SWOG regularly issues press releases to help spread word of its most notable research results, with our committee chairs largely determining just which findings merit promotion at the time of publication. 

A common thread underlying  much of this successful, newsworthy research is support from The Hope Foundation for Cancer Research. In fact, looking back on our press releases since early 2021, two-thirds of the projects reported on received Hope Foundation funding, most through grants to the PI. Here’s a rundown:

The Hope grants that helped fund these results include the Coltman Fellowship, Impact Award, Career Engagement Award, Secondary Data Analysis, and SWOG Trial Support programs.

Of course, all of this work has been primarily funded by the NCI, through our NCTN or NCORP grants (we’re incredibly proud of performing public-powered cancer research). But Hope grants have often provided key support that made a critical difference.

Hope’s grant reviewers have a strong record of foreseeing positive impact. So, without claiming to predict the future, I’ll recognize here those who have received Hope grant awards over the past year, with the titles of their projects.

We’ve awarded two SWOG Early Exploration and Development Fund (SEED Fund) grants. These grants support preliminary research that may translate to future SWOG trials or translational medicine studies:

  • Noël Arring, DNP, PhD, RN, University of Michigan
    Hypnosis for Pain in Black Women with Advanced Breast Cancer
  • Joe Unger, PhD, and Riha Vaidya, PhD, SWOG Statistics and Data Management Center
    Socioeconomic Disparities in Patient-Reported Outcomes Among Cancer Clinical Trial Participants

Three SWOG/Hope Foundation Impact Awards were granted over the last year. These support the early stages of innovative research:

  • Katherine Crew, MD, MS, and Richard Ha, MS, MS, Columbia University
    Application of a Convolutional Neural Network-Based Model to Breast Imaging to Assess Prognosis and Predict Response to Adjuvant Breast Cancer Treatment
  • Kerryn Reding, PhD, MPH, RN, University of Washington
    Cecebot: A Personalized, SMS-Based Conversational Agent to Address Sleep Disturbances in Women with Poor Sleep After Breast Cancer Treatment
  • Rajshekhar Chakraborty, MD, Columbia University
    Non-Invasive Minimal Residual Disease Assessment in Multiple Myeloma with Liquid Biopsy and Functional Imaging

We’ve awarded one Dr. Charles A. Coltman, Jr., Fellowship, which aids early career investigators in learning clinical trial methodology:

  • Elizabeth Brém, MD, University of California, Irvine
    A Phase II/III Randomized Study of R-MiniCHOP with or without Oral Azacitidine in Patients Age 75 Years or Older with Newly Diagnosed Diffuse Large B Cell Lymphoma, Grade IIIb Follicular Lymphoma, Transformed Lymphoma, and High-Grade B-Cell Lymphomas with MYC and BCL2 and/or BCL6 Rearrangements

We’ve announced one Career Engagement Award, which gives mid-career investigators protected time for clinical research:

  • Eileen Connolly, MD, PhD, Columbia University
    S2003: A Phase II Study of Intraoperative Radiotherapy (IORT) for DCIS after Breast-Conserving Surgery

We’ve also awarded our first DEI Career Development Award:

  • Patricia Robinson, MD, Loyola University
    Dr. Robinson is engaged in a multi-phase, multi-year initiative to improve diversity, equity, and inclusion among SWOG leadership and membership, and throughout its clinical trials.

We’ve given one additional  VA Integration Support Program grant, which supports VA participation in NCI clinical trials:

  • VA Northeast Ohio Healthcare System in Cleveland

Finally, we’ve issued one SWOG Trial Support grant, which underwrites study components that require additional funding during patient enrollment:

  • Virginia Sun, PhD, RN
    S1820: A Randomized Trial of the Altering Intake, Managing Symptoms Intervention for Bowel Dysfunction in Rectal Cancer Survivors Compared to a Healthy Living Education Control: A Feasibility and Preliminary Efficacy Study (AIMS-RC)

Hope has a long history of supporting the best of SWOG. I don’t have a crystal ball, but it’s a pretty sound bet that you’ll hear more about many of these awardees and their projects in the coming months and years. You can say you heard it here first.

Application deadlines for these grant programs come around regularly, so visit The Hope Foundation website to learn more. Not sure where to start? We have a program for that, too.

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