to monitor tumors that are being treated with alkalinizing therapies, specifically using the new FDA-approved oral bicarbonate, which she hopes will lead to new insights into how it can be used as a less expensive anticancer treatment.

The treatment intends to reduce metastasis - the growth of cancer throughout the body - and directly treat malignant tumors while minimizing possible negative side effects.

Funding for the project is coming from the Cancer Detection and Diagnosis Research Program at the National Cancer Institute, which was established by Congress in 1937. It is now a part of the National Institute of Health and is one of the 11 agencies of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

One of the main objectives of the institute is to conduct and support cancer research and circulate important information about detection and treatment of the illness.

Higgins said he is thrilled he has been able to play a role in the continued effort to find a cure for cancer and recently testified in front of the Budget Committee in the House of Representatives advocating for an increased investment in cancer and biomedical research.

"I'm here to urge you in the strongest possible terms to double the nation's commitment to cancer research," Higgins told the committee. "Funding for the National Cancer Institute and the National Institutes of Health are fundamentally important to tackling this disease that kills so many of our fellow Americans."

The congressman also stressed the importance of continuous, uninterrupted work on this endeavor.

"In order to be successful, cancer research must be sustained over the long term," Higgins said. "It doesn't work when you stop and start. The only failure in cancer research is when you quit or you're forced to quit because of lack of funding."

Higgins, a native of Buffalo, is grateful - like many others - that important work is happening within the community. The grant will support the cause of maintaining that work.

 

Email: news@ubspectrum.com


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