American Association for Cancer Research

Press Releases: 2008

Massagué Honored with Inaugural AACR Distinguished Leadership Award in Breast Cancer Research


December 8, 2008

SAN ANTONIO - Joan Massagué, Ph.D., whose research identified the role of transforming growth hormone factor- β (TGF-β) in the metastasis of breast cancer cells to the lung, has been selected to receive the inaugural AACR Distinguished Leadership Award in Breast Cancer Research.

Massagué spent more than two decades defining how TGF-β affects cell growth and division. He learned that an imbalance of TGF-β receptors led to the spread of cancer cells and used this information to determine how gene expression predicts the ability of breast cancer cells to metastasize. Massagué identified organ-specific metastatic characteristics that predict the spread of cancer cells. These investigations demonstrated that a genetic predisposition for metastasis can sometimes be identified in primary malignancies before the cancer has begun to spread.

Massagué's work is a dramatic example of the continuing importance of the focused pursuit of basic problems in biology for advancing our understanding of cancer and for developing new approaches to diagnosis and treatment.

Massagué obtained his doctorate in biochemistry from the University of Barcelona. In 1989, he was recruited to Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. He currently serves as Investigator, Howard Hughes Medical Institute; professor, Weill-Cornell Graduate School; adjunct director, Institute for Research in Biomedicine of Barcelona; and Alfred P. Sloan Chair, Cancer Biology and Genetics Program at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center.

Massagué will give an award lecture entitled, "Deconstructing Metastasis," on Saturday, December 13, 2008, at 11:30 a.m. CST, during the 31st Annual CTRC-AACR San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium, in San Antonio, Texas.

For a high resolution photograph of Joan Massagué, Ph.D., please contact Megan Davies at (267) 646-0612 or megan.davies@aacr.org.

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The mission of the CTRC-AACR San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium is to produce a unique and comprehensive scientific meeting that encompasses the full spectrum of breast cancer research, facilitating the rapid translation of new knowledge into better care for breast cancer patients. The Cancer Therapy & Research Center (CTRC) at The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR), and Baylor College of Medicine are joint sponsors of the San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium. This collaboration utilizes the clinical strengths of the CTRC and Baylor, with the AACR's scientific prestige in basic, translational and clinical cancer research to expedite the delivery of the latest scientific advances into the clinic. The 31st Annual Symposium is expected to draw more than 8,500 participants from more than 80 countries.

Media Contact:

Megan Davies
(267) 646-0612
megan.davies@aacr.org
In San Antonio December 10 - 14:
210-582-7016