Skip to main content
Premium Trial:

Request an Annual Quote

University of Iowa Team Awarded $10.7M NCI Grant to Study Neuroendocrine Cancer

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – A team of University of Iowa Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center researchers has received a five-year, $10.7 million grant from the National Cancer Institute to study the genetic and molecular composition of neuroendocrine tumors (NETs), and to use this information to develop new approaches to diagnosing and treating the disease.

The funding is being provided as a Specialized Programs of Research Excellence, or SPORE, grant, which are designed to "support state-of-the-art investigator-initiated translational research that will contribute to improved prevention, early detection, diagnosis, and treatment of an organ-specific cancer," according to the NCI.

The University of Iowa noted that this is the first SPORE grant awarded for research into neuroendocrine tumors. Last month, a Yale University group received an $11 million SPORE grant to study the biology of lung cancer with the goal of developing personalized treatments for the disease.

Sue O’Dorisio, a professor of pediatrics at the Univesity of Iowa Children's Hospital, and the principal investigator of the grant project, said in a statement that during the past three decades, the incidence of neuroendocrine tumors has shot up five-fold, but many patients aren't diagnosed until the tumors have metastasized.  “Although patients with these tumors may have prolonged survival despite advanced stage, further understanding of the molecular biology of NETs holds the promise for earlier diagnosis and curative therapy," she said.

"Our grant is based on the hypothesis that analyzing the gene expression profiles of these tumors will allow us to identify important mutations and metabolic changes that will facilitate clinical advances for patients with these tumors," she added.