NASHVILLE, Tenn. - The National Cancer Institute has awarded a multi-disciplinary group of scientists in the Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center a major grant to learn more precisely how aspirin and similar drugs may play a role in preventing colon cancer.
The "chemoprevention" program project grant will provide more than $1 million during the first year, with an additional $4 million in support over the next four years. In addition to the amount of financial support it provides, the grant is significant because it is the first to the VICC to be specifically earmarked for cancer prevention research. It is also among the first awarded by the NCI to support this kind of basic cancer research into so-called chemoprevention, the design of drugs to prevent cancer rather than treat it.
"This program integrates a lot of different but related efforts in pathology, surgery, clinical pharmacology, biochemistry and medicine," said Dr. Raymond N. DuBois, Mina Cobb Wallace Professor of Gastroenterology and Cancer Prevention and director of the division of Gastroenterology. "This program project funding mechanism by the NCI really puts more expertise into the project."
DuBois will serve as principal investigator and his research group will conduct one of four separate research projects supported in the program. DuBois and his colleagues will continue their work in cells and animal models to learn more about how non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) help prevent colon cancer.
Over the past several years, nearly three dozen studies have been
published in the scientific literature documenting a 40-50 percent reduced risk
of developing colon cancer
among people who regularly take aspirin or other NSAIDs. DuBois and his
colleagues' work has focused on the mechanism for that preventive effect, and
they have made the link to an enzyme called cyclooxygenase-2 (COX2), one of the
primary targets for aspirin and NSAIDs.
Contact: Cynthia Manley
Vanderbilt University Medical Center