UCI News

UCI’s Dr. Bang H. Hoang, colleagues recognized for bone cancer research

Researchers awarded prestigious 2011 Kappa Delta Ann Doner Vaughan Award, along with $20,000 grant.

March 11, 2011

UC Irvine’s Dr. Bang H. Hoang and colleagues have been presented the 2011 Kappa Delta Ann Doner Vaughan Award for their work advancing the understanding of how bone cancer spreads.

The award, which comes with a $20,000 grant, was announced at the recent American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons annual meeting. Since 1950, it has been considered one of the most prestigious honors bestowed by the AAOS and the Orthopaedic Research Society.

“Osteosarcoma is an aggressive cancerous bone tumor that appears primarily in children and is prone to spread from its primary location,” said Hoang, a surgeon and researcher at UCI’s Department of Orthopaedic Surgery and Chao Family Comprehensive Cancer Center. “By understanding and explaining the underlying mechanisms for tumor progression, we hope eventually to develop therapies benefiting patients with sarcomas that are currently untreatable.”

Though osteosarcoma can be treated in 60 percent to 70 percent of patients, the five-year survival rate for those who relapse is only 20 percent. With no significant change in bone cancer survival rates for the past two decades, Hoang sought to understand how inhibiting the Wnt pathway – a network of proteins linked to the progression of cancer – might suppress tumor growth and metastasis.

This work is reflected in his study, “Toward Novel Therapeutic Intervention for Osteosarcoma: Clinical Implications of the Wnt Pathway,” co-authored by UCI Drs. Yi Guo and Xiaolin Zi, as well as former UCI Dr. Randall F. Holcombe.

About UC Irvine Medical Center: Orange County’s only university hospital, UC Irvine Medical Center offers acute- and general-care services at its new, 482,000-square-foot UC Irvine Douglas Hospital and is home to the county’s only Level I trauma center, American College of Surgeons-verified regional burn center and National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer center. U.S. News & World Report has included UCI for 10 consecutive years on its annual list of America’s Best Hospitals, giving special recognition to its urology, gynecology, and ear, nose & throat programs.

About the University of California, Irvine: Founded in 1965, UCI is a top-ranked university dedicated to research, scholarship and community service. Led by Chancellor Michael Drake since 2005, UCI is among the most dynamic campuses in the University of California system, with nearly 28,000 undergraduate and graduate students, 1,100 faculty and 9,000 staff. Orange County’s largest employer, UCI contributes an annual economic impact of $4.2 billion. For more UCI news, visit www.today.uci.edu.

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