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Physical scientists at Arizona State University will apply laws of physics in cancer fight
Date:10/26/2009

TEMPE, Ariz. Instead of killing cancer cells, researchers at Arizona State University will use the laws of physics to figure out how to control them. And, rather than treating cancer as a disease and seeking a cure, ASU scientists will view cancer cells as physical objects and study them the way a physicist would, using simple variables like temperature, pressure and force.

That fresh approach is behind a new research center at Arizona State University one of 12 Physical Sciences-Oncology Centers receiving some of $22.7 million in funding this fiscal year from the National Institutes of Health's National Cancer Institute. Each center will bring a non-traditional approach to cancer research with the goal of developing new methods of arresting tumor growth and metastasis.

In addition to ASU, other institutions receiving funding include: Johns Hopkins University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, Northwestern University, Princeton University, H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center and Research Institute, Cornell University, Scripps Research Institute, University of California-Berkeley, University of Southern California and University of Texas Health Science Center.

The new Center for Convergence of Physical Science and Cancer Biology at ASU will receive about $1.7 million in funding for each of the first two years of a five-year proposal. Part of the plan is the establishment of a "cancer forum," hosted by the BEYOND Center for Fundamental Concepts in Science at ASU.

"What is new about this initiative is that it is going to be tackling the root causes of cancer on a conceptual level," says Paul Davies, a theoretical physicist, cosmologist and astrobiologist who is leading the ASU cancer initiative. "We want physical scientists to think about why cancer exists in the first place. What is its role in the great biological scheme of things as life has evolved over the last several hundred mill
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Contact: Carol Hughes
carol.hughes@asu.edu
480-965-6375
Arizona State University
Source:Eurekalert

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