American Association for Cancer Research

Press Releases: 2008

Easton Honored With Inaugural AACR Outstanding Investigator Award in Breast Cancer Research


December 11, 2008

SAN ANTONIO - Douglas Easton, Ph.D., whose international studies in breast cancer explained the genetic patterns and causes of the BRCA1 and BRCA2 gene mutations which indicate a person's risk for breast cancer, has been selected to receive the inaugural American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) Outstanding Investigator Award in Breast Cancer Research.

This award, funded by Susan G. Komen for the Cure, recognizes an investigator whose novel and significant work has had or may have a far-reaching impact on the causes, detection, diagnosis, treatment or prevention of breast cancer.

Easton, professor of genetic epidemiology and director of the Cancer Research UK Genetic Epidemiology Unit in the Department of Public Health and Primary Care at the University of Cambridge, has been selected for his national and international studies of the genetic causes and patterns of breast cancer. As a result of his work, Easton established the Breast Cancer Linage Consortium, which provided the first estimates of breast and ovarian cancer risk in BRCA1 mutation carriers and developed a risk model that is used daily in clinics worldwide.

Most recently, Easton assisted in identifying five breast cancer genes located in specific areas on the chromosome which impact breast cancer susceptibility, none of which had previously been associated with breast cancer: FGFR2, TNRC9, MAP3K1, LSP1 and a locus on 8q. Subsequently, he demonstrated how variations in these loci are associated with increased risk of breast cancer in BRCA mutation carriers. These observations may become important in counseling women who carry the BRCA mutation, and will be important for risk stratification in the general population.

Easton received Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts degrees in mathematics from the University of Cambridge. He earned a doctorate in Genetic Epidemiology from the University of London. In 1980 Dr. Easton was recruited to a research fellow position at the Institute of Cancer Research. In 1995, Dr. Easton moved to Cambridge to become director of the Cancer Research Genetic Epidemiology Unit.

Easton will give an award lecture entitled, "Recent Developments in Genetic Susceptibility to Breast Cancer," on Thursday, December 11, 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 Douglas Easton, 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.