PHILADELPHIA — The American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) will honor Andrew T. Chan, MD, MPH, with the 2019 AACR-Waun Ki Hong Award for Outstanding Achievement in Translational and Clinical Cancer Research during the AACR Annual Meeting 2019 being held March 29-April 3 in Atlanta.
Chan is being recognized for his pioneering work on the molecular mechanisms of aspirin in both the prevention and treatment of colorectal cancer (CRC). His work has influenced current clinical guidelines for chemoprevention and led the field in recognizing and developing the concept of precision chemoprevention.
The AACR established the AACR-Waun Ki Hong Award for Outstanding Achievement in Translational and Clinical Cancer Research, which recognizes a worthy cancer researcher who has conducted highly meritorious translational and clinical cancer research anywhere in the world, and who has not yet reached 51 years of age at the time of the award presentation. The award was established in 2017 in recognition of Waun Ki Hong, MD, FAACR, for his extraordinary contributions toward advancing cancer research, cancer care, and cancer prevention during his long-standing brilliant career as a physician-scientist. This year’s award is especially poignant after Hong’s unexpected passing on Jan. 2, 2019.
“Dr. Chan is an outstanding physician-scientist whose novel findings on the role of aspirin in colorectal cancer have contributed to bringing the field of chemoprevention to the forefront of cancer research,” said Margaret Foti, PhD, MD (hc), chief executive officer of the AACR. “As a preeminent expert in this field, he has had a substantial impact on colorectal cancer research from both a scientific and public health perspective. We are proud to honor the memory of my dear colleague, friend, and mentor, AACR Past President Waun Ki Hong, by recognizing Dr. Chan with this award.”
Chan serves as chief of the Clinical and Translational Epidemiology Unit and vice chair for the Division of Gastroenterology at Massachusetts General Hospital. He is also co-leader of the Cancer Epidemiology Program at the Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center.
His lecture is titled “Aspirin and Precision Prevention of Cancer: Who, When, and How?” and will be delivered on Monday, April 1, at 4 p.m. in the Georgia Ballroom at the Georgia World Congress Center.
Widely known for his work on the role of aspirin in CRC, Chan was the first to report that reduced CRC risk associated with aspirin intake was limited to cancers with COX-2 overexpression. In addition, he later showed that aspirin use after diagnosis was associated with improved CRC-specific survival, leading to the development of at least four phase III clinical trials exploring the use of aspirin for CRC treatment. These discoveries and subsequent research helped inform the 2016 U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommendation for the use of low-dose aspirin in the prevention of cardiovascular events and CRC.
Chan received his medical degree from Harvard Medical School and a Master of Public Health from Harvard School of Public Health. He is an elected fellow of the American Gastroenterological Association (2013) and an elected member of the American Society for Clinical Investigation (2013).
Chan has received several other awards throughout his career, including the Joseph Sung Award for Excellence in Clinical Research (2017), the Martin Prize for Clinical Research (2016), the Stephen M. Krane Award (2016), the Young Investigator Clinical Science Award (2008), the American Gastroenterological Association Rising Star Award (2006), the American Medical Association Outstanding Young Physician (1997), the Robert H. Ebert Prize (1997), and the Gordon Rohde Dewart Award (1992).