CDC Awards $3 Million Grant to Combat Interstitial Cystitis

Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and the Institute for Medical Research will collaborate on research to help clinicians more effectively manage interstitial cystitis.

A new grant from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will go toward developing a better understanding of how clinicians can effectively manage interstitial cystitis, a painful bladder disease that has a limited amount of effective treatment options.

The funding, a total of $3 million, will be split between Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles and the Institute for Medical Research, a nonprofit foundation that supports research and education at the Durham Veterans Affairs Medical Center in North Carolina.

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“To identify more effective treatments for our veterans and non-veterans alike, we must work together to gain a better understanding of the disease,” said Stephen J. Freedland, MD, director of the Cedars-Sinai Center for Integrated Research in Cancer and Lifestyle in the Cedars-Sinai Samuel Oschin Comprehensive Cancer Institute, in a statement.

He noted that the financing will be used to understand how common interstitial cystitis is, how age and gender can potentially influence risk, and if biomarkers for the disease exist.

“We have a large nationwide veteran population and sophisticated and integrated databases that allow our medical researchers to address the questions that remain unanswered for conditions such as interstitial cystitis across a large and diverse population,” said John Whited, MD, associate chief of staff of Research and Development at the Durham VA Medical Center, in a statement.

“This particular project highlights the strength of the Department of Veterans Affairs research program,” Dr. Whited said.

The researchers also expect to follow individual patients to assess how interstitial cystitis influences quality of life.