Thyroid Cancer Experts and Survivors Collaborate To Provide 2008 Thyroid Cancer Research Grants

May 1, 2008

ThyCa: Cherry Wunderlich, 301-493-8810,
ATA: Jennifer Reising, 703-300-9248,

Thyroid Cancer Experts and Survivors Collaborate To Provide 2008 Thyroid Cancer Research Grants

(FALLS CHURCH, VA)—The American Thyroid Association (ATA) and ThyCa: Thyroid Cancer Survivors’ Association, Inc. are awarding two new research grants in 2008 and renewing two grants on thyroid cancer, one of the few cancers significantly increasing in the number of newly-diagnosed patients.

ThyCa’s grants are the first-ever thyroid cancer research grants to be funded by thyroid cancer patients, caregivers, and friends. The ATA and ThyCa have been working together to provide research funds to new investigators for thyroid cancer research projects since 2003.

“ThyCa: Thyroid Cancer Survivors’ Association is thrilled to raise much-needed funds for thyroid cancer research and is grateful for the opportunity to work with the ATA. We’re grateful to our thousands of donors and pleased to provide these funds to the best thyroid cancer research projects proposed by young investigators, because more research on thyroid cancer is urgently needed,” says ThyCa Executive Director Gary Bloom.

The grants are open to researchers worldwide. An independent expert ATA panel rigorously evaluates the grant proposals and selects the projects to be funded. The ATA panel is made up of thyroid cancer experts, thyroidologists, and thyroid surgeons. The ATA also supports the administrative costs of the grant review process. The ATA fosters excellence in research, patient care, and education of patients, the public, and the medical and scientific communities. Similarly, the ATA is dedicated to guiding public policy about the prevention and management of thyroid diseases.

“The ATA values its relationship with ThyCa furthering its mission to support research of thyroid cancer and thyroid disease. We are proud of the invaluable public service by ATA members to the research review committee,” said Richard Kloos, M.D., secretary/chief operating officer of the ATA.

The grants support new investigators for a research project in thyroid cancer and +one in medullary thyroid cancer. Research grants, up to $25,000 annually, are awarded for two-year terms, with renewals based on satisfactory progress report from funded investigators in the fourth quarter of the first year.
In 2008, thyroid cancer is expected to reach a record number of 37,340 newly diagnosed people in the United States, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the American Cancer Society.

2008 ATA/ThyCa Grant Recipient Renewals – Thyroid Cancer
Krystian Jazdzewski, M.D., Ph.D
Assistant Professor, Medical University of Gdansk, Poland
Visiting Scientist, The Ohio State University
Project: The Role of miR146a in Papillary Thyroid Carcinoma
Krystian Jazdzewski, M.D., Ph.D., and his research team are searching for genetic factors which predispose those to papillary thyroid carcinoma (PTC). It is worthwhile because an inherited predisposition to differentiated thyroid cancer is very strong, one of the highest of all cancers (3- to 8-fold higher risk for first-degree relatives than in general population).

2008 ATA/ThyCa Grant Recipient Renewals – Medullary Thyroid Cancer
Mabel Ryder, M.D.
Assistant Attending Physician, Division of Endocrinology, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York
Project: The Role of Tumor-Associated Macrophages on Thyroid Cancer Progression
Thyroid cancers are richly infiltrated with immune cells, in particular tumor-associated macrophages (TAMs). Yet, their role on thyroid cancer progression has not been clearly investigated.
Mabel Ryder, M.D., and her research team have shown that the density of TAMs correlates with tumor grade and tumor progression in well-differentiated, poorly-differentiated and anaplastic human thyroid cancers, suggesting that TAMs may be involved in thyroid cancer progression. Dr. Ryder will examine the functional role of TAMs on thyroid cancer progression, on tumor angiogenesis and on tumor metastases.

About ThyCa: Thyroid Cancer Survivors’ Association, Inc.
ThyCa: Thyroid Cancer Survivors’ Association, a national nonprofit organization begun in 1995 and advised by thyroid cancer specialists, educates and supports patients and families through free support services and education.

Services include its award-winning educational web site, local and e-mail support groups, person-to-person support, free newsletters, the free downloadable low-iodine cookbook, and other publications. ThyCa also sponsors year-round awareness programs for early detection, Thyroid Cancer Awareness Month each September, educational conferences and workshops, and thyroid cancer research funds and grant funding.

The 11th International Thyroid Cancer Survivors’ Conference will take place in St. Louis, Missouri, on October 17-19, 2008. Conference, workshop, and support service details are at To find out more about ThyCa’s Research Funds and Rally for Research, visit

About ATA

The American Thyroid Association (ATA) is the lead organization in promoting thyroid health and understanding thyroid biology. The ATA values scientific inquiry, clinical excellence, public service, education, collaboration, and collegiality.

A non-profit medical society founded in 1923, the ATA fulfills its mission through supporting excellence and innovation in research, clinical care, education, and public health. ATA members are physicians and scientists who work to enhance the understanding of thyroid physiology and pathophysiology, improve the diagnosis and treatment of thyroid diseases, and promote the education of physicians, patients, and the public about thyroid disorders.

Thyroid diseases are among the most common disorders of the endocrine system, affecting almost 13 million Americans alone. The ATA has extensive online information for patients on thyroid disease (in English and Spanish) serving the clinician as a resource for patients and the public who look for reliable information on the internet. To further benefit patients, the ATA Alliance for Patient Education was formed in 2002 to offer an exchange of information between the ATA and patient education groups: ThyCa: Thyroid Cancer Survivors’ Association, Inc.; the Light of Life Foundation, and the National Graves’ Disease Foundation. A public forum is held each year in conjunction with the ATA annual meeting.

Thyroid Research grants total over $275,000 annually to young investigators. Publications sourced by this research and application procedures are available at An ATA national workshop, Frontiers in Thyroid Cancer: ATA Guidelines in Clinical Practice will be in Boston on July 11-12, 2008 at the Boston Park Plaza. The 79th annual meeting of the ATA will be in Chicago from October 1-5, 2008 at the Sheraton Chicago Hotel & Towers. All registration and program information is available at We welcome your participation.