PORTLAND, Ore. Jeffrey Tyner, Ph.D., assistant professor of Cell, Developmental & Cancer Biology for Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) and a researcher with OHSU's Knight Cancer Institute, has won a distinguished award from the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) for the development of a research program that more rapidly identifies the mutations driving a patient's cancer and accelerates development of precision treatments. Tyner shares the AAAS Martin and Rose Wachtel Cancer Research Award, which honors early-career cancer researchers, with Li Ma, Ph.D., of MD Anderson Cancer Center at the University of Texas.
Tyner and Ma's award entry essays were published in the July 2 edition of Science Translational Medicine. Both will deliver public lectures on their research July 7.
Tyner's work is distinguished by analyzing data on genetic mutations in patients' cancer cells, derived through deep genomic sequencing, and simultaneously assessing the manner by which tumor cells with those mutations respond to a variety of gene-targeted drugs. This approach more accurately determines which aberrations are most lethal and how they can be targeted with a precision treatment. It also allows for a better understanding of the biology of each patient's disease and, in some cases, identified new subtypes of the disease.
"Full delivery of the promise of genetically driven medicine will require that we make the leap from knowledge of cancer genetic events and translate this information into new and personalized therapeutic regimens for patients," Tyner wrote in his award essay.
Tyner's peer-reviewed studies in Cancer Cell in 2012 and the New England Journal of Medicine last year demonstrate the benefits of this research approach. The latter study pinpointed a cause of two types of leukemia and demonstrated the possibility that these diseases could be treated with existing FDA-approved drugs. As a result,
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Oregon Health & Science University