News Release: Research

Feb. 28,  2011

Winship Cancer Institute Receives High-Impact Donation for Breast Cancer

News Article ImageAs a leader in cancer patient care and research, Emory University's Winship Cancer Institute (EWCI) offers new therapies not usually available outside university-affiliated medical centers, including more than 200 clinical trials for all types and stages of cancer.

ATLANTA -- The Wilbur and Hilda Glenn Family Foundation has committed to give $5 million to the Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University.  The donation will name The Glenn Family Breast Program at Winship, establishing a fund to support patient care, research, education and community outreach.

“We are truly grateful to the trustees of the Glenn Foundation for their confidence in our breast center and the work that is done here,” says Walter J.  Curran, Jr., MD, executive director of the Winship Cancer Institute.  “The Glenn Foundation has a strong history of support for innovation. This gift amplifies that philosophy through its emphasis on high-impact funding in breast cancer research and programming. In addition, the size of the gift and manner in which it will be implemented send a clear signal to the National Cancer Institute that Winship is accelerating our progress to the next level in the NCI designation process.” 

According to the NCI, more than 200,000 women in the United States will be diagnosed with some form of breast cancer this year, and approximately 1 woman in 8 will be diagnosed with breast cancer during her lifetime.

“The Glenn Foundation’s innovative philanthropy capitalizes on the momentum already created by their earlier contributions,” says James Wagner, PhD, president of Emory University.  “This remarkable commitment challenges all of us to build on advances large and small and chart a bold course for growth that translates into better outcomes for breast cancer patients throughout Georgia and far beyond.”

The Winship breast team will use the gift to drive results in breast cancer research and care through:

A Strengthened Effort in Breast Cancer Biobanking: This gift will enable Winship to expand and strengthen its breast cancer tumor banking efforts and will leverage collaborations with the Avon Comprehensive Breast Center at Grady and Emory University Midtown Hospital.  This will make Winship’s breast cancer tissue bank among the most robust in the nation and will ensure full integration of patient outcomes.

High Risk Breast Cancer Care:  Building on its strength in assessing women at high risk for breast cancer or disease recurrence and its history of collaboration with other cancer centers, Winship will expand its multi-disciplinary approach to screen and care for more women.

Seed Grants:  Building on the success of the established Glenn Scholars program, these seed grants will support young investigators in their research in four critical areas: new therapeutics, early detection, health disparities and imaging.

Clinical Trials:  The Glenn Foundation grant will contribute to new clinical trials, including novel treatment trials such as those targeting women with high-risk breast cancer, such as triple negative disease and those women who currently lack access to quality breast health care and treatment. 

Survivorship:  The gift will strengthen Winship’s survivorship program to include an online database to match patients and caregivers with trained peer partners who offer support and guidance throughout treatment. 

Community Access:  Winship will build a stronger coordinated community outreach program to enhance access to cancer screening and early detection services throughout and beyond metro Atlanta.

“This visionary grant will benefit breast cancer patients and their loved ones now and far into the future,” says Wright Caughman, MD, interim chief executive officer of the Woodruff Health Sciences Center.  “The generosity and foresight reflected by this grant will empower the Winship Cancer Institute to make a lasting and tangible difference for women facing breast cancer.”  

Glenn Foundation trustee Lou Glenn firmly believes in the impact of scientific research and the importance of building on previous breakthroughs to advance our understanding of breast cancer. “We are indebted to those who invested in research so many years before our family was touched by cancer,” she says.  “Many lives have been saved because of previous investments and previous breakthroughs.”   

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