Press Release: The Foundation for Women’s Cancer Announces 2011 Recipient of the Claudia Cohen Research Foundation Prize for Outstanding Gynecologic Cancer Researcher

Orlando –March 6, 2011—The Foundation for Women’s Cancer, formerly the Gynecologic Cancer Foundation, and the Claudia Cohen Research Foundation announce today that Dr. Anil K. Sood has been selected as the 2011 recipient of the Foundation for Women’s Cancer/Claudia Cohen Research Foundation Prize for Outstanding Gynecologic Researcher. The $50,000 prize is being presented at the Society of Gynecologic Oncologists 42st Annual Meeting on Women’s Cancer in Orlando, Fl.

Dr. Anil Sood

Dr. Sood is Professor and Vice-Chair for Translational Research in the Departments of Gynecologic Oncology and Cancer Biology at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. He is Co-Director of the Blanton-Davis Ovarian Cancer Research Program and Co-Director of the Center for RNA Interference and Non-Coding RNA.

The doctor is exploring three primary avenues in gynecologic cancer research. The first is the use of RNA interference for cancer therapy. Dr. Sood and colleagues have pioneered the use of nanoparticles for delivering small RNA particles for such therapy. The second is targeting angiogenesis (blood supply) in gynecologic cancers and understanding the mechanisms by which these cancers spread. Dr. Sood and his laboratory also are investigating the effects of chronic stress and related hormones on cancer growth and spread. This work has been featured by the National Cancer Institute (NCI) as a key accomplishment.

Each year over almost 84,000 women will be diagnosed with a gynecologic cancer and about 27,000 will die from these cancers. Gynecologic cancers include cervical cancer, ovarian cancer, uterine cancer, vaginal cancer and vulvar cancer.

“I am fortunate to have been able to develop a highly productive research program that is geared toward rapidly translating new discoveries from the laboratory to clinical application,” said Dr. Sood. “This prize will allow our team to devote more time to translational research with a goal of improving women’s health care.”

The prize is funded by the Claudia Cohen Research Foundation in honor of Claudia Cohen who lost her battle with uterine leiomyosarcoma in 2007. Ms. Cohen was a highly respected journalist and philanthropist. The Claudia Cohen Research Foundation was founded by Ms. Cohen’s daughter Samantha, and her sisters Caleigh and Debra Perelman to foster research aimed at reducing the burden of gynecologic cancer.

“We are very pleased that the Claudia Cohen Research Foundation can meaningfully contribute to help recognize and develop the talented researchers we need to succeed in conquering gynecologic cancer,” said Dr. Eric A. Rose, advisory board member, Claudia Cohen Research Foundation.

The Foundation for Women’s Cancer/Claudia Cohen Prize for Outstanding Gynecologic Researcher is one of three prizes, six ovarian cancer grants and one endometrial cancer grant announced during the SGO Annual Meeting. Another highlight of the meeting will be the celebration of the Foundation’s 20th anniversary.

Since announcing its first grant in 1995, the Foundation has awarded 82 research grants, totaling over $4M. Its research program targets promising young researchers who often receive their initial research funding from the Foundation. The Foundation is grateful to the many families and individuals who give generously each year to support this important research endeavor.

“Our partnership with the Claudia Cohen Research Foundation allows us to recognize our most productive researchers and provide key support as they continue to explore critical questions about how to improve outcomes for women diagnosed with a gynecologic cancer,” said Dr. David M. Gershenson, Chairman, Foundation for Women’s Cancer.

For more information about the Foundation for Women’s Cancer and the prevention, early detection and optimal treatment of gynecologic cancers, visit foundationforwomenscancer.org. For more information about the Claudia Cohen Research Foundation, visit claudicohenfoundation.org.

About the Foundation for Women’s Cancer
Celebrating its 20th anniversary in 2011, the Foundation for Women’s Cancer, formerly the Gynecologic Cancer Foundation, is dedicated to expanding public awareness, education, research and training to improve the prevention, early detection and optimal treatment of gynecologic cancers. A national organization dedicated to the eradication of all reproductive cancers, the Foundation has provided more than $4 million in research funding since 1995, earning recognition from Worth Magazine as one of the nation’s 100 best charities.

About the Claudia Cohen Research Foundation
The Claudia Cohen Research Foundation is dedicated exclusively to support research leading to the immunological treatment, control, and prevention of gynecologic cancer with a special emphasis on gynecologic sarcoma.

Claudia Cohen Prize for Outstanding Gynecologic Cancer Research
The mission of The Claudia Cohen Prize for Outstanding Gynecologic Cancer Research is to develop leaders in cutting-edge research as it relates to gynecologic cancer with a special emphasis on but not exclusive to gynecologic sarcoma. Due to the paucity of research in the area of gynecologic sarcoma cancer, the foundation especially wants to encourage applicants with strong interest in that area. An annual prize of $50,000 will be awarded.

Spotlight

Visit the Sisterhood of Survivorship page to read “Dena’s Story” — by a vulvar cancer survivor who has shared her story and wise words, and channeled her energy into her National Race to End Women’s Cancer team.

Awareness

Vaccine efficacy against vulvar infection with HPV 16/18 was comparable to the efficacy found against cervical infection 4 years after vaccination, according to researchers with the National Cancer Institute.

Research

The Foundation has published its 2014-2015 Research Grants and Awards Booklet with Applications. Please consider applying to become part of an elite group of physician-scientists committed to the well-being of women at risk for/affected by gyn malignancies.

Education

The next Ovarian Cancer Survivors Course will be Saturday, July 26, 2014 in Boston. For more information on courses, click here.