March 14, 2003

Arteaga honored for work to improve cancer care

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Arteaga honored for work to improve cancer care

Dr. Carlos L. Arteaga is the 27th recipient of the Richard and Hinda Rosenthal Foundation Award to recognize research that has made or promises to make a notable contribution to improved cancer care.

He becomes the second Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center physician-scientist in as many years to be recognized with this award from the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR). The award will be presented during the AACR’s annual meeting in Toronto next month.

The AACR is honoring Arteaga, Ingram Professor of Cancer Research and professor of Medicine and Cancer Biology, for his important advances in the understanding and treatment of breast cancer. Specifically, Arteaga has contributed to the understanding of the role of signaling by transforming growth factor beta and receptors of the epidermal growth factor family in breast cancer development and progression. This work has led to the conception of clinical trials investigating promising new directions for early detection and treatment of breast cancer.

Arteaga also is known for his studies of the HER2 receptor, which led to ongoing studies of the HER2 antibody Herceptin in combination with EGFR inhibitors in patients with advanced HER2-overexpressing breast cancer. His research also has demonstrated the ability of inhibitors of HER2 and EGFR to reverse resistance to anti-estrogen therapy in breast cancer cells. In part based on these preclinical data, clinical trials combining these inhibitors with anti-estrogens are being initiated locally and nationally.

Arteaga leads the Breast Cancer Program in the Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center and is director of a Specialized Program of Research Excellence in breast cancer that was recently reviewed by the National Cancer Institute obtaining an outstanding priority score.

Last year’s recipient of the Rosenthal Award was Dr. Raymond N. DuBois Jr., Mina Cobb Wallace of Gastroenterology. DuBois was honored for his contributions to understanding the role of the cyclooxygenase enzymes (COX-1 and COX-2) in cancer prevention and treatment.