Feb 24, 2017 12:00 AM

andrew hahn standing in front of poster
Andrew Hahn at the 2017 Genitourinary Cancers Symposium

Huntsman Cancer Institute (HCI) researcher Andrew Hahn, MD, received an award for his work in genitourinary cancers from the Conquer Cancer Foundation of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO). The Conquer Cancer Foundation of ASCO Merit Award recognizes young researchers who have made a significant impact to their field of study and promotes clinical cancer research by giving recipients the chance to present their findings at conferences.

Hahn is a member of the Agarwal research group at HCI. Led by Neeraj Agarwal, MD, the group’s work focuses on clinical outcomes, genetic biomarkers, and immunotherapy for prostate, kidney, bladder, and testicular cancers. Hahn's collaborators on the project include Lisa Cannon-Albright, PhD, and David Gill, MD.

As part of the Merit Award, Hahn attended the 2017 Genitourinary Cancers Symposium in Orlando, Florida, where he presented research on a new biomarker for prostate cancer treatment. A biomarker is a molecular or genetic indicator used to diagnose a disease, predict the effect of treatment (in this case for prostate cancer), or forecast how a disease may progress. Prostate cancers need relatively high levels of androgens, or male sex hormones, to grow, so hormone therapy that blocks the production and use of androgens is a common treatment. Hahn found patients who have a variant in the gene HSD3B1 will likely not respond to hormone therapy appropriately. The study shows that genetic testing of HSD3B1 can be used as a biomarker to predict how well patients will respond to treatment.

The Conquer Cancer Foundation Merit Awards are supported by Amgen, AstraZeneca, Ipsen Biopharmaceuticals Inc., Janssen Oncology, Lilly, and Takeda Oncology.

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