American Cancer Society Awards Grant to USA Mitchell Cancer Inst

American Cancer Society Awards Grant to USA Mitchell Cancer Institute

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The American Cancer Society (ACS) has awarded a grant of $720,000 to support Dr. Yaguang Xi's research, at the University of South Alabama Mitchell Cancer Institute (MCI) and the University of South Alabama, on preventing the spread of breast cancer. The grant will begin on July 1, 2013.

According to the recent report from the ACS, the survival rate for women who are diagnosed with localized breast cancer is 98%; however, if the cancer has spread to nearby lymph nodes (regional stage) or distant lymph nodes (distant stage), the five-year survival rate decreases to 84% or 23% respectively. Therefore, the prevention of tumor metastasis (or the spread of cancer) and progression is critical to improve the long-term survival of breast cancer patients.

Given the recent studies that show that daily use of Aspirin can reduce the spread of cancer to distant organs, Dr. Xi and his team have set out to characterize a tumor suppressor, quaking (QKI), as the target of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) when preventing the spread of tumor cells in their study titled "Quaking Mediates the Inhibition of Breast Cancer Metastasis by Sulindac." They will be using the drug sulindac because it is better tolerated than aspirin and is readily available for clinical trials.

Dr. Xi has been motivated to protect patients from breast cancer progression and metastasis through his years of work as a surgeon. "My career goal is to use my knowledge and findings to help women with breast cancer," says Dr. Xi, "Early detection, early treatments and most importantly, prevention are the keys to eradicating breast cancer. The success of this project will provide ultimate insights into development of safer and more efficacious therapies with the long-term potential of eradicating this malignant disease."

Dr. Xi is an Assistant Professor of Oncologic Sciences in the research department of MCI. He has been at MCI since 2008.

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