UCLA researcher receives AACR honor for prostate cancer discovery
Dr. Michael E. Jung, UCLA Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center member and Distinguished Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry, has been selected to receive the ninth annual American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) 2015 Team Science Award.
Presented by the AACR annually, the Team Science Award recognizes prominent researchers for their innovative and meritorious scientific work in the detection, diagnosis, prevention and/or treatment of cancer. The high honor is bestowed upon academic leaders who have demonstrated a prolific spirit of innovation in creating or facilitating outstanding inventions that have made a tangible impact on quality of life, economic development and the welfare of society.
Jung and Drs. Charles Sawyers and Howard Scher of the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center are being recognized for their groundbreaking work in the discovery and development of the anti-androgen drug enzalutamide (Xtandi). Based on the results from the clinical trials conducted worldwide, enzalutamide has been shown to extend progression-free survival (the period of time cancer progression has slowed or stopped) by several months in men battling the disease.
This is the first time the AACR has given this award to such a small group of researchers. In the initial studies, Sawyers determined that androgen overexpression was responsible for fueling the growth and survival of castration-resistant prostate cancers. The UCLA team of chemists and biologists then used preclinical models to identify novel androgen receptor antagonists that blocked the growth of tumors, and it was these studies led to the clinical development of enzalutamide.
Following a phase 3 clinical trial, managed by Scher, which showed that the drug significantly extended survival among patients with metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer which had failed to respond to chemotherapy, enzalutamide received U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval in August 2012.
Enzalutamide received U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval in August 2012, following a phase 3 clinical trial, managed by Scher, which showed that the drug significantly extended survival among patients with metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer which had failed to respond to chemotherapy.
The award will be presented to Jung and colleagues during the AACR Annual Meeting in Philadelphia in April.