Designing AR Inhibitors Team wins AACR Team Science Award for developing prostate cancer treatment

The American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) will award the ninth annual AACR Team Science Award to the Designing Androgen Receptor (AR) Inhibitors Team from Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) at the AACR Annual Meeting 2015, to be held in Philadelphia, April 18-22.

The AACR Team Science Award recognizes an outstanding interdisciplinary research team for its innovative and meritorious scientific work that has advanced or will likely advance cancer research, detection, diagnosis, prevention, or treatment. The team will be presented with the award during the opening ceremony, Sunday, April 19, 8:15 a.m. ET, in Hall A of the Pennsylvania Convention Center.

The Designing AR Inhibitors Team is a multi-institutional team that is composed of Charles Sawyers, MD, PhD, team leader, director of the Human Oncology and Pathogenesis Program at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York, AACR past-president, and Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator; Howard Scher, MD, chief of genitourinary oncology service and D. Wayne Calloway chair in urologic oncology at Memorial Sloan Kettering; and Michael Jung, PhD, distinguished professor in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at the UCLA.

The team is being honored for their collective work in discovering and developing the novel antiandrogen enzalutamide (Xtandi) for the treatment of metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer. After determining that AR overexpression was responsible for fueling the growth and survival of castration-resistant prostate cancers, the team used preclinical models to identify novel AR inhibitors that blocked the growth of tumors. These studies led to the clinical development of enzalutamide, which received U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval in August 2012, after a phase III trial showed that the drug significantly extended survival among patients with metastatic, chemotherapy-resistant, castration-resistant prostate cancer.

"Fostering research collaborations has been central to the AACR's mission to prevent and cure cancer since its inception in 1907," said Margaret Foti, PhD, MD (hc), chief executive officer of the AACR. "The progress against prostate cancer achieved as a result of the dedicated efforts of the 'Designing Androgen Receptor Inhibitors Team' is a stellar example of how team science can hasten the pace at which research progress can be achieved and translated into clinical improvements that yield meaningful advances for patients with cancer, and we are delighted to recognize the team's accomplishments."

"When we started this collaboration 10 years ago, Dr. Jung, Dr. Scher, and I were determined to make a difference for men with prostate cancer. We knew we had a good plan but we could never have imagined the impact that our work would eventually have. Nothing is more gratifying than seeing that vision become a reality and knowing that men with metastatic prostate cancer are now living longer. In addition to the three of us, our team includes the many trainees from our groups who made critical contributions to the work and the brave patients who participated in the first clinical trials of this experiment. We thank the AACR and Eli Lilly for recognizing the value of team science and the selection committee for honoring us with this very special award," Sawyers said.

The AACR Team Science Award, generously supported by grants from Eli Lilly and Company, is presented with the intent to stimulate change within the traditional cancer research culture by recognizing those individuals and institutions that value and foster interdisciplinary team science. The winning team collectively receives a $50,000 prize and is recognized for its scientific accomplishments and leadership role in fostering team science to advance cancer research.


American Association for Cancer Research


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