WASHINGTON — U.S. government researchers said Wednesday they had started spending the proceeds from a special breast cancer stamp, handing out grants to scientists studying tumor genetics, diet, and how cancer is treated.
The National Cancer Institute said it had awarded $6.7 million in grants to more than 30 researchers--all of it money raised by the U.S. Postal Service's special-issue breast cancer stamp.
"There are over a dozen critical areas of breast cancer research that will benefit from this innovative funding and help us answer some scientific questions, as well as set up research opportunities for the next five to 10 years," NCI Director Dr. Richard Klausner said in a statement.
The stamp, first issued in 1997, was the first to be dedicated to raising funds for a special cause. Each stamp sold for 40 cents raises 7 cents for research.
Sales have generated more than $15 million.
Some of the researchers getting grants include:
* Bruce Blumberg, UC Irvine, who will spend $218,000 studying a cellular doorway used by plant estrogens that might protect against cancer.
* Carolyn Gotay of the University of Hawaii, who will spend $202,000 studying how decisions to treat minority women for breast cancer are made.
* Dr. Paola Muti of the State University of New York at Buffalo, who will spend $77,000 to study whether a diet rich in nuts, fruits and vegetables can affect blood levels of plant sterols and reduce the risk of breast cancer.
* Dr. Edward Sauter of Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia, who will receive $236,000 to study whether taking breast biopsies through the nipple is a safer and less painful way to check for breast cancer.