Andrew J. Dannenberg, M.D., Honored With AACR-Prevent Cancer Foundation Award for Excellence in Cancer Prevention Research

(Philadelphia, Pa.) — The AACR will present the 2011 AACR-Prevent Cancer Foundation Award for Excellence in Cancer Prevention Research to Andrew J. Dannenberg, M.D., at the 10th AACR International Conference on Frontiers in Cancer Prevention Research, held Oct. 22-25, 2011. Dannenberg is director of the Weill Cornell Cancer Center and director of cancer prevention at New York-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center. He is also the Henry R. Erle, M.D.-Roberts Family Professor of Medicine at Weill Cornell Medical College.

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. Dannenberg’s 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 show chemopreventive activity.

The AACR-Prevent Cancer Foundation Award for Excellence in Cancer Prevention Research is given annually for seminal laboratory, translational, clinical, epidemiological or behavioral science contributions to the field of cancer prevention.

Dannenberg’s significant contributions include demonstrating that COX-2 was 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 for hormone receptor-positive breast cancer.
In his most recent work that provides new insights into the link between obesity, inflammation and breast cancer, Dannenberg conducted a preclinical study in which he used experimental models to demonstrate the presence of the obesity–inflammation–aromatase axis in the mammary gland. As a result, COX-2-derived PGE2 appeared to play an important role in inducing aromatase in the mammary glands of obese mice. Subsequently, he successfully translated these preclinical findings.

Dannenberg will present his lecture, “Obesity and Breast Inflammation: Implications for Cancer Prevention,” on Sunday, Oct. 23, 2011, at 5:15 p.m.

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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.

About the Prevent Cancer Foundation:
The Prevent Cancer Foundation was started in 1985. Today, it is one of the nation’s leading health organizations, catapulting cancer prevention to prominence. Through healthy-lifestyle choices and screening, many cancers can be prevented. The Foundation funds research and community grants in cancer prevention and early detection and creates educational materials and programs targeted at breast, cervical, colorectal, lung, oral, prostate, skin and testicular cancers. Since its inception the Prevent Cancer Foundation has provided more than $125 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 leading research institutions. 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.