Ohio State Awarded $11.3 Million for Thyroid Cancer Research

January 08, 2014
Ohio State Awarded 113 Million for Thyroid Cancer Research Matthew Ringel

Prestigious National Cancer Institute SPORE grant third for cancer center

COLUMBUS, Ohio –The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center – Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute (OSUCCC – James) has been awarded a five-year, $11.3 million Specialized Program of Research Excellence (SPORE) grant by the National Cancer Institute (NCI) to study and treat thyroid cancer.

SPORE grants focus on clinical/translational science and support projects expected to result in new and diverse approaches to prevention, early detection and treatment of cancer relatively quickly. This is the third SPORE awarded by the NCI to the OSUCCC – James and the first to be awarded for the study of thyroid cancer. Only 20 academic institutions hold SPOREs across the United States.

The award follows the NCI’s renewal of a five-year, $11.2 million Program Project Grant to fund thyroid cancer research.
The new SPORE grant is led by principal investigator Matthew D. Ringel, MD, and supports four distinct research projects—three based at Ohio State, one at MD Anderson—as well as shared research cores, a career development program and a pilot research grant initiative. The four research projects address critical knowledge gaps in thyroid cancer care and complement projects supported by the thyroid cancer Program Project Grant, also led by Ringel.

“Thyroid cancer incidence rates are rising faster than all cancers in the United States, making it the fifth most common malignancy in women and 11th most common in men,” says Ringel, co-director of the thyroid cancer unit at The OSUCCC – James, director of the division of endocrinology, diabetes, and metabolism at Ohio State, and member of the Molecular Biology and Cancer Genetics Program. “Thyroid cancers are often slow growing and silent, so the population of long-term survivors is quite large. Determining predisposing factors for thyroid cancer, reducing side-effects of treatments, and developing better treatments and biomarkers for those patients with aggressive tumors are all challenges in the treatment of this disease. We are honored and excited to have such tremendous support from the NCI to bolster our knowledge of the molecular mechanisms that underlie thyroid cancer and to develop more effective strategies for treating the disease.”

The OSUCCC – James/MD Anderson thyroid SPORE grant’s four projects include:

  • A study that looks at genes that predispose people to papillary cancer. The goal is to develop a panel of gene changes that predict the risk of developing thyroid cancer in individual patients. The study is co-led by Albert de la Chapelle, MD, PhD, professor of medicine and the Leonard J. Immke Jr. and Charlotte L. Immke Chair in Cancer Research, and Rebecca Nagy, MS,CGC, associate professor of medicine in Ohio State’s division of human genetics.
  • A study that attempts to identify biomarkers of damage to salivary glands and develop novel therapies to protect the salivary glands from radioiodine used to treat thyroid cancer. The study is co-led by Sissy Jhiang, PhD, professor in the department of physiology and cell biology, and Ricardo Carrau, MD, professor in the department of otolaryngology – head and neck surgery.
  • A study that focuses on devising effective second-line treatments for patient with progressive medullary thyroid cancer and develops tumor-based biomarkers for this form of thyroid cancer. The study is co-led by Ringel and Manisha Shah, MD, professor of medicine in the division of medical oncology.
  • A study to investigate novel blood-based biomarkers to predict prognosis and response to therapy patients with medullary thyroid cancer. This study is co-led by Steven Sherman, MD, chair and professor of endocrinology neoplasia and hormonal disorders and Gilbert Cote, PhD, professor of endocrine neoplasia and hormonal disorders at MD Anderson Cancer Center.

To learn more about thyroid cancer research and patient care at The OSUCCC-James, visit cancer.osu.edu.

About The OSUCCC – James

The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center – Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute strives to create a cancer-free world by integrating scientific research with excellence in education and patient-centered care, a strategy that leads to better methods of prevention, detection and treatment. Ohio State is one of only 41 National Cancer Institute (NCI)-designated Comprehensive Cancer Centers and one of only four in the United States funded by the NCI to conduct both phase I and phase II clinical trials. The NCI recently rated Ohio State’s cancer program as “exceptional,” the highest rating given by NCI survey teams. As the cancer program’s 228-bed adult patient-care component, The James is a “Top Hospital” as named by the Leapfrog Group and one of the top cancer hospitals in the nation as ranked by U.S.News & World Report.

Media Contact: Amanda J. Harper, OSUCCC-James Director of Media Relations, 614-293-3737 (central line), 614-585-5420 (direct) or Amanda.Harper2@osumc.edu

Contact Media Staff

Amanda Harper

Director of Media Relations

614-685-5420 (direct)

614-293-3737 (main)


Media staff are available by calling 614-293-3737 Monday through Friday between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m.


If after hours, please call 614-293-8000 (ask the operator to page the hospital administrative manager).

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