National Foundation For Cancer Research Names Einstein Researcher, Dr. Susan B. Horwitz, an NCFR Fellow -- $250,000 Award to Develop Novel Drugs to Overcome Taxol Resistance

April 23, 2004 -- (BRONX, NY) -- The National Foundation For Cancer Research has awarded a $250,000 grant and named Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University researcher,  Dr. Susan Horwitz to its highest distinction, NFCR Fellow. The honor allows Dr.Horwitz extreme flexibility and capability to explore scientific research over the next five years that will improve treatment options for patients who have failed cancer chemotherapy.

“After working with Dr. Horwitz for many years, we feel her research has made major contributions to our understanding of cancer, its origins and its interactions with Taxol and other drugs currently on the market,” said Franklin C. Salisbury, Jr., president of NFCR, based in Bethesda, MD,. “Her research has already led to many clinical applications and treatments of cancer patients today and she is a true example of how research in the laboratory translates into patient treatments.”

Dr. Horwitz’s research to develop new drugs that are active in human tumors that have become resistant to Taxol is groundbreaking. The introduction of Taxol and Taxotere in the 1990’s was an important advance in treating women with breast and ovarian cancer. Later, it was discovered that some tumors are inherently resistant to these drugs and the presence of inherent drug resistance and the development of clinical resistance poses a major obstacle for the survival of cancer patients. To circumvent this problem, Dr. Horwitz is currently pursuing research with two novel natural products, the epothilones and discodermolide, which are chemically distinct from Taxol and can maintain their anti-cancer effect in Taxol-resistant tumor cells.

“Throughout her long career at Einstein, Dr. Horwitz has led by example, with achievements that are admirable and monumental,” said Dr. Dominick P. Purpura, the Marilyn and Stanley H. Katz Dean at Einstein. “Her earlier research proved key to understanding of Taxol as an anticancer agent, while her current work to understand the mysteries of drug-resistance will no doubt lead to additional options and greater hope for cancer patients. We are, indeed, pleased and proud of this wonderful honor that has been bestowed upon Susan by one of America’s leading cancer organizations the National Foundation For Cancer Research.”

“I am grateful to the NFCR in selecting me for such a distinguished honor,” said Dr. Horwitz. “I am truly delighted to be named an NFCR Fellow and very appreciative for the support, both scientific and monetary, that the foundation has provided throughout its 30-year history. Its dedication to cancer researchers has led to many important discoveries that have improved our ability to help cancer patients.”