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Research team honored for innovative science to advance cancer research
Date:3/25/2011

ORLANDO, Fla. The Fifth Annual AACR Team Science Award will be given to a team of internationally renowned molecular biologists, epidemiologists, biostatisticians and clinicians from Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and University of Washington who have worked together on human papillomavirus (HPV) for more than 20 years.

This award recognizes an outstanding interdisciplinary research team for its innovative and meritorious science that has advanced or will likely advance cancer research, detection, diagnosis, prevention or treatment.

"This team's work exemplifies how cancer research can dramatically impact public health," said Margaret Foti, Ph.D., M.D. (h.c.), chief executive officer of the AACR. "The researchers' long-term collaborations in basic science, epidemiology and clinical research played a vital role in increasing our understanding of HPV and developing the HPV vaccine, which has the potential to prevent more than half a million HPV-associated cancers each year, worldwide."

By combining molecular assays to detect and characterize HPV infections with epidemiologic approaches, the 12-member team, led by Denise Galloway, Ph.D., head of the Cancer Biology Program at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, showed that HPVs are associated with nearly all genital-tract cancers and with a significant proportion of head and neck cancers. They conducted what is among the largest case-control studies of HPV-associated cancers and revealed that a variety of exposures notably a high number of sexual partners and early age at first intercourse were common across most of the anogenital cancer sites. The researchers also identified factors beyond sexual activity, such as immunosuppression, that contributed to HPV infection.

The team played a pivotal role in making virus-like particle-based vaccines a reality, from the early basic science work to the epidemiology, to the proof-of-principle clinical trial that showed that
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Contact: Michele Sharp
Michele.Sharp@aacr.org
267-646-0622
American Association for Cancer Research
Source:Eurekalert

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