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Komen’s Second Funding Debate

The cancer charity is embroiled in an argument over embryonic stem cell research.

By | February 8, 2012

image: Komen’s Second Funding Debate Wikimedia Commons, MesserWoland

WIKIMEDIA COMMONS, MESSERWOLAND

After a public and passionate debate over its funding of Planned Parenthood, breast cancer charity Susan G. Komen for the Cure has become embroiled in another controversy, this one over its role in funding embryonic stem cell (ESC) research.

Last week, an online pro-life publication, LifeNews.com, published a story claiming that the Komen foundation had stopped funding ESC research for breast cancer, ScienceInsider reported. The article was the result of a confusing swarm of online reports: Last year, a tax analysis touted by LifeNews.com said that the charity gave $12 million in research funds to five institutions where human embryonic stem cell research was conducted. Then, in November, the foundation posted a statement on its website saying that it does not support embryonic stem cell research. This response led to the story claiming that the organization had stopped funding the $12 million in research grants.

The Komen foundation has since cleared up the issue. In a statement made on Sunday (5 February), the organization said that ESCs have not been used in any research funded by Komen, and the organization has not de-funded any grantee based on ESC research being performed at his or her institution.

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Avatar of: Scientist55

Scientist55

Posts: 6

February 8, 2012

These recent issues from the Komen Foundation are just the tip of the iceberg.  Komen once was one of the most innovative granting agencies due to the blinding of grant applicant names from reviewers.  In 2010, Komen did a complete turn around when the "medical industrial complex" essentially took over Komen funding and funds were just simply given (without innovative grant ideas) to Komen "advisors" based on a good old boy/girl network.  Not sure where Komen is going but it is likely to experience declining support. These are ominous developments for cancer funding in a time of limited Federal support for cancer research due to a nearly broke and mismanaged NCI.

Avatar of: FJScientist

FJScientist

Posts: 52

February 8, 2012

I was the fortunate recipient of a Komen grant many years ago. What I valued most was going to the Komen conference and interacting directly with patients. It taught me that my explanations for why our work, so far removed from the day-to-day difficulties experienced by those patients, had to be improved. It also focussed me towards research with more immediate goals of relevance to the patient population. So, I am grateful to the Komen Foundation and other like-minded agencies that have started as grass-roots organizers of patient advocates.

I was unaware of some of the societal undertones within the Komen organization until the recent blow-up over planned parenthood and I am just reading here about their reticence to funding ES work. Sometimes the leadership of an organization mistakes their own personal agendas for the goals of the organization they are supposed to serve (not visa-versa). The question is whether Komen is hearing that message. If not, patients, advocates, donors and researchers have a variety of different agencies in the breast cancer field that they can turn to.

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

February 8, 2012

These recent issues from the Komen Foundation are just the tip of the iceberg.  Komen once was one of the most innovative granting agencies due to the blinding of grant applicant names from reviewers.  In 2010, Komen did a complete turn around when the "medical industrial complex" essentially took over Komen funding and funds were just simply given (without innovative grant ideas) to Komen "advisors" based on a good old boy/girl network.  Not sure where Komen is going but it is likely to experience declining support. These are ominous developments for cancer funding in a time of limited Federal support for cancer research due to a nearly broke and mismanaged NCI.

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

February 8, 2012

I was the fortunate recipient of a Komen grant many years ago. What I valued most was going to the Komen conference and interacting directly with patients. It taught me that my explanations for why our work, so far removed from the day-to-day difficulties experienced by those patients, had to be improved. It also focussed me towards research with more immediate goals of relevance to the patient population. So, I am grateful to the Komen Foundation and other like-minded agencies that have started as grass-roots organizers of patient advocates.

I was unaware of some of the societal undertones within the Komen organization until the recent blow-up over planned parenthood and I am just reading here about their reticence to funding ES work. Sometimes the leadership of an organization mistakes their own personal agendas for the goals of the organization they are supposed to serve (not visa-versa). The question is whether Komen is hearing that message. If not, patients, advocates, donors and researchers have a variety of different agencies in the breast cancer field that they can turn to.

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

February 8, 2012

These recent issues from the Komen Foundation are just the tip of the iceberg.  Komen once was one of the most innovative granting agencies due to the blinding of grant applicant names from reviewers.  In 2010, Komen did a complete turn around when the "medical industrial complex" essentially took over Komen funding and funds were just simply given (without innovative grant ideas) to Komen "advisors" based on a good old boy/girl network.  Not sure where Komen is going but it is likely to experience declining support. These are ominous developments for cancer funding in a time of limited Federal support for cancer research due to a nearly broke and mismanaged NCI.

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

February 8, 2012

I was the fortunate recipient of a Komen grant many years ago. What I valued most was going to the Komen conference and interacting directly with patients. It taught me that my explanations for why our work, so far removed from the day-to-day difficulties experienced by those patients, had to be improved. It also focussed me towards research with more immediate goals of relevance to the patient population. So, I am grateful to the Komen Foundation and other like-minded agencies that have started as grass-roots organizers of patient advocates.

I was unaware of some of the societal undertones within the Komen organization until the recent blow-up over planned parenthood and I am just reading here about their reticence to funding ES work. Sometimes the leadership of an organization mistakes their own personal agendas for the goals of the organization they are supposed to serve (not visa-versa). The question is whether Komen is hearing that message. If not, patients, advocates, donors and researchers have a variety of different agencies in the breast cancer field that they can turn to.

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

February 9, 2012

to fjscientist:  there are lot of legal ambiguities that would deter funding organizations from supporting ESC research.  until these are resolved, I would think it to be prudent for Komen not to fund this type of research.  however, funding mammogram referrals at PP, which should be provided for the cost of slip of paper, runs against this perceived prudence, confirming to me that your argument is correct. 

to scientist55:  it would be interesting to learn more details about how "Komen did a complete turn around" in funding methodology in 2010.  also, i would like to know more about how the NCI is mismanaged.  honestly, i think you're just blowing smoke.

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

February 9, 2012

Where there is smoke, there is (usually) fire.  Read my post about Komen which says enough and look at the extremely low funding levels at NCI.  You must not be in this fight for cancer research funding or you would be aware of these facts. 

BTW...no need to hide your rudeness with so called honesty...and...this is a site called Scientist not Wing Nut Politicist.

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

February 9, 2012

...or, I'm a manager at NCI...  pardon my perceived rudeness.  mostly, i just wanted to help you and potential readers realize that your matter of fact statements are deficient of supporting evidence.  a reduced amount of funding provided by the United States government to NCI does not cause NCI to be 'mismanaged'. 

researchers receiving Komen funding (and many more) would find your statement that "the "medical industrial complex" essentially took over Komen funding and
funds were just simply given (without innovative grant ideas) to Komen
"advisors" based on a good old boy/girl network" to be ridiculous. 

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

February 9, 2012

1728383951

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

February 9, 2012

to fjscientist:  there are lot of legal ambiguities that would deter funding organizations from supporting ESC research.  until these are resolved, I would think it to be prudent for Komen not to fund this type of research.  however, funding mammogram referrals at PP, which should be provided for the cost of slip of paper, runs against this perceived prudence, confirming to me that your argument is correct. 

to scientist55:  it would be interesting to learn more details about how "Komen did a complete turn around" in funding methodology in 2010.  also, i would like to know more about how the NCI is mismanaged.  honestly, i think you're just blowing smoke.

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

February 9, 2012

Where there is smoke, there is (usually) fire.  Read my post about Komen which says enough and look at the extremely low funding levels at NCI.  You must not be in this fight for cancer research funding or you would be aware of these facts. 

BTW...no need to hide your rudeness with so called honesty...and...this is a site called Scientist not Wing Nut Politicist.

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

February 9, 2012

...or, I'm a manager at NCI...  pardon my perceived rudeness.  mostly, i just wanted to help you and potential readers realize that your matter of fact statements are deficient of supporting evidence.  a reduced amount of funding provided by the United States government to NCI does not cause NCI to be 'mismanaged'. 

researchers receiving Komen funding (and many more) would find your statement that "the "medical industrial complex" essentially took over Komen funding and
funds were just simply given (without innovative grant ideas) to Komen
"advisors" based on a good old boy/girl network" to be ridiculous. 

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

February 9, 2012

1728383951

Avatar of: 1728383951

1728383951

Posts: 3

February 9, 2012

to fjscientist:  there are lot of legal ambiguities that would deter funding organizations from supporting ESC research.  until these are resolved, I would think it to be prudent for Komen not to fund this type of research.  however, funding mammogram referrals at PP, which should be provided for the cost of slip of paper, runs against this perceived prudence, confirming to me that your argument is correct. 

to scientist55:  it would be interesting to learn more details about how "Komen did a complete turn around" in funding methodology in 2010.  also, i would like to know more about how the NCI is mismanaged.  honestly, i think you're just blowing smoke.

Avatar of: Scientist55

Scientist55

Posts: 6

February 9, 2012

Where there is smoke, there is (usually) fire.  Read my post about Komen which says enough and look at the extremely low funding levels at NCI.  You must not be in this fight for cancer research funding or you would be aware of these facts. 

BTW...no need to hide your rudeness with so called honesty...and...this is a site called Scientist not Wing Nut Politicist.

Avatar of: 1728383951

1728383951

Posts: 3

February 9, 2012

...or, I'm a manager at NCI...  pardon my perceived rudeness.  mostly, i just wanted to help you and potential readers realize that your matter of fact statements are deficient of supporting evidence.  a reduced amount of funding provided by the United States government to NCI does not cause NCI to be 'mismanaged'. 

researchers receiving Komen funding (and many more) would find your statement that "the "medical industrial complex" essentially took over Komen funding and
funds were just simply given (without innovative grant ideas) to Komen
"advisors" based on a good old boy/girl network" to be ridiculous. 

Avatar of: 1728383951

1728383951

Posts: 3

February 9, 2012

1728383951

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