An opportunity to share TGen's pancreas cancer work with more than 17,000 researchers

Phoenix, AZ, March 6, 2007--Two TGen investigators are invited to discuss their progress in pancreas cancer research by giving oral presentations at a prestigious international annual cancer research meeting next month in Los Angeles.
The American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) annual meeting gives more than 17,000 researchers from around the world the opportunity to exchange information on current and emerging discoveries, forge new collaborations, and identify opportunities to improve patient care.

"TGen's clinical research is focused on accelerating the pace of research and moving new discoveries to the patient as quickly as possible," said Dr. Daniel Von Hoff, who is TGen's Physician-in-Chief and Director of the institute's Clinical Translational Research Division. "The fact that pancreas cancer researchers from TGen are presenting their work at AACR supports TGen's research effort of developing earlier diagnoses and smarter treatments for patients."

Pancreas cancer is the fourth leading cause of cancer death, claiming a higher percentage of its victims than any other form of cancer. More than 37,000 people in the U.S. will be diagnosed with pancreas cancer this year, and 95% of them will die from it. Men are diagnosed with pancreas cancer slightly more often than women.

Under the leadership of Dr. Von Hoff, TGen's Pancreas Cancer Research Program focuses on genetic and biochemical approaches to identify diagnostics and molecular targets to accelerate the development of new therapies for patients with pancreas cancer.

Dr. Haiyong Han, an Associate Investigator with TGen's Pancreatic Cancer Research Program, will present research focused on targeting the surface of tumor cells as a strategy for improving the detection and treatment of pancreas cancer. His presentation will describe a new approach for identifying proteins found only on the surface of tumor cells using genome-wide gene expression profiling. Once these cell surface targets have been identified, the proteins (and their corresponding genes) could be used in the development of new treatments for patients with pancreas cancer. This research is a collaborative effort between the TGen team and Drs. Robert Gillies and Victor Hruby from the University of Arizona.

"The AACR's annual meeting is a premier venue for cancer researchers to present their findings and an opportunity to keep abreast on all the latest research," said Dr. Han. "It is an honor to have my abstract selected through the AACR's competitive process and I look forward to sharing my work with an international research audience."

Dr. Steven Warner, a Post-Doctoral Fellow with the Pancreatic Research Program at TGen, will also present a novel approach for combating pancreas cancer. Dr. Warner's research is focused on a gene called TPX2, thought to be an important contributor to pancreas cancer growth and a prospective therapeutic target to treat patients with this disease.

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About TGen
The Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen), a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization, with a focus on developing earlier diagnoses and smarter treatments. Translational genomics research is a relatively new field employing innovative advances arising from the Human Genome Project and applying them to the development of diagnostics, prognostics and therapies for cancer, neurological disorders, diabetes and other complex diseases. TGen bases its research on personalized medicine and the institute plans to accomplish its goals through robust and disease-focused research.

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Amy Erickson
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