• Cancer

    Mayo Clinic researchers receive Specialized Program of Research Excellence grant for liver and biliary cancer from the National Cancer Institute

human body anatomy with the liver highlighted

ROCHESTER Minn. — A team of researchers from the Mayo Clinic Cancer Center has been awarded a five-year, $11.5-million Specialized Program of Research Excellence (SPORE) grant in liver and biliary tract cancer from the National Cancer Institute (NCI).

Specialized Program of Research Excellence grants are designed to promote interdisciplinary research and help basic research findings move quickly from the laboratory to patient care.

To earn these competitive grants, institutions must demonstrate a high degree of collaboration between top scientists and clinicians and show excellence in translational research projects.

Principal investigators include Mark McNiven, Ph.D. and Lewis Roberts, MB, CHB, PhD. Collaborators include researchers from The Rockefeller University and the University of Pittsburgh.

“This is the only NCI-funded SPORE focused on cancers of the liver, which are the second leading cause of cancer death worldwide and the most rapidly increasing cause of death from cancer in the U.S.,” says Dr. Roberts. “This SPORE identifies Mayo Clinic as a premier center for the study, treatment and care of liver cancers.”

Researchers will conduct four translational research projects in liver cancer. In addition, funds will be used to develop a world-class biorepository for liver cancer specimens, a statistical core to provide analyses on research projects and an administrative core to manage projects. “We hope to attract both young investigators and experienced investigators from other disease areas to join us in the field of liver cancer research,” says Dr. McNiven.

According to the National Cancer Institute there were there were nearly 72,000 people living with liver and intrahepatic bile duct cancer in the U.S. in 2015. The number of new cases of liver and intrahepatic bile duct cancer was estimated to be 8.8 per 100,000 men and women per year and the number of related deaths were estimated to be 6.4 per 100,000 men and women per year. Approximately one percent of men and women will be diagnosed with liver and intrahepatic bile duct cancer at some point during their lifetime.

The Mayo Clinic Cancer Center has five other current NCI SPORE grants in breast cancer, lymphoma (shared with the University of Iowa), multiple myeloma, ovarian cancer and pancreatic cancer. Mayo Clinic also has a brain cancer SPORE operating under a no-cost extension.


About Mayo Clinic Cancer Center
As a leading institution funded by the National Cancer Institute, Mayo Clinic Cancer Center conducts basic, clinical and population science research, translating discoveries into improved methods for prevention, diagnosis, prognosis and therapy. For information on cancer clinical trials, call the Clinical Trials Referral Office at 1-855-776-0015 (toll-free).

About Mayo Clinic
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