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Funding Support Center

DF/HCC Sponsored Funding

Sponsored by DF/HCC, Nodal Awards support pilot projects that foster collaborations between disease- and discipline-based programs or address critical issues in cancer disparities. The award amount is $75,000 per year for two years ($150,000 total direct costs), with full indirect costs.

2006 Nodal Awards:

  • Parental Attitudes Toward the HPV Vaccine
    PI: Jennifer Allen, DSc (DFCI)
    Collaborators: Marcela del Carmen, MD (MGH), Yi Li, PhD (DFCI), JudyAnn Bigby, MD
    Inter-programmatic interactions: Gynecological Cancer, Cancer Disparities, Cancer Risk Reduction, Biostatistics

    This study will examine the issues and concerns that parents face when deciding whether to allow their age-eligible children to receive the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine Gardasil. The vaccine is widely considered a significant step toward reducing the public health burden of HPV and may help eliminate the racial and ethnic disparities in cervical cancer incidence. Through information gathered from a web-based survey and focus groups, the study seeks to develop culturally appropriate educational messages, materials, and strategies to maximize vaccine acceptance.

  • MUC1 Oncoprotein Regulates the Androgen Receptor in Human Prostate Cancer
    PIs: Donald Kufe, MD (DFCI) and Glenn Bubley, MD (BIDMC)
    Inter-programmatic interactions: Translational Pharmacology and Early Therapeutic Trials, Prostate Cancer

    Despite considerable research on the importance of the androgen receptor in regulating prostate cancer cell growth, little is known about why certain subgroups of prostate cancer are more likely to recur and exhibit decreased dependency on androgen stimulation. The aim of this study is to determine whether the MUC1 oncoprotein contributes to the development of aggressive prostate cancer by directly interacting with the androgen receptor. If this is proven correct, this study will establish the experimental basis for studying the effects of small molecules that target the MUC1 C-terminal subunit.

  • Cancer Risk Factors and Vitamin D Supplementation in Blacks
    PI: Gary Bennett, PhD (DFCI)
    Collaborators: Bettina Fisher Drake, PhD (DFCI) and Edward Giovannucci, MD, ScD (HMS)

    Inter-programmatic interactions: Prostate Cancer, Gastrointestinal Malignancies, Cancer Disparities

    Vitamin D deficiency has been associated with increased rates of incidence and mortality of numerous cancer types, while vitamin D supplementation may reduce cancer risk by increasing cell differentiation and decreasing cell proliferation. This study will be among the first to examine the impact of vitamin D in blacks, who are known to have lower vitamin D levels than whites. The study will focus specifically on vitamin D supplementation and uptake on PSA and C-peptide levels among blacks in a non-patient sample, and holds considerable promise in informing future cancer prevention trials that seek to reduce racial disparities in outcomes.