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Meyskens honored with AACR-Prevent Cancer Foundation award

PHILADELPHIA Frank L. Meyskens, Jr., M.D., one of the "fathers" of the field of cancer chemoprevention, has been selected to receive the seventh annual American Association for Cancer Research (AACR)-Prevent Cancer Foundation Award for Excellence in Cancer Prevention Research.

The award is given annually to a scientist for seminal contributions to the field of cancer prevention research in basic, translational, clinical, epidemiological or behavioral science.

Meyskens, Professor of Medicine and Biological Chemistry and Director of the Chao Family Comprehensive Cancer Center, and Associate Vice Chancellor of Health Sciences at the College of Health Sciences University of California, Irvine, is being honored for his many significant contributions to the field of cancer prevention and control.

His early work examined the translation of laboratory-based chemoprevention into clinical trials. Meyskens led the development of the combination of difluoromethylornithine (DFMO) plus Sulindac to dramatically reduce the risk of advanced colorectal adenoma recurrence.

Among his noteworthy accomplishments, Meyskens developed the topical all-trans-retinoic acid for chemoprevention of cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN), the first of the cellular changes that may develop into cervical cancer in some women. Additionally, he promoted the idea that retinol could be used to affect chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML).

Meyskens has re-examined the scientific basis for the etiology of melanoma. Based on 15 years of detailed laboratory work, he proposed a new conceptual framework for melanoma etiology, prevention, and treatment. Most recently, he has provided a major, new insight into the non-UVR causation of melanoma with suggestions for potential preventive strategies.

Meyskens has published many seminal "thought" papers that have moved the field of cancer prevention forward. Perhaps, the most influential and important papers in the past decade considered the many challenges associated with the identification and development of markers as predictors of preventive effectiveness.

Currently, Meyskens is continuing the clinical development of the Bowman-Birk inhibitor, a soybean-derived serine protease inhibitor, being tested as a human cancer-preventive agent.

Meyskens received a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of San Francisco, and his Medical Degree from University of California, San Francisco Medical School. He completed his postdoctoral education at the Laboratory of Tumor Cell Biology, National Cancer Institute and the Medicine Branch, National Institutes of Health.

Meyskens has received numerous honors and awards for his scientific accomplishments, including the American Society of Preventive Oncology Distinguished Achievement Award and the University of California Irvine Lauds & Laurels Faculty Achievement Award. Meyskens has published more than 100 peer-reviewed laboratory and clinical manuscripts on the topic of cancer prevention and control.

An active member of the AACR since 1979, Meyskens has served in various capacities, including as editorial board member of Cancer Prevention Research, chairperson of the Biology and Genetics of Early Detection special conference, and as a member of several committees.

Meyskens will give an award lecture entitled, Optimizing Chemoprevention by Minimizing Risk-Benefit and Maximizing Risk-Reduction, on Monday, November 17, 2008, at 5:00 p.m., during the Seventh Annual International Conference on Frontiers in Cancer Prevention Research. This foremost meeting on cancer prevention research will be held November 16 - 19, 2008, at the Gaylord National Resort, Washington, DC.


Contact: Megan J. Davies
American Association for Cancer Research

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