What research is being done and what is needed?
The National Cancer Institute (NCI) over the years has dedicated a small amount of money to targeted research efforts at a handful of medical centers in the United States with programs centered on the 1% of cancer patients who develop sarcoma. In 2012, the NCI had an overall budget of $5 billion*, of which the investment in sarcoma research was $38.9 million*. There is a dire need for increased NCI funding for research into sarcoma subtypes. We need funding programs to build on discoveries of targets arising from genetic research in sarcoma. Sarcoma may be ideally suited to immunotherapy approaches.
What type of research does the SFA advocate and support?
The SFA advocates for increased research funding for sarcoma from both the public and private sectors. We work with government institutions, for-profit and non-profit cancer organizations, and industry to improve the level of awareness, interest and investment in research for sarcoma. Our advocacy efforts have resulted in the addition of language benefiting sarcoma patients in publications by the National Cancer Institute. SFA has also partnered with the Sarcoma Alliance for Research through Collaboration (SARC) to support a long-term grant that will support increased research into sarcoma. These efforts ensure that sarcoma, though relatively rare, receives attention from government and other entities that have the interest and ability to support scientific research into sarcoma.
What type of research does the SFA fund?
The SFA raises funds to support basic research focused on discovering and developing new and effective therapies to treat and eradicate sarcoma. The SFA announces a call for grant proposals each October and accepts applications until January 31. The Medical Advisory Board reviews and approves all SFA grant recipients.
The SFA has also sponsored grants through the Conquer Cancer Foundation, partnering with the Capon Family to award a $450,000 research grant to a sarcoma researcher. The SFA has worked to expand the number of medical researchers who are interested in the study of sarcoma by funding Young Investigator Awards privately and through the Conquer Cancer Foundation. However, SFA strongly advocates for increased sarcoma clinical research by government and private sector organizations developing new therapies against cancer.
SFA Funded Research Fills the Funding Gap
The SFA funds high risk, high reward projects that would not likely be funded by the government or pharmaceutical companies. SFA supported research has led to:
• The identification of novel druggable targets for not only sarcoma, but for many more common cancers
• The discovery of a new class of cancer inhibitors
• The creation of mouse models for multiple sarcoma subtypes
• Development of state of the art proteomic approaches
• Multiple gains in gene expression profiling
• Millions of dollars of additional grants based on research findings from SFA research projects