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UCI Cancer Center selected by National Cancer Institute to test cancer prevention drugs

Irvine, Calif., Nov. 6, 2003 The Chao Family Comprehensive Cancer Center at UC Irvine has been chosen by the National Cancer Institute (NCI) to test the effectiveness of promising new cancer prevention drugs.

The UCI center is one of only six institutions in the nation chosen by NCI to conduct these tests. Under the program, the center will initially receive $2.2 million to design and conduct early-phase clinical trials to assess the cancer prevention potential of a variety of agents, many of which target specific molecules known to be active in precancerous conditions.

Altogether, NCI will award over $42 million in contracts to fund the projects.

"The UCI Chao Family Comprehensive Cancer Center has been successfully undertaking cancer prevention trials for the past decade, so this current effort is an extension of our overall mission," said Dr. Frank Meyskens, Jr., director of the center. "With this remarkable amount of funding and support from NCI, we can make a big difference in advancing our ability to prevent cancer."

Along with UCI, the other participating institutions are the University of Arizona in Tucson, Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill., the University of Wisconsin-Madison, the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston and the Mayo Clinic Foundation in Rochester, Minn.

"Each of these institutions was selected based on its proven ability to conduct cancer prevention research," said Dr. Peter Greenwald, director of NCI's Division of Cancer Prevention. "We are looking forward to this next round of work on critical early phase trials of new agents and their biological effects."

Overall, the UCI center currently receives more than $14 million in grants and contracts to conduct chemoprevention trials. Current studies include testing vaccines that can attack cervical cancer-causing viruses and participating in locally led efforts on prostate, oral and colon cancer prevention, as well as participating
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Contact: Tom Vasich
tmvasich@uci.edu
949-824-6455
University of California - Irvine
6-Nov-2003


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