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Drs. Wang Zhenyi and Chen Zhu, Recipients of 7th Annual Szent-Györgyi Prize

January 22, 2012      Author: Ruijin Hospital

Announced by the National Foundation for Cancer Research on January 20, Prof. Wang Zhenyi and Prof. Chen Zhu of Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine were awarded the Seventh Annual Szent-Györgyi Prize for Progress in Cancer Research in praise of their original research result and its remarkable curative effect on the treatment of acute promyelocytic leukemia (APL).

Wang and Chen integrate traditional Chinese medicine Arsenic Trioxide (As2O3) with western approaches for treatment, which dramatically improves the survival rate of APL patients. With the five-year disease free survival rate raised from 25% to 95%, the combined treatment has become the standard for APL worldwide. Thus this highly fatal disease turns into a highly curable one.

The Szent-Györgyi Prize includes a $25,000 honorarium. An official ceremony will be held on March 6, 2012 in New York City to award the Prize to Dr. Wang and Dr. Chen.

"Drs. Wang and Chen have quite literally changed the face of medicine for those patients suffering from APL. Their combined work has saved millions of lives around the world both today and for future generations," said Dr. Beatrice Mintz, Fox Chase Cancer Center, Chair of the 7th Selection Committee of Szent-Györgyi Prize and winner of the 6th Annual Albert Szent-Gyorgyi Prize. "I cannot imagine a better testament to the outcomes of investing in cancer research than what these two distinguished scientists have achieved."

"In keeping with the spirit of nonconformity that NFCR founder Albert Szent-Györgyi is known for, the selection of Drs. Wang and Chen has a significant meaning to those who work in the trenches of cancer research each day," said Sujuan Ba, Ph.D., Co-Chair of the Szent-Györgyi Prize Selection Committee and Chief Operating Officer of NFCR. "True scientific discovery comes from ideas and basic research. These two scientists are inspirational as they both have dedicated their lives to this work that will impact the world for generations to come."

"I am so glad to see that the efforts we have devoted to research on Leukemia these last several decades have led to solid clinical benefits to APL patients around world. We will continue our efforts in finding more effective therapies to treat cancers," said Dr. Wang.
"It is quite humbling to know that our colleagues across the various scientific disciplines selected us. We know there are thousands of scientists worldwide working every day to cure cancer. I hope our work may continue to inspire others," said Dr. Chen. "This is a great honor for Dr. Wang and me."


Reviewed by Tian Cong