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Lester and Sue Smith Breast Center

Houston, Texas

The Lester and Sue Smith Breast Center's mission is to improve prevention, diagnosis and treatment of breast disease.
Lester & Sue Smith Breast Center
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Specialized Program of Research Excellence Grant - SPORE

Translational Research in Breast Cancer

Faculty in the Lester and Sue Smith Breast Center were awarded one of the four original breast cancer SPORE grants when they were first created by the National Cancer Institute in 1992. This large multi-program grant funds translational research to bring new laboratory findings quickly to the clinic to improve prevention, treatment, quality of life, and survival for breast cancer patient. C. Kent Osborne, M.D. serves as director of the Baylor Breast Cancer SPORE which includes five major translational research projects and four core facilities, including our national tissue resource. The SPORE program also includes funds for developmental research projects awarded each year and a career development program for new investigators interested in breast cancer translational research.

The SPORE grant was renewed for five years in December 2007. The SPORE team of investigators includes a group of clinicians and scientists, some who have worked together for as long as 25 years. This group has contributed important information on several clinically relevant areas including mechanisms of tamoxifen resistance and the development of new drugs to reverse this resistance, premalignant breast disease, estrogen receptor function, molecular genetics of breast cancer, breast cancer prevention, prognostic and predictive biomarkers, heat shock proteins in breast cancer pathogenesis and drug resistance, molecular profiling of ductal carcinoma in situ and invasive breast cancer, growth factor biology, targeted therapy, and clinical trials of new treatment strategies.

There are five major research projects funded in our current SPORE grant.

Project 1

Targeting the HER2 Pathway: Mechanisms of Resistance and Strategies to Overcome Them
Rachel Schiff, Ph.D., Project Leader, and C. Kent Osborne, M.D., Co-Investigator

Project 2

Treatment Resistance Pathways and Targeting Residual Cancers
Michael Lewis Ph.D., Project Leader, and Julie Nangia, M.D., Co-Investigator

Project 3

Combination Chemoprevention: Prevention of Both ER-positive and ER-negative Breast Cancer
Daniel Medina Ph.D., Project Leader and C. Kent Osborne, M.D., Co-Investigator

Project 4

Role of Androgen Receptor in Breast Cancer Progression
Suzanne A.W. Fuqua, Ph.D., Project Leader, and Mothaffar Rimawi, M.D., Co-Investigator

Project 5

Targeting the IGF Pathway for Treatment of Breast Cancer
Adrian V. Lee, Ph.D., Project Leader, and Mothaffar Rimawi, M.D., Co-Investigator

There are four core research resources funded in our current SPORE grant.

Core A

National Tissue Resource
M. Carolina Gutierrez, M.D., Core Leader and Susan G. Hilsenbeck, Ph.D., Co-Investigator

Core B

Biostatistics and Data Management
Susan G. Hilsenbeck, Ph.D., Core Leader

Core C

Pathology
M. Carolina Gutierrez, M.D., Core Leader, and Alejandro Contreras, M.D., Co-Investigator

Core D

Administration
C. Kent Osborne, M.D., Core Leader

Developmental Programs

Developmental Research Program

Gary C. Chamness, Ph.D.

Career Development Program

Gary C. Chamness, Ph.D.

The SPORE grant is supported by an Administrative Core and three research cores including our Tissue Resource, Biostatistics and Data Management, and Pathology Cores. The faculty in the breast cancer SPORE also collaborate extensively with investigators at institutions which have been awarded breast cancer SPORE grants as well as other renowned investigators around the world. The SPORE program for the rapid translation of new basic research findings into clinical practice for the benefit of breast cancer patients is a natural outgrowth of our overall experience and direction in the Smith Breast Center.

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