Health Sciences Campus

ECU researchers receive cancer grants

By Doug Boyd
ECU News Services

Dr. Ted Bertrand
GREENVILLE, N.C.  (Jan. 31, 2013)  —  Researchers at East Carolina University are studying better ways to detect and treat prostate cancer with help from grants from Triad Golfers Against Cancer.

Dr. Ted Bertrand, a scientist and assistant professor in the Department of Oncology at the Brody School of Medicine at ECU, received $40,000 for use in better identifying molecular pathways that are present in all cell types and active in many cancers. This research is designed to improve the detection of prostate cancers and treat them for therapeutic benefit.

Dr. Qun Lu, a professor of anatomy and cell biology at the Brody School of Medicine, is collaborating with Drs. Michael Woods, Hong Jin Kim and Carol Otey at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in a study aimed at improving ways of detecting prostate cancer. The project, funded by a $50,000 grant, is designed to develop a urine-base test with likely application in other cancer types. The new test would be an alternative to "the punch," or the insertion of a probe into the prostate that is the current standard of care but can lead to a high number of cases of infection and other complications.

Triad Golfers Against Cancer announced the grants last week as part of $250,000 in cancer research grants year to four medical facilities in North Carolina. The grants will be used for further research into causes and searches toward cures for cancers related primarily to breast, ovarian and prostate issues, but can also be beneficial in early detection of other forms of cancer.

Seven individual grants ranging from $15,000 to $50,000 each were awarded to the cancer research centers at ECU, UNC-Chapel Hill, Wake Forest University and Duke University. Grant recipients were chosen by a GAC research committee following interviews with medical school representatives and were based on viability and scope of institutional research and the ability to procure matching grants to add to the GAC awards.

GAC was founded in 2005 as a local unit of a national charitable organization started in Houston eight years earlier by golfers who were committed to raising money for cancer research across the nation. Since its formation, GAC has raised and donated almost $2 million for cancer research at North Carolina cancer centers. That total has been expanded to more than $8 million in additional funding from other sources benefiting North Carolina medical research facilities.

Nationally, more than $20 million has been raised by golfer groups since 1997.
Dr. Qun Lu
Dr. Qun Lu

Contact: Doug Boyd | 252-744-2482