And these are the tremendous, glorious, beautiful courses of action that make my long days worth the exhaustion:

Albany Medical Center gets record grant for cancer study
Staff report, The Record
07/31/2008

ALBANY, NY – It’s a record-breaking grant that could lay the groundwork for the future of the fight against breast cancer. And it’s happening here in the Capital District.

Albany Medical Center and the American Cancer Society announced a major new cancer research grant at Albany Medical College. Ceshi Chen, PhD in the Center for Cell Biology and Cancer Research at the College will receive $960,000 from the American Cancer Society to examine what role the oncogene WWP1 could play in future breast cancer diagnosis, prognosis, and target therapy treatments.

Dr. Chen’s award is the single largest grant ever presented by the American Cancer Society in the Capital District.

“This research is as cutting edge as it gets,” said Anthony Marino, regional vice president of the American Cancer Society. “Many have theorized that the way we treat breast cancer in the future will be radically different than how we combat the disease now. It’s an honor for us to support Dr. Chen’s work and to partner with Albany Medical Center. We’re very optimistic about what we may discover.”

“The funding provided by the American Cancer Society on behalf of Albany Medical Center’s research is second only to that provided by the federal government,” said James J. Barba, president and chief executive officer at Albany Medical Center. “We are extraordinarily grateful to the American Cancer Society for its support, which speaks to the dedication and achievements of Dr. Chen and each of our scientists. It is our hope that together we can unlock the mysteries of cancer and someday find a cure for this insidious disease.”

According to Dr. Chen, breast cancer develops when certain genes, called onocogenes, cause normal cells to transform into cancer cells. Dr. Chen’s work will attempt to put a bullseye on breast cancer by studying the behavior of an oncogene called WWP 1, which is active in over 40 percent of clinical tumor samples. Newer treatment drugs like Herceptin have had success by targeting oncogenes. The problem is that different oncogenes affect different people in different ways. Dr. Chen and his colleagues have already demonstrated that inhibition of WWP1 significantly inhibits the growth – and even induces death – in a subset of breast cancer cells.

“Our team’s long-term goal is to see if WWP 1 gives off any unique molecular targets during breast cancer,” said Dr. Chen. “Once identified these ‘targets’ could be used to develop new breast cancer tests and treatments. This research represents the future of medicine and the direction of breast cancer therapy.”

Research has long been a cornerstone of the American Cancer Society’s work and the ACS is the largest non-government, not-for-profit funder of cancer research in the United States.

A total of 42 ACS funded researchers have gone on to win the Nobel Prize for Medicine. Closer to home, the Society is currently funding more than $4.1 million in local cancer research (including Dr. Chen’s grant).

This is also not the first time the ACS has partnered with AMC. During the past 25 years the Society has funded nearly $6 million in cancer research at the College. Society representative point out that these grants wouldn’t be possible without the hard work and generosity of its volunteers. “In spite of a tough economy we’ve seen more support for our events locally than ever before,” added Marino.

“If you’ve gotten up on a cold Sunday morning in October for our Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walk or stayed overnight at one of our Relay For Life events, this critically important local cancer research is what you’ve helped make become reality.”

For more information about the American Cancer Society’s research, call 1.800.ACS.2345 or visit www.cancer.org/nynj

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