U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command &
Fort Detrick Public Affairs/Marketing Office, Fort Detrick, Maryland

July 15, 2003

Department of Defense Ovarian Cancer Research Awards

Award negotiations for the fiscal year 2002 (FY02) Department of Defense (DOD) Ovarian Cancer Research Program (OCRP) have just been completed. The office of the Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs (CDMRP) received $10.2 million (M) from Congress in FY02 to fund peer reviewed ovarian cancer research. Of the 201 proposals received in response to the March 13, 2002 Program Announcement, 17 were recommended for funding.

Since 1997, the DOD has been responsible for managing $61.7M in congressional appropriations for ovarian cancer research. Two funding mechanisms were offered. The Idea Development Award mechanism was designed to encourage innovative, high risk/high gain research ideas, and the Institutional Training Grant (ITG) award was designed to encourage the initiation of new postgraduate training programs in ovarian cancer to bring postgraduate trainees together in a stimulating research and training environment. As in previous years, the focus of the ovarian cancer research program was innovation. The following research areas were encouraged: (1) etiology, (2) prevention, (3) early detection/diagnosis, and (4) preclinical therapeutics.

Award negotiations for all FY02 awards have been completed. One ITG was funded at Massachusetts General Hospital. This ITG is a multi-institution training program that will provide structured mentoring to maximize the training experience and to increase the likelihood that the trainees will become independent researchers in ovarian cancer. The faculty participating in this training program span all of the major institutions and hospitals in the NCI-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center that includes Massachusetts General Hospital, Dana Farber Cancer Institute, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Beth Israel Hospital, New England Deaconess Hospital, the Harvard School of Public Health and Harvard Medical School. Sixteen Idea Development Awards were funded at the following institutions: Baylor College of Medicine; Temple University School of Medicine; University of California, San Diego; M.D. Anderson Cancer Center; University of Texas; Stanford University; Tulane University; University of Chicago; University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences; Fox Chase Cancer Center; Wright State University; Mount Sinai School of Medicine; Morehouse School of Medicine; and Pennsylvania State University, Milton S. Hershey Medical Center.

Among the topics addressed in the FY02 awards were studies to determine the biological mechanisms involved in the initiation, progression and spread of ovarian cancer. Other studies will try to determine why resistance to standard chemotherapeutic drugs occurs over time. Another study is looking at a method for early detection of ovarian cancer, a pressing issue because this cancer is often diagnosed at a late stage when treatment is not very effective. To look at these awards in more detail, please visit our web site at

Point of Contact: Gail Whitehead, 301-619-7783,