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Fox Chase Cancer Center's Paul Cairns, Ph.D. Awarded Grant from Action to Cure Kidney Cancer

PHILADELPHIA (March 3, 2006) - Paul Cairns, PhD, a member in the medical science division at Fox Chase Cancer Center, has been awarded a $45,000 grant from Action to Cure Kidney Cancer (ACKC) to purchase a state-of-the-art research tool vital to Cairns' laboratory work.

The tool is called a real-time PCR (Polymerase Chain Reaction) instrument. The PCR system will help Cairns in refining and expediting research in the development of a urine-screening test for kidney cancer. This technology enables Cairns to identify one cancer cell in 10,000 normal cells, a tenfold increase in accuracy over previous technology.

Cairns is a pioneering researcher on the trail of genetic markers that identify kidney cancer. He has identified a panel of six genes in all of the different types of kidney cancer tumors that he has studied.

Cairns joined Fox Chase as an associate member in 1998 following a postdoctoral fellowship in head and neck cancer research at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore, Md. Educated in the United Kingdom, he received his bachelor's of science degree in genetics in 1986 from the University of Aberdeen. After earning his Ph.D. in clinical genetics at the University of Birmingham in 1990, he completed a postdoctoral fellowship in the epithelial carcinogenesis laboratory at the Marie Curie Research Institute in Surrey, UK, from 1990 to 1993.

A member of the editorial board of Cancer Biology and Therapy, Cairns also belongs to the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the American Association for Cancer Research.

Among his honors are AACR's 1995 Young Investigator Award, the 2001 Ovarian Cancer Research Foundation Young Investigator Award and the 2002 Young Clinical Scientist Fellowship from the Flight Attendant Medical Research Institute.

ACKC is a grassroots organization established in 2003 by kidney cancer patients and their families/caregivers who are working to raise awareness of kidney cancer and to ensure that it receives the public and private funding required to identify and develop effective treatment modalities and to find a cure for this disease. ACKC works with government officials, research institutions, and other interested organizations and individuals to increase the level of funding for kidney cancer research. For more information about ACKC, visit the organizations web site at www.ackc.org.


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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