Award Recognizes Dr. Dannenberg's Groundbreaking Research Concerning the Connection Between Inflammation and Cancer
Oct 24, 2011
The American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) has presented the 2011 AACR–Prevent Cancer Foundation Award for Excellence in Cancer Prevention Research to Dr. Andrew J. Dannenberg, director of the Weill Cornell Cancer Center at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center and the Henry R. Erle, M.D.–Roberts Family Professor of Medicine at Weill Cornell Medical College.
The award is given annually for seminal laboratory, translational, clinical, epidemiological or behavioral science contributions to the field of cancer prevention, and was presented on Oct. 23, 2011, at the 10th Annual AACR International Conference Frontiers in Cancer Prevention Research in Boston.
Dr. Dannenberg's work has provided the basis for the transformative discovery linking obesity, inflammation and breast cancer. He is recognized for his work on the inflammation-cancer connection with an emphasis on prostaglandin biology. His research has been of major importance in explaining why levels of procarcinogenic prostaglandins are increased in inflamed tissues and tumors. He has also made major contributions to our understanding of why nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) including aspirin possess anticancer activity.
Dr. Dannenberg's seminal contributions include demonstrating that cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) is overexpressed in a variety of premalignant lesions and cancers; elucidating the mechanisms by which oncogenes, tumor suppressor genes, carcinogens and tumor promoters regulate COX-2 gene expression; utilizing both pharmacological and genetic strategies to establish the importance of targeting prostaglandin synthesis as a bona fide prevention strategy; defining the signal transduction pathways by which dietary and synthetic chemopreventive agents suppress COX-2 transcription and prostaglandin synthesis; and determining the signaling mechanism by which COX-derived prostaglandin E2 induced aromatase, the rate-limiting enzyme responsible for estrogen synthesis. This latter work led to an observational study in which the use of aspirin was associated with a reduced risk of hormone receptor-positive breast cancer.
In his most recent work, Dr. Dannenberg has made a major discovery that provides new insights into the link between obesity, inflammation and breast cancer. In a preclinical study, he utilized experimental models to demonstrate the presence of the obesity-inflammation axis in the mammary gland. Inflammation was associated with changes in the expression of genes previously linked to the development and progression of breast cancer. Subsequently, he successfully translated these preclinical findings in studies of women. Collectively, these findings help to explain the well established link between obesity and increased risk of breast cancer and provide the basis for developing new risk reduction strategies.
American Association for Cancer Research
The mission of the American Association for Cancer Research is to prevent and cure cancer. Founded in 1907, the AACR is the world's oldest and largest professional organization dedicated to advancing cancer research. The membership includes 33,000 laboratory, translational and clinical researchers; health care professionals; and cancer survivors and advocates in the United States and more than 90 other countries. The AACR marshals the full spectrum of expertise from the cancer community to accelerate progress in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of cancer through high-quality scientific and educational programs. It funds innovative, meritorious research grants, research fellowships and career development awards to young investigators, and it also funds cutting-edge research projects conducted by senior researchers. The AACR has numerous fruitful collaborations with organizations and foundations in the U.S. and abroad, and functions as the Scientific Partner of Stand Up To Cancer, a charitable initiative that supports groundbreaking research aimed at getting new cancer treatments to patients in an accelerated time frame. The AACR Annual Meeting attracts more than 17,000 participants who share the latest discoveries and developments in the field. Special Conferences throughout the year present novel data across a wide variety of topics in cancer research, treatment and patient care, and Educational Workshops are held for the training of young cancer investigators. The AACR publishes seven major peer-reviewed journals: Cancer Discovery; Cancer Research; Clinical Cancer Research; Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention; Molecular Cancer Therapeutics; Molecular Cancer Research; and Cancer Prevention Research. In 2010, AACR journals received 20 percent of the total number of citations given to oncology journals. The AACR also publishes Cancer Today, a magazine for cancer patients, survivors and their caregivers, which provides practical knowledge and new hope for cancer survivors. A major goal of the AACR is to educate the general public and policymakers about the value of cancer research in improving public health, the vital importance of increases in sustained funding for cancer research and biomedical science, and the need for national policies that foster innovation and the acceleration of progress against the 200 diseases we call cancer.
The Prevent Cancer Foundation
The Prevent Cancer Foundation was started in 1985. Today, it is one of the nation's leading health organizations and has catapulted cancer prevention to prominence. Through healthy lifestyle choices and screening, many cancers can be prevented. The Foundation funds research and community grants related to all types of cancer prevention and early detection and creates educational materials and programs particularly targeted towards breast, cervical, colorectal, lung, oral, prostate, skin and testicular cancers. Since its inception the Prevent Cancer Foundation has provided more than $120 million in support of cancer prevention and early detection research, education and community outreach programs across the country. The Foundation has funded over 430 peer-reviewed research projects in 39 states, and three in Canada, in more than 150 leading research institutions nationwide. This research has been pivotal in developing a body of knowledge that is the basis for important cancer prevention and early detection strategies. For more information, please visit www.preventcancer.org.
NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center
NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center, located in New York City, is one of the leading academic medical centers in the world, comprising the teaching hospital NewYork-Presbyterian and Weill Cornell Medical College, the medical school of Cornell University. NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell provides state-of-the-art inpatient, ambulatory and preventive care in all areas of medicine, and is committed to excellence in patient care, education, research and community service. Weill Cornell physician-scientists have been responsible for many medical advances — including the development of the Pap test for cervical cancer; the synthesis of penicillin; the first successful embryo-biopsy pregnancy and birth in the U.S.; the first clinical trial for gene therapy for Parkinson's disease; the first indication of bone marrow's critical role in tumor growth; and, most recently, the world's first successful use of deep brain stimulation to treat a minimally conscious brain-injured patient. NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital also comprises NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center, NewYork-Presbyterian/Morgan Stanley Children's Hospital, NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Westchester Division and NewYork-Presbyterian/The Allen Hospital. NewYork-Presbyterian is the #1 hospital in the New York metropolitan area and is consistently ranked among the best academic medical institutions in the nation, according to U.S.News & World Report. Weill Cornell Medical College is the first U.S. medical college to offer a medical degree overseas and maintains a strong global presence in Austria, Brazil, Haiti, Tanzania, Turkey and Qatar. For more information, visit www.nyp.org and weill.cornell.edu.