August 21, 2008

Karmanos Cancer Institute to Receive More Than $4.6 Million for Cancer Research From U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command


Contact: Patricia A. Ellis of Karmanos Cancer Institute, +1-313- 576-8629, cell: +1-313-410-3417

Supports Karmanos' National Oncogenomics and Molecular Imaging Center

DETROIT, Aug. 21 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute's National Oncogenomics and Molecular Imaging Center (NOMIC) is being awarded $4,672,000 in federal appropriations from the U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command. The federal funding, which will be allocated over the next two years, was spearheaded and supported by Senator Carl Levin (D- MI), Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), and Congressman Joe Knollenberg (R- Oakland County, MI).


"This is spectacular news for the Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute and those battling cancer," said Karmanos President and Chief Executive Officer John C. Ruckdeschel, M.D. "This recognition helps validate the innovative, cutting-edge research being done here at the Karmanos Cancer Institute that will help us bring even the deadliest forms of cancer under greater control."

Under the terms of the governmental contract, $2,127,000 will be released from August 20, 2008 - September 19, 2009. Another $2,545,000 in federal funds will be received by Karmanos Cancer Institute during the same time frame the following year.

Karmanos' NOMIC is developing technology that will allow for the diagnosis of human cancer by defining oncogene signatures that characterize cancers in individual patients. Oncogenes are the mutated forms of genes that cause normal cells to grow out of control and become cancer cells. The center will provide imaging technology capable of greatly improving the detection of genes that cause cancer, as well as measure the treatment response.

According to Dr. Ruckdeschel, this is a new frontier in cancer biology and brings with it the possibility of patient-specific treatments, with greater effectiveness and reduced toxicity.

"We are extremely grateful to Senators Carl Levin and Debbie Stabenow and Congressman Joe Knollenberg who have helped make these funds possible," Dr. Ruckdeschel said. "Thanks to their determination, tenacity and resolve, we are receiving these funds to support cutting-edge cancer research." Continuing, Dr. Ruckdeschel said, "It provides the underpinning to help us develop a molecular diagnostic method to create specific and personalized cancer treatments. This clearly is good news for those facing a cancer diagnosis."

The intellectual and technical advancements as well as the research gained in the NOMIC will also be shared with military hospitals not only in this nation, but worldwide. This will allow the United States military to globally provide state-of-the-science cancer care to military personnel, veterans and their families.

"I am pleased that this funding will allow the researchers at Karmanos Cancer Institute to continue their critical effort to understand cancer at the most basic molecular levels," said Senator Levin. "This research will assist in the development of less invasive and more effective cancer treatments."

Senator Stabenow commented, "The investment we make to help fight cancer is an investment we make for all people -- those who are currently battling this disease and those who may one day be diagnosed with it. It is critical that we unite as a government to support innovative technology, advanced research and exceptional care for the health of our nation."

Representative Knollenberg added, "The war against cancer requires all of us to fight for technology and resources to enhance cancer research. If we continue to fund this type of innovative research, we'll continue to draw closer to ending this terrible disease. Michigan is fortunate to have some of our nation's best and brightest scientific investigators and researchers at the Karmanos Cancer Institute. I've been a proud supporter of Karmanos for years, and I am committed to continue to do all I can to support their excellent work."

Dr. Ruckdeschel is Principal Investigator for the National Oncogenomics and Molecular Imaging Center at Karmanos Cancer Institute. The Project Director is Karmanos' Stephen Ethier, Ph.D., Associate Center Director, Basic Research and Deputy Director; and the Co-Investigator is Anthony Shields, M.D., Ph.D., Associate Center Director, Clinical Research for Karmanos.

For more information on cancer care and services, call 1-800- KARMANOS.

The Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute is one of 41 National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer centers in the United States. Caring for more than 6,000 new patients annually on a budget of $216 million, conducting more than 700 cancer-specific scientific investigation programs and clinical trials, the Karmanos Cancer Institute is among the nation's best cancer centers. Through the commitment of 1,000 staff, including nearly 300 faculty members, and supported by thousands of volunteer and financial donors, the Institute strives to prevent, detect and eradicate all forms of cancer. John C. Ruckdeschel, M.D., is the Institute's president and chief executive officer. For more information call 1-800-KARMANOS or go

SOURCE Karmanos Cancer Institute

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