Dr. Kang

American Cancer Society Investing Billions in Research

New Jersey scientists making inroads thanks to ACR funding.

Cancer is one of the nation’s leading public health concerns. One in 3 people will be diagnosed with cancer during their lifetime. More than 1,600 people die from cancer each day in the United States.

What does it take to outsmart cancer? Research. The American Cancer Society (ACS) has invested more than $4.9 billion in cancer research since 1946, all to find more – and better – treatments, uncover factors that may cause cancer, and improve cancer patients’ quality of life.

Researchers are selected for ACS professorships based on their history of pioneering, influential work that’s continuing to change the direction of cancer research, and on their track record of mentoring people who have become successful in cancer research.

One of those researchers is right here from New Jersey. Yibin Kang, Ph.D, the Warner-Lambert/Parke Davis Professor of Molecular Biology at Princeton University and the Associate Director for Consortium Research of Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey, has been awarded an American Cancer Society Research Professorship, receiving a lifelong designation accompanied by a five-year $400,000 commitment.

Dr. Kang’s team focuses on the molecular mechanisms driving breast cancer metastasis, in particular exploring how the body’s connective tissue cells, or stromal cells, provide cellular “niches” that allow cancer cells to metastasize. The new grant will build on the team’s study of tumor-stromal interactions in breast cancer bone metastasis and is expected to have important implications in improving the treatment of metastatic breast cancer.

“Research remains at the heart of our mission. Dr. Kang’s research specifically focused on metastasis is crucial to finding answers into new or improved treatments and therapies,” says Arnold Baskies, MD, American Cancer Society Past Chairman of the National Board of Directors.

As of January 1, 2019, there were more than 3.8 million women with a history of breast cancer living in the US. This estimate includes more than 150,000 women living with metastatic disease, three-quarters of whom were originally diagnosed with stage I, II or III breast cancer.

“Laboratory research and clinical experience have repeatedly highlighted the importance of the stromal cells in the development and treatment response of metastatic cancers. Our research focuses on identifying the key components and molecular interactions that are critical for breast cancer metastasis. Our findings will facilitate the development of novel therapeutics to reduce the risk of metastatic recurrence or improve the survival of patients with metastatic diseases,” Kang says.

In New Jersey, the American Cancer Society estimates that 53,400 residents will receive a cancer diagnosis this year. And 15,860 people will die from the disease.

The American Cancer Society research program has played a role in many of the prevention, screening, and treatment advances that save lives from cancer today. And, we continue to fund research to help save even more lives in the future.

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