University of Arizona Cancer Center and the National Foundation for Cancer Research Launch the Center for New Therapies Development Partnership to Focus on New Therapies for Pancreatic Cancers



    TUCSON, Ariz., April 19 /PRNewswire/ -- The Arizona Cancer Center at the
 University of Arizona along with the National Foundation for Cancer Research
 (NFCR) announced today the formation of the Center for New Therapies
 Development at the Arizona Cancer Center.  The new center, to be co-directed
 by Dr. Daniel Von Hoff, Director of the Arizona Cancer Center and Dr. Laurence
 Hurley, Howard Schaeffer Chair in Pharmaceutical Sciences at the University of
 Arizona College of Pharmacy, will focus on pancreatic cancer, the fourth
 leading cause of death from cancer in the U.S.
     Linking with seven other NFCR research centers around the world, the
 Arizona Center will become the flagship research center focused on pancreatic
 cancer, sharing and collaborating research findings with other research
 centers.  Partner centers include Oxford University, Yale University, Penn
 State University, UC-Berkeley and other international centers in Beijing,
 China and Berlin, Germany.  The goal of the collaborative research network is
 to share information on cancer discoveries and collaborate on research and
 drug development.
     "The new center at the University of Arizona Cancer Center is a step
 forward in a partnership that constitutes our 'Laboratory without Walls'",
 said Dr. Sujuan Ba, science director for the National Foundation for Cancer
 Research.  "By linking this new NFCR center at the Arizona Cancer Center with
 our other centers, we hope to accelerate our goal of curing cancer."
 
     Pancreatic Cancer
     Pancreatic cancer is the fourth leading cause of death from cancer in the
 U.S., and the survival rate is the worst among malignancies.  The development
 of a treatment for pancreatic cancer is imperative and involves multiple
 steps.  Before a drug can be designed to fight pancreatic cancer, first one
 has to know the molecules that are responsible for changing a normal cell to
 cancer cells.  Under normal circumstances, one specific molecule ensures each
 divided daughter cell receives the full complement of genetic materials from
 their mother cell.  However, if the gene that encodes this molecule is
 over-expressed, the daughter cells will get either less or more of the genetic
 materials from the parent cell. This can lead to cancer, particularly
 pancreatic cancer.
     Dr. Daniel Von Hoff and Dr. Laurence Hurley have been named co-directors
 of the new center.  Dr. Von Hoff has been widely credited for his
 translational research into anticancer agents, particularly those associated
 with the treatment of pancreatic cancer.  Dr. Hurley's research has focused on
 targeting protein-DNA complexes to control oncogene expression.  His work on
 DNA as a target for drug action has been widely noted and places him among the
 leaders on design of new therapeutics to fight cancer.
     "This new partnership is a crucial step towards unraveling one of cancer's
 more difficult challenges," said Dr. Von Hoff.  "We believe in the value of
 exploring every avenue in our quest to cure cancer and with this partnership
 between NFCR and the Arizona Cancer Center, we hope that a cure for the
 devastating pancreatic cancer can be made available."
 
     About the NFCR
     Since its founding in 1973, the National Foundation for Cancer Research
 (NFCR) has provided more than $180 million to fund research focused on
 understanding how and why cells become cancerous. NFCR's research discoveries
 are now on the threshold of being translated into therapies and potential
 cures for cancer patients.  For more information, please visit them on the web
 at http://www.NFCR.org or call (800) 321-CURE.
 
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SOURCE National Foundation for Cancer Research

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