Dr. Hannelore Heemers Receives Young Investigator Award From Prostate Cancer Foundation; Award to Accelerate New Discoveries for Battling Prostate Cancer

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

BUFFALO – Hannelore Heemers, PhD, a researcher in the Department of Urology at Roswell Park Cancer Institute, is the recipient of one of 21 Young Investigator Awards given by the Prostate Cancer Foundation (PCF). Designed to encourage the most innovative minds in cancer research to focus their careers on prostate cancer, the $225,000 grant awards provide recipients with three years of funding to test transformational research questions for prostate cancer patients.

Dr. Heemers’ research focuses on androgens, the sex hormones that drive the development and growth of prostate cancer. For almost seven decades, reducing androgens in patients with prostate cancer has been a widely utilized therapy. Unfortunately, almost all patients become resistant to this treatment and their cancer progresses. Dr. Heemers is investigating the activation and repression of over 50 genes (transcriptome analyses) caused by the action of testosterone and related sex hormones in human prostate cells from patients. The results may be useful to predict patient responses to hormonal therapy and more importantly to improve hormonal therapy so that it is more effective with fewer side effects.

“We are investing in the careers of the world’s ‘best of the best’ in computer science, molecular biology, pharmacology, radiation oncology, medical oncology and endocrinology to answer the challenge of discovering better treatments and cures for prostate cancer,” commented Howard R. Soule, PhD, executive vice president and chief science officer for PCF.

The Prostate Cancer Foundation is the world’s largest philanthropic source of support for accelerating some of the world’s most promising research in prostate cancer. The foundation’s primary goal is discover better treatments and cures for recurrent prostate cancer.
Roswell Park Cancer Institute, founded in 1898, is the nation’s first cancer research, treatment and education center and is the only National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer center in Upstate New York. RPCI is a member of the prestigious National Comprehensive Cancer Network, an alliance of the nation’s leading cancer centers. Roswell Park has affiliate sites and collaborative programs both nationally and internationally. For more information, visit RPCI’s website at www.roswellpark.org, call 1-877-ASK-RPCI (1-877-275-7724) or e-mail askrpci@roswellpark.org.

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Media Contact: 

Annie Deck-Miller, Senior Media Relations Manager
716-845-8593; annie.deck-miller@roswellpark.org