Rutgers University has announced grants totaling $4 million in support of a strategic partnership between the Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey (RCI) and the National Cancer Institute's Center for Cancer Research (CCR).
The grants, which include $2 million from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, will enable RCI and CCR to share knowledge and more rapidly advance discoveries leading to drug development, clinical trials, and new therapies for cancer patients. Among other things, the two-year project will explore the development of new drugs as well as how to optimize existing cancer drugs for the treatment of cancers that arise due to mistakes made in the repair of DNA. Another focus of the research will be improving understanding of the genetics behind tumor development so that therapies can be better tailored to individual patients.
"Many cancers result from errors in DNA repair, thus funding research efforts in this area is critical," said RCI director Steven K. Libutti, who is also senior vice president of oncology services for RWJBarnabas Health. "This new research partnership will accelerate the discovery of cancer therapies and clinical trials, and will also allow us to leverage data and results from this work into potential funding for future projects. Together with the NCI's Center for Cancer Research, we are committed to rapidly improving our knowledge base in this area."