UCLA scientists studying whether BPA can stimulate breast cancer tumor growth; breast cancer organization announces contribution of US$450,000 to project

DALLAS , November 30, 2011 (press release) – A team of UCLA scientists is studying whether a chemical commonly found in plastic bottles and food packaging can be linked to breast cancer, with research funding announced today by Susan G. Komen for the Cure(R), the world's largest breast cancer organization.

The $450,000 UCLA study to Susan Krum, Ph.D., will investigate whether the chemical, Bisphenol A (BPA) can stimulate breast cancer tumor growth. BPA has been linked to cancer in animal and laboratory studies and is said to mimic estrogen, leading to questions about whether BPA can be linked to breast cancer development in humans. Komen hopes to bring more clarity to the BPA controversy with this research.

"Our research investments are geared to bringing results to the table -- and soon -- for the most difficult questions remaining in breast cancer," said Ambassador Nancy G. Brinker, founder and CEO of Komen for the Cure.

Another $180,000 grant to UCLA researcher Noriyuki Kasahara, M.D., Ph.D., is aimed at treatments that could stop cancer cells from metastasizing to the brain.

The UCLA grants are part of Komen's $66 million investment in new research, patient support and scientific conferences in 2011, with $10.1 million in new research projects earmarked to California institutions this year alone. Komen is currently funding 68 active grants totaling $30 million in California. Since 1982, Komen has invested $685 million to global breast cancer research.

Komen President Elizabeth Thompson said the Los Angeles grants address key areas of focus for Komen: understanding environmental factors that may be linked with breast cancer, and developing treatments for aggressive and metastatic disease. "These grants tie squarely to our mission to fund cutting-edge science along the entire cancer continuum -- from prevention to early diagnostics, more effective treatments, disparities in outcomes, and answers for aggressive and metastatic disease," she said.

The 2011 Komen research grants augment more than $93 million in community grants provided in local communities by Komen's 120 Affiliates nationwide. Seventy-five percent of funds raised by Komen Affiliates stay in the community for screening, treatment, education and support programs; the rest helps fund national research programs.

"The research projects we're investing in today are critical to the momentum we've built during the last 30 years in our quest to understand, and ultimately solve, the many questions surrounding breast cancer," said Eric Winer, M.D., Komen's chief scientific advisor, chief of the Division of Women's Cancers at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Professor of Medicine at Harvard University.

About Susan G. Komen for the Cure(R)

Nancy G. Brinker promised her dying sister, Susan G. Komen, she would do everything in her power to end breast cancer forever. In 1982, that promise became Susan G. Komen for the Cure, which is now the world's largest breast cancer organization and the largest source of nonprofit funds dedicated to the fight against breast cancer with almost $2 billion invested to date. For more information about Susan G. Komen for the Cure, breast health or breast cancer, visit komen.org or call 1-877 GO KOMEN.

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