FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: February 11, 2004
Schumer: $6 Million Coming To NY's Institute For Cancer Prevention For Groundbreaking New Research Into Cancer-Alzheimer's Link
Funds will go to ID links between cancer and Alzheimer's Disease and to strengthen Cancer Prevention Institute's staff, facilities and equipment
US Senator Chuck Schumer announced today that New York's Institute for Cancer Prevention (IFCP) received $6 million to expand groundbreaking new research into links between cancer and Alzheimer's Disease in the 2004 Budget bill that passed Congress. IFCP's President, Daniel W. Nixon, M.D., will conduct the new research with Rockefeller University's Paul Greengard, Ph.D., one of the recipients of the 2000 Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine. The funds will also be used to support IFCP’s scientists and to acquire state-of-the-art scientific instruments to support this new research initiative.
"Cancer and Alzheimer's are two of the most heinous diseases that attack our loved ones," Schumer said. "The Institute for Cancer Prevention is one of the world's very best research facilities, and the preliminary work it has done with Rockefeller University make us think that we might be able to uncover common causes of these two horrible afflictions. This $6 million is a real shot in the arm for some of the most interesting and important medical research being done anywhere in the world."
The Institute for Cancer Prevention (formerly known as the American Health Foundation), located in Manhattan and Valhalla, New York, is the only National Cancer Institute designated cancer center exclusively devoted to cancer prevention research. Research by IFCP scientists over the last three decades has shown that up to 70% of human cancers are preventable. IFCP is also the lead organizer of this year’s National Cancer Prevention Month, which has been designated by the U.S. Senate for February. Recently, IFCP's President, Dr. Daniel W. Nixon, teamed up with Dr. Paul Greengard, Vincent Astor Professor at The Rockefeller University to probe similarities at the molecular level between cancer and Alzheimer's Disease. Thanks to Schumer’s efforts, the $6 million will support cancer-Alzheimer's research.
Dr. Greengard, the Vincent Astor Professor and Head of the Laboratory of Molecular and Cellular Neuroscience at Rockefeller University, won the 2000 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for his discovery of how dopamine and a number of other transmitters in the brain exert their action on the nervous system. Greengard is one of four current Rockefeller scientists who have been honored with the Nobel Prize since 1999.
Nobel laureate Paul Greengard will follow up on his recent Rockefeller University research showing that the breakthrough cancer drug Gleevec and a related chemical compound slows the buildup of a small molecule called beta-amyloid peptide, which makes up the senile plaques found in the brains of most people with Alzheimer's. Greengard's research at Rockefeller University involved Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and was conducted in laboratory cultures of mouse brain cells and guinea pigs.
"We do not yet know the mechanisms by which Gleevec produces this effect on beta-amyloid," said Greengard, Vincent Astor Professor and director of the Fisher Center for Alzheimer's Disease Research at The Rockefeller University. "Discovery of these mechanisms might enable us to develop new approaches for developing therapeutic agents to prevent and treat Alzheimer's and malignancies."
Dr. Nixon, an internationally-known medical researcher in the area of cancer prevention, assumed the Presidency of IFCP in April 1999. He previously held leadership positions in cancer prevention at the National Cancer Institute and at the Medical University of South Carolina/Hollings Cancer Center, and was Professor of Medicine at Emory University. Board-certified in internal medicine and in medical oncology, Dr. Nixon is an Adjunct Professor of Medicine, Weill Medical College of Cornell University and Visiting Physician at the Rockefeller University, New York. He is Principal Investigator on numerous peer-reviewed research grants, including the Women’s Intervention Nutrition Study (WINS), a clinical study involving over 2,000 women and more than 30 clinical research sites. This study is expected to answer the question of whether dietary fat promotes breast cancer recurrence. Diet and lifestyle interventions might prove to have a preventive role in Alzheimer’s disease as well.
The Rockefeller University, the nation's first biomedical research university, is internationally renowned for research and graduate education in the biomedical sciences, chemistry, bioinformatics and physics. A total of 23 scientists associated with the university have received the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine and Chemistry.