(AUSTIN) — The Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT) today awarded eight grants totaling more than $13 million dedicated to expanding access to cancer clinical trials in Texas, including one new award that will strengthen clinical trial network infrastructure, two first-of-their-kind CPRIT awards to encourage increased participation in clinical trials and five awards that support the next generation of promising clinical investigators.

Scientists need a large pool of ethnically diverse patients to translate research findings into life-saving therapies. But research shows that people with annual household incomes below $50,000 are less likely to enroll in a clinical trial when they must incur unreimbursed participation costs. A cancer diagnosis is hard enough without additional financial obstacles such as travel to the clinical trial site, lodging when the site is far from home and childcare. Championed by State Representative Tan Parker through House Bill 3147 in the 86th Legislature, the Texas Clinical Trials Participation Program Award removes these economic barriers limiting clinical trial participation. The first-time awards to Baylor College of Medicine and The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center are models for future projects in Texas and across the country.

Although Texas has some of the country’s premier cancer research institutions, cancer clinical trial sites are limited. CPRIT’s new Clinical Trials Network Award will expand the number of institutions and locations offering clinical trials, bringing new treatment opportunities closer to Texans. CPRIT’s first award in this multiyear effort funds The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center’s to develop an initial network at Lyndon B. Johnson Hospital of Harris County and The University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston County to increase minority enrollment in cancer clinical trials. The grant will also grow the network outside of Houston to areas with underserved minority populations.

“Clinical trials are essential to developing new cancer drugs and therapies," reports Wayne Roberts, CPRIT's Chief Executive Officer. "Today’s awards address two challenges of clinical trials– enrolling more patients from all economic and ethnic backgrounds and increasing the number of trial sites available. These awards will accelerate new treatments and allow more Texans access to these lifesaving innovations."

Texas’ goal of increasing access to clinical trials requires a deep bench of experienced clinical trial investigators to lead patient-oriented studies. In addition to the three new clinical trial awards, CPRIT approved five Early Clinical Investigator Awards for clinical researchers at Texas institutions who are taking laboratory findings and translating them through clinical trials.

About the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas

To date, CPRIT has awarded $2.9 billion in grants to Texas research institutions and organizations through its academic research, prevention and product development research programs. CPRIT has recruited 237 distinguished researchers, supported the establishment, expansion or relocation of 43 companies to Texas and generated over $5.7 billion in additional public and private investment. CPRIT funding has advanced scientific and clinical knowledge and provided 7.4 million life-saving cancer prevention and early detection services reaching Texans from all 254 counties. On November 5, 2019, Texas voters overwhelmingly approved a constitutional amendment to provide an additional $3 billion to CPRIT for a total $6 billion investment in cancer research and prevention.

Learn more at https://cprit.texas.gov/. Follow CPRIT on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.


Texas Clinical Trials Participation Program Awards – Two grants totaling $2,999,327

Baylor College of Medicine

  • Dan L. Duncan Comprehensive Cancer Center Harris Health Clinical Trials Financial Support Project (Martha Mims) - $1,500,000

The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center

  • Enhancing Access to and Diversity in Cancer Clinical Trials Through a Financial Reimbursement and Outreach Program (David Gerber) - $1,499,327

Clinical Trials Network Awards – One grant totaling $3,000,000

The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center

  • Building a Clinical Trial Network for Texas Community Affiliates (Michael Overman) - $3,000,000

Early Clinical Investigator Awards – Five grants totaling $7,442,391

The University of Texas at Austin

  • Targeting Src Homology-2 Domain-Containing Phosphatase to Overcome Resistance to Immune Checkpoint Blockade in Pancreatic Ductal Adenocarcinoma (Kyaw Aung) - $1,443,367

The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio

  • Early Clinical Investigator Award (William Kelly) - $1,499,985

The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center

  • CPRIT Early Clinical Investigator Award (Moran Amit) - $1,499,042
  • CPRIT Early Clinical Investigator Award (Carl Gay) - $1,499,997

The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center

  • Targeting Altered Metabolism in IDH-Mutant Glioma (Kalil Abdullah) - $1,500,000