5.18.16 The Minnesota Ovarian Cancer Alliance (MOCA) is celebrating the organization’s 17th year with a research-funding milestone. At MOCA’s Annual Meeting on Monday, May 16, MOCA awarded a record $1,035,000 in funding for ovarian cancer research projects to 11 researchers at the Mayo Clinic and University of Minnesota. This is the largest amount of research funding the organization has awarded at one time since its inception in 1999 – and the first time MOCA has surpassed the $1 million mark in funding.
MOCA funds ovarian cancer research in Minnesota through an annual competitive grant program. These grants provide opportunities for Minnesota-based researchers to initiate new studies or continue current research on ovarian cancer.
The grant recipients were announced at MOCA’s Annual Meeting at the Hilton Bloomington. New this year, the heads of Minnesota’s Cancer Centers were on hand to talk about the critical role MOCA plays in bridging the funding gap. Mayo Clinic Cancer Center Director Robert Diasio, M.D. and University of Minnesota Masonic Cancer Center Director Douglas Yee, M.D., addressed the crowd at the meeting.
The 2016 awards put the total amount of research funding provided by MOCA at more than $6 million. This ranks MOCA among the top five, private, non-profit funders of ovarian cancer research in the nation. Research funding for the disease has always been a core mission of MOCA’s – as there is no test for the disease and too few effective treatments.
Find the full list of 2016 funded researchers here.
“The theme of this year’s meeting is ‘Ending Ovarian Cancer with You.’ And the meeting brings together researchers and the women who stand to benefit from their discoveries and their families who put their hope in MOCA in keeping the focus on ovarian cancer research,” said Kathleen Gavin, MOCA executive director. “And the fact is: the projects we fund here in Minnesota are getting us closer to ending this disease that impacts far too many women and families. These projects will lead us to an early detection test and better and more effective treatments. This funding is only made possible by our thousands of MOCA supporters throughout the state and the nation.”
Ovarian cancer is the fifth-leading cause of cancer death among women and is the deadliest gynecologic cancer. Nearly 400 women in Minnesota will be diagnosed with ovarian cancer this year.
Findings from MOCA-funded research projects have been published in peer-reviewed journals and presented at conferences throughout the country. Projects are selected annually through a competitive review process involving national experts in ovarian cancer research and local consumer reviewers.
After the presentations at the Annual Meeting, each researcher presented their ideas during a poster session during where attendees were able to meet the researchers and learn more about their projects.