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Neuroendocrine Tumor Program Recognized for Excellence

Dr. Steven Libutti Selected for Research Team Funded by 2012 Caring for Carcinoid Foundation - AACR Grant

New York City, NY (April 2, 2012) - Steven K. Libutti, MD, Vice Chairman of Surgery and Director of the Montefiore Einstein Center for Cancer Care, has been selected to be a member of the research team that will receive support from the 2012 Caring for Carcinoid Foundation - American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) Grant for Carcinoid Tumor and Pancreatic Neuroendocrine Tumor Research by the grant recipient, Renata Pasqualini, PhD, from MD Anderson Cancer Center.  The grant will be presented to Dr. Pasqualini today at the AACR Annual Meeting 2012 in Chicago.

Created in partnership with the Caring for Carcinoid Foundation (CFCF), the two-year grant of $250,000 ($125,000 per year) will support research focused on developing and studying new ideas and innovative approaches that have direct application and relevance to carcinoid tumors or pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors.

Dr. Pasqualini's team includes Dr. Libutti and Wadih Arap, MD, PhD, Stringer Professor of Medicine and Experimental Diagnostic Imaging at MD Anderson.  The three are longtime collaborators on research of targeted cancer therapies.  The 2012 Caring for Carcinoid Foundation-AARC grant is being awarded in recognition of their research titled "Octreotide-targeted treatment of neuroendocrine tumors of the pancreas."

"We are honored to receive the 2012 Caring for Carcinoid Foundation-AACR Grant for Carcinoid Tumor and Pancreatic Neuroendocrine Tumor Research.  We are also very excited to continue our long standing collaboration with Dr. Steven Libutti and the Albert Einstein College of Medicine.  Dr. Libutti's expertise in neuroendocrine tumors of the pancreas and his transgenic mouse models of this disease will be critical to the success of our project," Dr. Pasqualini said.

Dr. Libutti is Professor of Surgery and Genetics at Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University and the Marvin L. Gliedman, M.D. Distinguished Surgeon at Montefiore. He conducts basic neuroendocrine research in his lab at Einstein, and says the 2012 Caring for

Carcinoid Foundation-AARC grant enhances the significant efforts in neuroendocrine tumor research and treatment conducted in the Endocrine and Neuroendocrine Tumor Program at the Montefiore Einstein Center for Cancer Care.  The program is the first of its kind in the New York-metropolitan area and one of only a few in the country. Under Dr. Libutti's direction, a multi-disciplinary team of specialists evaluates and treats all types and stages of endocrine and neuroendocrine tumors, both benign and malignant. These include tumors associated with the thyroid, parathyroid, adrenal glands, pituitary gland, pancreas and gastrointestinal tract (carcinoids). The program also focuses on patients with familial syndromes, such as von Hippel-Lindau, MEN-1, MEN-2 and SDH and offers genetic counseling, as well as opportunities to participate in clinical trials.

Compared to more common types of cancer such as breast, prostate, lung and colorectal, neuroendocrine tumors are rare and affect approximately 12-15,000 people in the U.S. each year.  NETs most commonly occur in the gastrointestinal system, but they can also occur in the lungs and in the neuroendocrine system's major glands (pancreas, thyroid/parathyroid, adrenal, etc.) all of which release hormones that fuel important body functions such as growth, metabolism and reproduction.