The Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT) has awarded UT Southwestern researchers more than $27 million, including nearly $3 million for two key cancer screening programs in underserved areas:
- A lung cancer screening and tobacco-cessation program through UT Southwestern’s Moncrief Cancer Institute in Fort Worth
- A mobile screening initiative to help address the rising incidence of liver cancer in Texas, which has one of the highest rates in the nation
CPRIT awards also included Individual Investigator Awards for 15 UT Southwestern Medical Center faculty members for research into breast, prostate, brain, liver, kidney, and pediatric cancers, along with projects seeking innovative cancer therapies.
CPRIT, which was established in 2007, has the goal of bringing world-class research and cancer-prevention efforts to Texas. To date, CPRIT has awarded grants totaling $1.95 billion and has reached every county in Texas. The current round of CPRIT awards comprises 49 academic research grants and eight prevention grants totaling more than $73 million.
UT Southwestern’s Moncrief Cancer Institute in Fort Worth currently provides screening for breast, colon, and cervical cancers in Tarrant and 35 underserved outlying counties, a service area including 6 million people. As of January 2018, these screening services have detected more than 1,700 cancers. The CPRIT cancer-prevention funding will allow expansion of these screening services to include lung cancer and hepatitis C, a precursor to liver cancer.
The nearly $1.5 million awarded for lung cancer screenings will provide education and outreach for about 100.000 people and screening for 2,500, combined with counseling and smoking-cessation programs,” said Dr. Keith Argenbright, Director of UT Southwestern’s Moncrief Cancer Institute in Fort Worth. “Building on our existing CPRIT-funded work in rural and underserved communities, this grant will provide a much-needed addition to the breast, cervical, and colon cancer screening currently offered aboard the Moncrief Cancer Institute custom-designed mobile health clinic.”
With the over $1.3 million awarded to liver cancer and hp c screenings, Dr. Mamta Jain, Director of the HIV Research Unit at UT Southwestern, will conduct hepatitis C screening among baby boomers, with the goal of reducing the incidence of liver cancer.
In addition to these community outreach programs for underserved populations, UT Southwestern scientists received a combined $16 million in CPRIT Individual Investigator Awards for research into breast, prostate, brain, kidney, and pediatric cancers.
*Photo courtesy of UT Southwestern. Pictured: Dr. Keith Argenbright.
ABOUT UT SOUTHWESTERN MEDICAL CENTER
UT Southwestern, one of the premier academic medical centers in the nation, integrates pioneering biomedical research with exceptional clinical care and education. The institution’s faculty has received six Nobel Prizes, and includes 22 members of the National Academy of Sciences, 17 members of the National Academy of Medicine, and 14 Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigators. The faculty of more than 2,700 is responsible for groundbreaking medical advances and is committed to translating science-driven research quickly to new clinical treatments. UT Southwestern physicians provide care in about 80 specialties to more than 100,000 hospitalized patients, 600,000 emergency room cases, and oversee approximately 2.2 million outpatient visits a year.