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BIDMC's Harold Dvorak, MD, honored by National Foundation for Cancer Research

BOSTON -- Harold F. Dvorak, MD, Mallinkrodt Professor of Pathology Emeritus of Harvard Medical School and former chief of the division of pathology at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC), has received the inaugural Albert Szent-Gyorgyi Prize for Progress in Cancer Research from the National Foundation for Cancer Research (NFCR).

Established in honor of Nobel laureate Szent-Gyorgyi, co-founder of the NFCR, the prize recognizes outstanding scientific achievement in the war against cancer and celebrates leading researchers who have made extraordinary contributions in the field of cancer research.

In 1983, Dvorak and his colleagues were the first to demonstrate that tumor cells secreted vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), known at the time as vascular permeability factor or VPF.

"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-Gyorgyi Prize for Progress in Cancer Research," notes NFCR Chief Scientific Officer Sujuan Ba, PhD, co-chair of the 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."

Adds prize committee chairman Daniel Von Hoff, vice president of the Translational Genomics Research Institute in Phoenix, Arizona, "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. In addition, other small molecules which inhibit VEGF have also shown outstanding clinical antitumor activity with dramatic therapeutic effects for pati
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Contact: Bonnie Prescott
bprescot@bidmc.harvard.edu
617-667-7306
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
20-Apr-2006


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