The Mayo Clinic Breast Cancer SPORE will maximize the number of innovative and high-quality projects in the Developmental Research Program (DRP). The goal of the DRP is to support innovative and scientifically meritorious research projects that can be translated into clinically important applications impacting diagnosis and management of breast cancer to decrease the burden and mortality from this disease. The DRP will: 1) encourage and solicit innovative translational laboratory, population, and clinical study proposals; 2) encourage and support interdisciplinary collaboration in translational research in breast cancer; and 3) generate new hypotheses that can be tested in larger-scale research projects or clinical trials that can impact breast cancer. The availability of this support provides a stimulus for creativity in the research community, a vehicle for encouraging the interaction of basic scientists and translational investigators, and an opportunity for expanding the research spectrum of the SPORE by pursuing new leads based on discoveries and/or opportunities that arise. The Developmental Research Program will provide $50,000 direct costs for one year ($25,000 from SPORE funds and $25,000 from Mayo Clinic Cancer Center) to each of six projects. There will be the possibility, and expectation, of a second year of support based on demonstration of sufficient progress. A process has been established by the Mayo Clinic Breast Cancer SPORE involving a call for applications and a formal peer review utilizing the expertise of the Internal Scientific Advisory Committee and other experienced investigators. Because of the success of this process, it will be continued in the next funding period. Criteria for selection of projects for funding are based upon scientific merit, originality, qualifications of the applicant, and translational potential. It is expected that support of developmental research projects will result in generation of data that will serve as the basis for additional SPORE-sponsored projects or support through peer-reviewed external grant support. The three main metrics for productivity of the DRP are advancement of DRP projects to a full Project in the SPORE, and acquisition of extramural funding, and publications by the project awardees. There have been 27 DRP awardees with three being made recently on September 1, 2015. Regarding the first metric, half (four) of the eight SPORE projects in the current grant (two) and renewal (two) have a Co-Leader who was a DRP awardee. Regarding the second metric, the 24 DRP awardees (before September 1, 2015) have gone on to obtain five R01s (with additional two R01s scored at 1% and 3% for which we expect funding), four Komen grants, one State of Minnesota grant, one State of Florida grant, eight Foundation grants, an R21 scored at 11% for which the funding decision is pending, and two Breast SPORE Career Enhancement Awards, in addition to the four awardees who have advanced to Co-Leadership of a full Project in the Breast SPORE. Regarding the third metric, these 24 awardees have published 44 manuscripts, related to their DRP projects, in peer-reviewed journals. Thus, the DRP has been highly successful in identifying and nurturing a cadre of investigators that has expanded and enriched the scientific portfolio of the SPORE and provided a mechanism for development of Co-Leaders in full Projects of both the current grant and this renewal application.

Public Health Relevance

The Developmental Research Program supports innovative and scientifically meritorious research projects that have the greatest potential to be translated into clinically important applications for the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of women with breast cancer.

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National Cancer Institute (NCI)
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Mayo Clinic, Rochester
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Tu, Xinyi; Kahila, Mohamed M; Zhou, Qin et al. (2018) ATR Inhibition Is a Promising Radiosensitizing Strategy for Triple-Negative Breast Cancer. Mol Cancer Ther 17:2462-2472
Athreya, Arjun P; Gaglio, Alan J; Cairns, Junmei et al. (2018) Machine Learning Helps Identify New Drug Mechanisms in Triple-Negative Breast Cancer. IEEE Trans Nanobioscience 17:251-259
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Leon-Ferre, Roberto A; Polley, Mei-Yin; Liu, Heshan et al. (2018) Impact of histopathology, tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes, and adjuvant chemotherapy on prognosis of triple-negative breast cancer. Breast Cancer Res Treat 167:89-99
Ho, Ming-Fen; Lummertz da Rocha, Edroaldo; Zhang, Cheng et al. (2018) TCL1A, a Novel Transcription Factor and a Coregulator of Nuclear Factor ?B p65: Single Nucleotide Polymorphism and Estrogen Dependence. J Pharmacol Exp Ther 365:700-710
Horne, Hisani N; Oh, Hannah; Sherman, Mark E et al. (2018) E-cadherin breast tumor expression, risk factors and survival: Pooled analysis of 5,933 cases from 12 studies in the Breast Cancer Association Consortium. Sci Rep 8:6574

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