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Dr. Margie Clapper at Fox Chase Cancer Center Receives Second Grant for Colon-Cancer Prevention Research from Cancer Research Foundation of America

PHILADELPHIA (February 3, 1999) -- Dr. Margie L. Clapper of Harleysville, Pa., a cell biologist and leading cancer prevention researcher at Fox Chase Cancer Center, has received a second one-year grant from the Cancer Research Foundation of America to support her ongoing research on using the drug oltipraz to prevent colon cancer in individuals at high risk of the disease.

The $32,000 grant from CRFA, located in Alexandria, Va., will support laboratory studies to determine the effectiveness of oltipraz in raising levels of enzymes that help protect against cancer. Clapper also received a one-year CRFA grant in 1997 to support the first stage of this project.

Clapper's project focuses on reducing the risk of colon cancer among people with ulcerative colitis. Chronic colitis currently increases the risk of cancer of the colon or rectum by 10 times. The first stage of research supported by CRFA showed that oltipraz can inhibit colitis-associated colon cancer in a laboratory model.

Ultimately, Clapper says, "This translational laboratory research will form the basis for designing a clinical trial using oltipraz to help prevent colon cancer in people with ulcerative colitis." Her work represents the first attempt to develop a cancer preventive regimen for individuals with this disease.

"We're delighted to continue supporting your excellent program," CRFA president Carolyn R. Aldig told Clapper when she announced that the Foundation's scientific review panel and board of directors had approved the new grant.

Based on Clapper's past research with oltipraz, Fox Chase has already been conducting a clinical trial using oltipraz in an effort to prevent lung cancer in current or former smokers with precancerous changes in their lungs. This approach to preventive health is known as chemoprevention(the use of natural or synthetic chemicals to prevent disease.

A graduate of the State University of New York State at Oneonta, Clapper earned her Ph.D. in genetics and cell biology at the University of Connecticut at Storrs. In 1986 she joined the department of pharmacology in the medical science division of Fox Chase as a postdoctoral associate. In 1991, the Center asked her to head a cancer prevention laboratory, and she is now an associate member in the division of population science.

Carolyn Aldig founded the Cancer Research Foundation of America in 1985. Since its inception, CRFA has provided funding to more than 200 scientists at more than 100 leading academic institutions across the country.

Through the Foundation's public education programs, thousands of men, women and children have received life-saving information about cancer, including early detection and prevention. When the Foundation began, cancer prevention was a neglected area, but today prevention research is booming and enormous gains are being made. The Cancer Research Foundation of America has played a crucial role in instigating these critical changes.

Fox Chase Cancer Center is one of 35 National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer centers in the nation. The Center's activities include basic and clinical research, prevention, detection and treatment of cancer and community outreach programs.


Fox Chase Cancer Center, part of the Temple University Health System, is one of the leading cancer research and treatment centers in the United States. Founded in 1904 in Philadelphia as one of the nation’s first cancer hospitals, Fox Chase was also among the first institutions to be designated a National Cancer Institute Comprehensive Cancer Center in 1974. Fox Chase researchers have won the highest awards in their fields, including two Nobel Prizes. Fox Chase physicians are also routinely recognized in national rankings, and the Center’s nursing program has received the Magnet recognition for excellence four consecutive times. Today, Fox Chase conducts a broad array of nationally competitive basic, translational, and clinical research, with special programs in cancer prevention, detection, survivorship, and community outreach.  For more information, call 1-888-FOX CHASE or (1-888-369-2427).

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