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Dartmouth researcher Michael B. Sporn, M.D. honored for pioneering work in cancer prevention

Hanover, NH - Michael B. Sporn, M.D., the pioneering Dartmouth cancer researcher who championed the idea of stopping cancer before it starts, has been selected by the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) and the Cancer Research Foundation of America (CRFA) to receive the inaugural award for Excellence in Cancer Prevention Research.

The international award recognizes the individual whose contributions in cancer prevention research have had a major impact and stimulated new directions in the field. Sporn, the Oscar M. Cohn '34 Professor of Pharmacology and Toxicology and of Medicine at Dartmouth Medical School, conducts research through Norris Cotton Cancer Center at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center.

"Dr. Sporn is an international leader in the field of cancer prevention. His innovative work has paved the way for novel approaches to prevent or treat cancer," said Ethan Dmitrovsky, M.D., acting dean of Dartmouth Medical School and chair of the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology.

Sporn is considered a visionary cancer researcher whose innovative thinking and landmark investigations have fundamentally changed our ideas about the dynamics of cancer, and how it begins and grows in a process known as carcinogenesis. One of his most significant contributions is the concept of chemoprevention, a term that he coined in two landmark papers published in the early 1970s. The idea of chemoprevention - using drugs, vitamins, or other agents to prevent or delay the development of cancer - challenged existing dogmas of cancer medicine at the time by suggesting an approach other than the use of cytotoxic drugs to treat end-stage disease.

Sporn continues to advocate the importance of cancer prevention. "There is still tremendous resistance to the idea of telling people they have early changes in their cells that could some day lead to invasive cancer," he says. "The emphasis should be on suppressing carcinogenesis - the developmen
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Contact: Deborah Kimbell
deborah.kimbell@hitchcock.org
603-653-1913
Dartmouth Medical School
2-Oct-2002


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