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Montefiore in the News

October 13, 2015

Preclinical Study Will Investigate Mechanism of Action of Possible Tumor Inhibitor Protein

 NEW YORK (October 13, 2015) – Researchers at Montefiore Einstein Center for Cancer Care (MECCC) and the NCI-designated Albert Einstein Cancer Center (AECC) today announced receipt of a 3-year, $750,000 grant from the Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs (CDMRP), an office of the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD). The funding will support research on the mechanism of action of a novel tumor suppressor protein, FILIP1L, which has been shown to inhibit the spread of ovarian cancer. Understanding how FILIP1L exerts its effect on tumor cells will allow for further development of novel therapeutic approaches in ovarian cancer, the fifth leading cause of death from cancer in women.

 There are no reliable screening tests for ovarian cancer and most diagnoses are made after the disease has spread throughout the abdomen. Overall survival rates have improved from recent advances in chemotherapy, but prognosis still remains poor, citing a need for novel approaches to care. 

“We are proud to have been selected to receive this DoD grant which supports the mission and vision of the Ovarian Cancer Research Program,” said Steven K. Libutti, M.D., F.A.C.S., director, MECCC, professor and vice chairman in the Department of Surgery at Montefiore Medical Center and Albert Einstein College of Medicine, professor in the Department of Genetics and associate director of clinical services at AECC. “Completion of our research will provide immediate and important insights into the role of the FILIP1L protein in regulating the spread of ovarian cancer cells. Down the road, compounds mimicking FILIP1L activity could be developed as new treatments to arrest the spread of this deadly form of cancer.” 

The Department of Defense (DoD) Ovarian Cancer Research Program (OCRP) supports high-impact, cutting-edge research that fills unmet needs. The OCRP establishes priorities to target the most critical needs along the pipeline from basic to translational to clinical research and to push the field of ovarian cancer forward to eliminate this disease. 

The Office of the Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs (CDMRP) was created in 1992 from a grassroots effort led by the breast cancer advocacy community that resulted in a congressional appropriation of funds for breast cancer research. This initiated a unique partnership among the public, Congress, and the military. Funding for programs like the OCRP is allocated with guidance from Congress. 

The research team at Montefiore and Einstein is led by Dr. Libutti and Mijung Kwon, Ph.D., Research Assistant Professor in the Department of Surgery, Montefiore and Einstein.