University of Maryland scientist wins 2005 Kettering Prize

Angela H. Brodie, Ph.D., professor of pharmacology and experimental therapeutics at the University of Maryland School of Medicine and a researcher at the University of Maryland Marlene and Stewart Greenebaum Cancer Center, has won the prestigious Charles F. Kettering Prize for her pioneering work in developing aromatase inhibitors, a new class of drugs widely used today to treat breast cancer.

The Kettering Prize recognizes the most outstanding recent contribution to the diagnosis or treatment of cancer. It is one of three $250,000 prizes presented annually by the General Motors Cancer Research Awards program to scientists throughout the world who have made seminal contributions to cancer research. Dr. Brodie is the first woman scientist to receive the Kettering Prize.

An internationally recognized cancer researcher, Dr. Brodie is being honored for discovering and developing a new class of drugs called aromatase inhibitors now in use worldwide. The drugs help to prevent recurrence of breast cancer in postmenopausal women by reducing the level of the hormone estrogen produced by the body, thereby cutting off the fuel that promotes the growth of cancer cells.

Unlike other breast cancer drugs that block the effect of estrogen, such as tamoxifen, they inhibit the production of aromatase, an enzyme that plays a key role in producing estrogen. The drugs also are used to treat postmenopausal women whose breast cancer has spread to other parts of the body.

"To be selected for the Kettering Prize is a tremendous honor, and I am very grateful to receive this kind of recognition," Dr. Brodie says. "I am very happy that the work we did turned out to be so beneficial for treating breast cancer patients."

Dr. Brodie began developing this novel approach of targeting aromatase in the early 1970s, initially working with her husband, Harry, a chemist who synthesized the early inhibitors. Dr. Brodie and her research team went on to create

Contact: Karen Warmkessel
University of Maryland Medical Center

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