The National Cancer Institute (NCI) has renewed a $12.4 million grant to support the Specialized Program of Research Excellence (SPORE) for lymphoma, a joint research initiative by the University of Iowa’s Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center and the Mayo Clinic.
The University of Iowa and Mayo Clinic lymphoma SPORE focuses on developing new approaches to prevent, detect, and treat lymphoma. First funded in 2002, SPORE received three successive grants from the NCI, making it the nation’s longest-standing lymphoma research program.
The SPORE program includes preclinical and clinical studies exploring the potential of immunotherapies to treat lymphoma and trials targeting lymphoma-specific signaling pathways. It is also committed to discovering gene mutations in cell-signaling pathways, identifying key interactions between lymphoma cells and their microenvironment, and investigating how these interactions can be targeted to improve chemotherapy outcomes, among others.
During its 15 years of existence, the SPORE team has worked with more than 7,000 patient volunteers to understand how genetic makeup and other factors determine outcomes in lymphoma.
The NCI reviewers commended the collaboration’s supportive scientific environment, which led to more than 150 scientific papers published in the last funding cycle by encouraging creativity and fostering careers in translational lymphoma research.
“We are thrilled to have our Lymphoma SPORE renewed for another five years,” George Weiner, MD, director and principal investigator of the SPORE program at the University of Iowa, said in a press release. “It is particularly exciting to see advances we have made being applied worldwide to improve patient care.”
“We are grateful to the NCI to receive renewal of our Lymphoma SPORE that is conducted with our colleagues at the University of Iowa,” said Thomas Witzig, MD, SPORE director at Mayo Clinic. “This five-year grant will continue our quest to understand why patients get lymphoma and will be providing our patients opportunities for exciting new therapies.”