SAN ANTONIO Joan Massagu, Ph.D., whose research identified the role of transforming growth hormone factor-Beta (TGF-Beta) in the metastasis of breast cancer cells to the lung, has been selected to receive the inaugural AACR Distinguished Leadership Award in Breast Cancer Research.
Massagu spent more than two decades defining how TGF-Beta affects cell growth and division. He learned that an imbalance of TGF-Beta receptors led to the spread of cancer cells and used this information to determine how gene expression predicts the ability of breast cancer cells to metastasize. Massagu identified organ-specific metastatic characteristics that predict the spread of cancer cells. These investigations demonstrated that a genetic predisposition for metastasis can sometimes be identified in primary malignancies before the cancer has begun to spread.
Massagu's work is a dramatic example of the continuing importance of the focused pursuit of basic problems in biology for advancing our understanding of cancer and for developing new approaches to diagnosis and treatment.
Massagu obtained his doctorate in biochemistry from the University of Barcelona. In 1989, he was recruited to Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. He currently serves as Investigator, Howard Hughes Medical Institute; professor, Weill-Cornell Graduate School; adjunct director, Institute for Research in Biomedicine of Barcelona; and Alfred P. Sloan Chair, Cancer Biology and Genetics Program at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center.
Massagu will give an award lecture entitled, "Deconstructing Metastasis," on Saturday, December 13, 2008, at 11:30 a.m. CST, during the 31st Annual CTRC-AACR San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium, in San Antonio, Texas.
|Contact: Megan Davies|
American Association for Cancer Research