News Release: People

Nov. 16,  2009

Emory Winship Cancer Institute Oncologist Receives Nutrition Award

News Article ImageEmory Winship Cancer Institute

Omer Kucuk, MD, professor of hematology and medical oncology at the Emory Winship Cancer Institute, has received the Mark Bieber Academic Award from the American College of Nutrition (ACN).

The award is presented each year by the ACN in recognition of academic excellence and outstanding professional dedication to the fields of nutrition and health. The ACN is comprised of physicians and professionals from many disciplines who share a common interest in promoting nutrition knowledge and its role in maintaining health and treating disease.

"I am delighted and humbled to have received this award," says Kucuk. "The American College of Nutrition is an extremely important organization and a great resource for groundbreaking research and information on nutritional compounds and their roles in preventing and treating serious diseases. I very much appreciate this honor."

Nutrition and cancer therapy are among Kucuk's primary areas of research, and he has published extensively on various nutrients in combination with chemotherapy and radiation. Kucuk and his colleagues are currently exploring how soy isoflavones make chemotherapy and radiation more effective.

"These are pleiotropic agents, which means they affect multiple pathways in cancer cells as well as other cells," says Kucuk. "This is good, because a lot of the chemotherapy drugs target one pathway, and they're usually very toxic. But because nontoxic nutritional compounds work with multiple pathways they have mild side effects making them very attractive for treatment."

Kucuk has been conducting clinical trials with lycopene and soy isoflavones in combination with standard therapy for prostate cancer since 1996.

Kucuk has more than 150 peer-reviewed publications, review articles and book chapters to his credit, and he is on the editorial boards of scientific journals including the Cancer Detection and Prevention and Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention.

As Georgia's only National Cancer Institute Designated Cancer Center, the Emory Winship Cancer Institute serves as the coordinating center for a vast array of resources in medical, surgical, radiation oncology, diagnostic imaging, and the subspecialties of cancer care throughout Emory University. 

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