Adetunji T. Toriola, MD, PhD
AACR Award for Outstanding Achievement in Basic Cancer Research

Adetunji T. Toriola, MD, PhD

Professor of Surgery
Division of Public Health Sciences
Department of Surgery
Washington University School of Medicine
St. Louis, MO

In recognition of his research dedicated to identifying molecular determinants of mammographic density and breast cancer risk that can be targeted in breast cancer prevention, especially in premenopausal women. Toriola was the first to report a positive association between the receptor activator of nuclear factor-κB (RANK) pathway gene expression and mammographic breast density in premenopausal women and demonstrated the potential utility of targeting the RANK pathway for primary breast cancer prevention in this patient population. Toriola demonstrated that plasma levels of RANK-pathway proteins could be used as biomarkers of mammographic breast density in premenopausal women, and that RANK ligand (RANKL) signaling is associated with mammographic breast density among such women with elevated progesterone levels. These findings helped to identify a subset of women who would likely benefit from RANKL inhibition to help prevent breast cancer.

The AACR Award for Outstanding Achievement in Basic Cancer Research was established by the AACR to recognize an early-career investigator for meritorious achievements in basic cancer research. The award is intended to recognize an individual who has not yet reached 46 years of age at the time of their award presentation. To learn more, please visit the press release.