Thursday, May 06, 2010
Scottsdale, Ariz. — In a move to further advance breast cancer research, the Safeway Foundation recently awarded Mayo Clinic's Cancer Center in Arizona a $150,000 grant for a clinical trial aimed at testing an arsenal of new drugs. The trial combines new drugs with standard chemotherapy to combat certain types of high-risk, aggressive breast cancer.
The Safeway grant is earmarked for Mayo Clinic's participation in the I-SPY2 breast cancer clinical trial. I-SPY2 (Investigation of Serial studies to Predict Your therapeutic response with imaging and molecular analysis) is a national clinical trial targeting women with newly diagnosed, locally advanced breast cancer. A key goal of the trial is to determine how the addition of investigational drugs to standard chemotherapy impacts treatment as compared to utilizing standard chemotherapy alone prior to surgery. If successful, the trial could help pave the way toward more precise and effective cancer treatment.
Rafael Fonseca, M.D., Director of Mayo Clinic's Cancer Center in Arizona said this type of support from the Safeway Foundation continues to help move Mayo Clinic to the forefront of cancer research which benefits patients.
"We live in the realm of clinical research," said Dr. Fonseca. "We want better outcomes for patients and better clinical management."
"This study will bring us a step closer to curing these difficult breast cancers by using knowledge of the cancer's genetic make-up to identify the most effective treatments," added Donald W. Northfelt, M.D., Associate Medical Director of the Breast Clinic at Mayo Clinic in Arizona.
Mayo Clinic's Cancer Center sites in Arizona and Rochester are part of an elite group of only 22 major cancer centers in the country participating in the large-scale I-SPY2 trial, launched by the Biomarkers Consortium — a public-private partnership led by the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health. The trial is expected to commence at Mayo Clinic this July.
Dan Valenzuela, Division President of Safeway, Inc., said the Safeway Foundation grant given to Mayo Clinic was part of an annual breast cancer fundraising effort at Safeway stores.
Mr. Valenzuela emphasized it was important to have money raised locally at Arizona's 115 Safeway stores go to a local cancer center involved in cutting edge cancer research.
"The ultimate goal is to find a cure for breast cancer," said Mr. Valenzuela.
This grant is the first of two donations to be awarded to Mayo Clinic's Cancer Center in Arizona from the Safeway Foundation for I-SPY2 research. The Safeway Foundation is anticipating awarding Mayo Clinic's Cancer Center an additional $150,000 in funds for I-SPY2 research once certain milestones in the progression of the ISPY-2 study have been reached.
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Safeway Inc. is a Fortune 50 company and one of the largest food and drug retailers in North America based on sales. The company operates 1,725 stores in the United States and Canada and had annual sales of $40.8 billion in 2009. The company's common stock is traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol SWY. Safeway supports a broad range of charitable and community programs and in 2009 donated more than $250 million to important causes, such as cancer research, education and hunger relief.
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