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Dr. Alex Matter Awarded 2013 Szent-Gyorgyi Prize for Progress in Cancer Research
Date:1/29/2013

BETHESDA, Md., Jan. 29, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- The National Foundation for Cancer Research (NFCR) announced today that Dr. Alex Matter has been awarded the 8th Szent-Gyorgyi Prize for Progress in Cancer Research for his contributions to the development of the first drug specifically targeting a molecular lesion in cancer.

This first targeted cancer therapy, imatinib mesylate, or Gleevec, contributed to a major breakthrough in the treatment of Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia (CML), followed by its successful application to other malignant cancers by turning off the signal of the protein causing these cancers.  With Gleevec, the outcome of treating CML went from the dismal and often deadly to a nearly 90% long-term survival with little or no side-effects.

Dr. Alex Matter 's pioneering research in probing the molecular anatomy of tumor cells in search of cancer-causing proteins represents the start of a new era in cancer treatment: Gleevec was the first drug that translated the insights of molecular cancer biology into a highly effective anti-cancer drug, which offered proof that molecular targeting works in treating cancer.

The successful development of Gleevec led to a paradigm shift in new cancer treatments.  The preclinical research led by Dr. Matter demonstrated that it is possible to counteract cancer by specifically inhibiting the activity of key oncogenic molecules, while the impact of the research discoveries was nothing short of phenomenal.  Dr. Matter's research made it possible to turn deadly cancers into treatable diseases.

" Alex Matter is the father of targeted cancer therapies," said Chinese Minister of Health Chen Zhu , M.D., Ph.D., winner of the 7th Szent-Gyorgyi Prize and Chair of the 2013 Prize Selection Committee.  "Dr. Matter's l
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SOURCE The National Foundation for Cancer Research
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