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Georgetown Lombardi researcher awarded 'Provocative Question' grant from NCI
Date:9/5/2012

WASHINGTON, D.C. Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center's Stephen Byers, Ph.D., has been awarded a grant from the National Cancer Institute to address a "provocative question."

The NCI's Provocative Questions Project is offering grants to delve into 24 questions that, if answered, could lead to significant advances in understanding or treating cancer. The questions such as why obesity contributes to cancer risk have been around, but unanswerable, for a long time, but now the NCI feels the time is right to address them.

NCI solicited the questions from scientists in various fields and at various stages in their research, and then released a special solicitation just for research related to these 24 questions.

One of the questions number 5 seemed perfect for Stephen Byers, Ph.D., a professor and molecular oncologist at Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Given the evidence that some drugs commonly and chronically used for other indications, such as an anti-inflammatory drug, can protect against cancer incidence and mortality, can we determine the mechanism by which any of these drugs work?

The NCI says the implications of successfully answering this question "would be a major breakthrough in cancer prevention. This work could also provide molecular pathways that harbor other targets for prevention and encourage the development of second-generation drugs that might diminish toxicities associated with current agents while maintaining efficacy. Success in these studies would provide models for the types of responses that mark good chemoprevention trials."

Byers' proposal to answer this question was one of a small number of applications to be accepted out of almost 800 that were submitted. Work begins September 1. The four-year, $2.5 million grant will be directed by Byers and includes several of his Georgetown colleagues, as well as scientists from Harvard and Columbia universities.

Serendipity reared its won
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Contact: Karen Mallet
km463@georgetown.edu
Georgetown University Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert

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