Money boost for ideas combating breast cancer

11 April 2012 - 13:51 By Times LIVE

Medical equipment supplier GE awarded five organisations with R760 000 each for their innovative ideas on breast cancer research and treatment as part of the company's cancer innovation focus.

The University of Akron won for creating safer and stronger breast implants with cancer-fighting and healing properties.
The University of Akron won for creating safer and stronger breast implants with cancer-fighting and healing properties.
Image: http://challenge.healthymagination.com
The University of Akron won for creating safer and stronger breast implants with cancer-fighting and healing properties.
The University of Akron won for creating safer and stronger breast implants with cancer-fighting and healing properties.
Image: http://challenge.healthymagination.com

Called the GE healthymagination Cancer Challenge, the programme aims to accelerate cancer innovation through investment in cancer technology research and development.

GE senior vice president and chief marketing officer Beth Comstock says: "We launched the Challenge as a call to action for oncology researchers, businesses, and other innovators around the world to accelerate innovation and help stop this deadly disease.

"It is often challenging for early stage research to grab the attention of seed investors. The challenge has shown us that there are a remarkable number of breakthrough ideas that deserve promotion, investment and incubation."

The challenge focuses on early-stage breast cancer breakthroughs, and more than 500 ideas from 40 countries submitted.

The winning innovations could speed up breast cancer detection and diagnosis, helping identify effective treatment methods, thereby increasing patients' survival chances, says the company in a release.

The Challenge winners are:

  • Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Centre and Uganda Cancer Institute (UCI) in Kampala, for saving lives in developing countries.
  • Vanderbilt University in Tennessee, USA, for MyCancerGenome - personalised approach to triple negative breast cancer.
  • The University of Akron in Ohio, USA, for creating safer and stronger breast implants with cancer-fighting and healing properties.
  • Moffitt Cancer Centre in Florida, USA, for Identifying a Predisposition to cancer spread.
  • Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Centre, Tennessee, USA, for moving to personalised therapy for triple negative breast cancer.

"The five innovation award winners have the potential to help doctors find cancer earlier, make more accurate diagnoses and choose the best possible treatment," says GE in a statement. 

Click here for more information on the programme and its winners.

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