The V Foundation for Cancer Research, one of the leading funders of cancer research in the United States, is partnering with the San Francisco-based BRCA Foundation and the Gray Foundation to fund research of cancers that derive from BRCA or BRCA-like mutations.
Women and men born with a mutated copy of either BRCA1 or BRCA2 are at a significantly increased risk of developing cancer. This research will advance the study of inherited mutations in BRCA1 and BRCA2, genes that produce tumor suppressor proteins.
Each organization will provide a $1.5 million challenge to the V Foundation for BRCA Research Collaborative Grants for a combined investment $6 million for the cutting-edge research.
"Research focused on the BRCA1 and 2 genes encompasses cutting-edge aspects of clinical, translational and basic research, including germline and tumor genetic testing, new approaches to early detection and prevention, circulating tumor DNA, novel therapeutics targeting DNA repair and many others," said James M. Ford, M.D., member of the V Foundation's Scientific Advisory Committee and Professor of Medicine/Oncology and Genetics at the Stanford School of Medicine.
"This challenge gift will fund substantial and exciting new approaches to helping carriers of these cancer susceptibility genes, as well as many other cancer patients,” he added.
“Working together to beat BRCA cancer is at the heart of our mission. The partnership with the V Foundation and the Basser Initiative at the Gray Foundation creates a powerhouse that allows us to take the BRCA cancer research to the next level,” said Evan Goldberg, Founder of Oracle NetSuite and Chairman, President and Director of BRCA Foundation.
A member of the V Foundation’s Board of Directors, Goldberg launched the BRCA Foundation early this year to bring about new therapies, cures and preventative treatments for those carrying hereditary BRCA gene mutations.
Goldberg, who was adopted shortly after birth, learned he carries the mutation after his birth mother contacted him following her positive genetic test and the second bout of breast cancer. His adoptive and biological parents are both of Ashkenazi Jewish descent, one of the ethnic and geographic groups with a much higher prevalence of harmful BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations.
Mindy Gray, Co-Founder of the Gray Foundation, said the organization is thrilled to be helping raise both awareness and new funding to support BRCA research.
“Jon and I are excited to partner with the BRCA Foundation and the V Foundation to break down barriers, enhance collaborations and ultimately envision the world that gives better options to the generations of families who face the decisions that come with having a BRCA mutation,” she said.
Mindy and Jon Gray established the Basser Center for BRCA at the University of Pennsylvania’s Abramson Cancer Center in 2012. The Basser Center was named in honor of Faith Basser, Mindy’s sister who died of ovarian cancer at the age of 44. It was the first center in the world dedicated to the treatment, prevention and cure of BRCA-related cancers.
The Grays have given more than $30 million to the Basser Center and additionally fund research at a number of other leading cancer centers.