TGen News & Press Releases : TGen receives $50,000 to find genetic origins of rare breast cancer

World-renown physician-scientist honored at genomic medicine conference for 'pioneering efforts'

LA JOLLA, Calif. - March 17, 2011 - Dr. Daniel Von Hoff was presented this month with the Scripps Genomic Medicine Award for his "pioneering efforts" in sequencing, or spelling out, the DNA of patients with rare cancers.

Dr. Von Hoff's research and clinical work advances the art of using the fully sequenced genomes of cancer patients, spelling out all 3 billion letters of their DNA, to help determine the best course of treatment.

"I am extremely humbled and honored to receive this award on behalf of all the institutes, medical centers and oncology groups I'm associated with. Through this work, we are trying to improve things for every patient," said Dr. Von Hoff, who holds the titles of Physician-in-Chief and Distinguished Professor at the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen); Professor of Medicine at both Mayo Clinic and at the University of Arizona College of Medicine; and Chief Scientific Officer at the Virginia G. Piper Cancer Center at Scottsdale Healthcare and at US Oncology.

Dr. Von Hoff is recognized as one of the world's leading authorities on pancreatic cancer. Some of his most recent work involves the comparative analysis of the fully sequenced genomes of patients with rare cancers and with triple-negative breast cancer, identifying the mutations in the DNA of the patients' tumors and using that information to help guide future treatment of this rare and challenging disease.

Dr. Eric J. Topol, Director of the Scripps Translational Science Institute (STSI), presented the Genomic Medicine award to Dr. Von Hoff, citing his "pioneering efforts" in whole genome sequencing as a tool for matching a patient's genetic makeup with treatments that will provide the best quality of life.

"Dr. Von Hoff's work represents the future of medicine, in which information gleaned from the complex assemblage of an individual's DNA can be used to target deadly tumors, even among patients with rare cancers," said Dr. Topol, who also is Chief Academic Officer of Scripps Health, and Professor of Translational Genomics at the Scripps Research Institute.

The award was presented to Dr. Von Hoff during the Future of Genomic Medicine IV conference, March 3-4, at the Robert Paine Scripps Forum for Science, Society and the Environment, Samuel H. Scripps Auditorium, in La Jolla, Calif.

Physicians, health care professional, human geneticists, genomic scientists and researchers attended the conference. This fourth installment of the Future of Genomic Medicine conference focused on the extraordinary advances occurring in the field, including whole genome and exome sequencing, new gene expression tests for routine medical practice, and consumer genomics. The overarching goal of the annual conference is to spearhead efforts to change medicine by using genomics.

Like all who work with Dr. Von Hoff, the STSI aims to replace the status quo of one-size-fits-all-medicine with individualized health care that is based on the known genetic factors influencing health and disease.

Under the leadership of Dr. Topol, one of the world's premier cardiologists and physician/scientists, STSI has created major programs in both research and education-training that bridge science with medicine, and academia with industry.

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About Scripps Translational Science Institute (STSI)
Founded in 2006, Scripps Translational Science Institute (STSI) is an initiative of Scripps Health, in collaboration with The Scripps Research Institute. STSI initiates research designed to help move basic research from the lab to the patient bedside, bridging the gap between basic science and clinical trials. Scripps Genomic Medicine is a division of STSI and involves genotyping tens of thousands of individuals to identify and define genes responsible for major diseases and the underpinnings of health. STSI is supported by the NIH flagship program, Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA). For more information, visit www.stsiweb.org.

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About TGen
The Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen) is a Phoenix, Arizona-based non-profit organization dedicated to conducting groundbreaking research with life changing results. Research at TGen is focused on helping patients with diseases such as cancer, neurological disorders and diabetes. TGen is on the cutting edge of translational research where investigators are able to unravel the genetic components of common and complex diseases. Working with collaborators in the scientific and medical communities, TGen believes it can make a substantial contribution to the efficiency and effectiveness of the translational process. TGen is affiliated with the Van Andel Research Institute in Grand Rapids, Michigan. For more information, visit: www.tgen.org.

Press Contact:
Steve Yozwiak
TGen Senior Science Writer
602-343-8704
[email protected]

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About the Virginia G. Piper Cancer Center at Scottsdale Healthcare
The Virginia G. Piper Cancer Center at Scottsdale Healthcare offers diagnosis, treatment, research, prevention and support in its facilities at the Scottsdale Healthcare Shea Medical Center, attracting patients from across Arizona and the U.S. Groundbreaking cancer research is conducted through its Scottsdale Healthcare Research Institute in collaboration with TGen and leading universities. Scottsdale Healthcare is the not-for-profit parent organization of the Scottsdale Healthcare Shea Medical Center, Scottsdale Healthcare Osborn Medical Center and Scottsdale Healthcare Thompson Peak Hospital, Virginia G. Piper Cancer Center, Scottsdale Healthcare Research Institute and Scottsdale Healthcare Foundation. For additional information, please visit www.shc.org.

Press Contact:
Keith Jones
Director of Public Relations
Virginia G. Piper Cancer Center at Scottsdale Healthcare
480-882-4412
[email protected]

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About US Oncology
US Oncology, Inc., a division of McKesson Corp., is a leading integrated oncology company. By uniting one of the largest community-based cancer treatment and research networks in America, US Oncology expands patient access to high-quality care and advances the science of cancer care. Headquartered in The Woodlands, Texas, US Oncology is affiliated with 1,400 community-based oncologists, and works with patients, hospitals, payers, and the medical industry across all phases of the cancer research and delivery continuum. By promoting the use of innovative technology, clinical research, evidence-based medicine and shared best practices, US Oncology improves patient outcomes and offers a better patient experience. For more information, visit www.usoncology.com .

US Oncology conducts clinical research through US Oncology Research, its wholly-owned subsidiary uniting one of the nation's largest community-based cancer research networks. US Oncology Research has experienced investigators and dedicated research nurses who specialize in Phase I through Phase IV oncology clinical trials. US Oncology Research serves more than 90 sites in 200 locations managing more than 200 active trials at any given time. Physicians in the research network have enrolled more than 47,000 patients in more than 1,100 trials since inception in 1992 and has contributed to the development of 43 cancer therapies approved by the FDA. For more information call (866) 216-5053 or visit www.usoncology.com/oncologists.

Press Contact:
Jennifer Horspool
Director, Corporate Communications
US Oncology
281-863-6739
[email protected]


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