American Association for Cancer Research

Press Releases: 2008

Meyskens Honored with AACR-Prevent Cancer Foundation Award for Excellence in Cancer Prevention Research


October 24, 2008

PHILADELPHIA - Frank L. Meyskens, Jr., M.D., one of the "fathers" of the field of cancer chemoprevention, has been selected to receive the seventh annual American Association for Cancer Research (AACR)-Prevent Cancer Foundation Award for Excellence in Cancer Prevention Research.

The award is given annually to a scientist for seminal contributions to the field of cancer prevention research in basic, translational, clinical, epidemiological or behavioral science.

Meyskens, Professor of Medicine and Biological Chemistry and Director of the Chao Family Comprehensive Cancer Center, and Associate Vice Chancellor of Health Sciences at the College of Health Sciences University of California, Irvine, is being honored for his many significant contributions to the field of cancer prevention and control.

His early work examined the translation of laboratory-based chemoprevention into clinical trials. Meyskens led the development of the combination of difluoromethylornithine (DFMO) plus Sulindac to dramatically reduce the risk of advanced colorectal adenoma recurrence.

Among his noteworthy accomplishments, Meyskens developed the topical all-trans-retinoic acid for chemoprevention of cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN), the first of the cellular changes that may develop into cervical cancer in some women. Additionally, he promoted the idea that retinol could be used to affect chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML).

Meyskens has re-examined the scientific basis for the etiology of melanoma. Based on 15 years of detailed laboratory work, he proposed a new conceptual framework for melanoma etiology, prevention, and treatment. Most recently, he has provided a major, new insight into the non-UVR causation of melanoma with suggestions for potential preventive strategies.

Meyskens has published many seminal "thought" papers that have moved the field of cancer prevention forward. Perhaps, the most influential and important papers in the past decade considered the many challenges associated with the identification and development of markers as predictors of preventive effectiveness.

Currently, Meyskens is continuing the clinical development of the Bowman-Birk inhibitor, a soybean-derived serine protease inhibitor, being tested as a human cancer-preventive agent.

Meyskens received a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of San Francisco, and his Medical Degree from University of California, San Francisco Medical School. He completed his postdoctoral education at the Laboratory of Tumor Cell Biology, National Cancer Institute and the Medicine Branch, National Institutes of Health.

Meyskens has received numerous honors and awards for his scientific accomplishments, including the American Society of Preventive Oncology Distinguished Achievement Award and the University of California Irvine Lauds & Laurels Faculty Achievement Award. Meyskens has published more than 100 peer-reviewed laboratory and clinical manuscripts on the topic of cancer prevention and control.

An active member of the AACR since 1979, Meyskens has served in various capacities, including as editorial board member of Cancer Prevention Research, chairperson of the Biology and Genetics of Early Detection special conference, and as a member of several committees.

Meyskens will give an award lecture entitled, Optimizing Chemoprevention by Minimizing Risk-Benefit and Maximizing Risk-Reduction, on Monday, November 17, 2008, at 5:00 p.m., during the Seventh Annual International Conference on Frontiers in Cancer Prevention Research. This foremost meeting on cancer prevention research will be held November 16 - 19, 2008, at the Gaylord National Resort, Washington, DC.

The AACR is pleased to co-sponsor this award with the Prevent Cancer Foundation. The foundation is a national, non-profit health foundation with a single mission: the prevention and early detection of cancer through scientific research and education.

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The mission of the American Association for Cancer Research is to prevent and cure cancer. Founded in 1907, AACR is the world's oldest and largest professional organization dedicated to advancing cancer research. The membership includes more than 28,000 basic, translational and clinical researchers; health care professionals; and cancer survivors and advocates in the United States and 80 other countries. The AACR marshals the full spectrum of expertise from the cancer community to accelerate progress in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of cancer through high-quality scientific and educational programs. It funds innovative, meritorious research grants. The AACR Annual Meeting attracts more than 17,000 participants who share the latest discoveries and developments in the field. Special conferences throughout the year present novel data across a wide variety of topics in cancer research, treatment and patient care. The AACR publishes five major peer-reviewed journals: Cancer Research; Clinical Cancer Research; Molecular Cancer Therapeutics; Molecular Cancer Research; and Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention. The AACR's most recent publication and its sixth major journal, Cancer Prevention Research, is dedicated exclusively to cancer prevention, from preclinical research to clinical trials. The AACR also publishes CR, a magazine for cancer survivors and their families, patient advocates, physicians and scientists. CR provides a forum for sharing essential, evidence-based information and perspectives on progress in cancer research, survivorship and advocacy.

Media Contact:
Megan J. Davies
267-646-0612
megan.davies@aacr.org