The Szent-Gyrgyi Prize Committee selected Dr. Dvorak based on his breakthrough discovery of vascular permeability factor/vascular endothelial cell growth factor (VPF/VEGF) and that contribution that has led to a series of discoveries which both elucidated the mechanisms of angiogenesis as well as the development of antibodies and small molecule therapies to inhibit VEGF.
"Without Dr. Dvorak's fundamental discovery we would probably not have had the therapeutic agent bevacizumab which has had a tremendous impact on improving survival for patients with advanced colorectal cancer, breast cancer, non-cell lung cancer and renal cell carcinoma", stated Chairman of the Szent-Gyrgyi Prize Committee Dr. Daniel Von Hoff, Vice President of the Translational Genomics Research Institute in Phoenix. "In addition, other small molecules which inhibit VEGF have also shown outstanding clinical antitumor activity with dramatic therapeutic effects for patients worldwide."
"Dr. Dvorak's seminal discoveries in basic science have led to significant clinical benefits for cancer patients, perfectly fitting the unique criteria of the Albert Szent-Gyrgyi Prize for Progress in Cancer Research," said Sujuan Ba, Ph.D., NFCR Chief Scientific Officer and Co-Chair of the Szent-Gyrgyi Prize Committee. "Dr. Dvorak's key VPF/VEGF discovery paved the way for researchers to better understand the mechanisms involved in tumor angiogenesis. His work is now being utilized in very real practical applications, offering hope for angiogenesis-centered treatments to halt and even reverse tumor growth."