Rutgers wins NIH grants to study how tea consumption, diet are tied to cancer

NEW BRUNSWICK/PISCATAWAY, N.J. - Cancer researcher Chung S. Yang and collaborators at Rutgers University will study tea and its potential to prevent cancer under a $5.7 million, 5-year program project grant from the National Cancer Institute of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Another group led by Yang received a planning grant to organize a collaborative program to study diet and cancer.

Going beyond studies that show tea inhibits cancer formation in laboratory animal models, the program project, called "Inhibition of Carcinogenesis by Tea and Tea Constituents," will systematically investigate how tea constituents might block the biological processes that lead to cancer formation and whether such blocking action could prevent cancer in humans.

Although tea has been extolled as a cancer preventive agent, Yang is careful to point out that tea-drinking by humans has not been clearly demonstrated to affect formation of cancer. "The objective of the program project is to gain a comprehensive understanding of tea and cancer prevention by combining the results of studies involving animals, cell lines, and humans," Yang said. The investigators will also research many other biological effects of tea, a beverage second only to water in human consumption.

The program project will support the collaborative research of Professors Yang (the principal investigator), Allan H. Conney, Hou-Tuan Huang, Harold Newmark, Kenneth Reuhl, and Joseph Rice, all of the Ernest Mario School of Pharmacy at Rutgers. The program will also include Professor Chi-Tang Ho of Cook College at Rutgers, as well as Dr. Zigang Dong of the University of Minnesota, as key members. The group of investigators has received extensive prior recognition for work demonstrating the cancer preventive and other biological activities of tea.

Yang and collaborators also received a $170,000 planning grant from the National Cancer Institute to organize a multidisciplinary

Contact: Bill Haduch
Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey

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