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Director of Cancer Research at St. Luke’s Receives $200,000 Grant from American Cancer Society

HOUSTON (October 16, 2007) - Philip A. Salem, M.D., Director of Cancer Research of the Cancer Center at St. Luke's Episcopal Hospital, received a $200,000 research grant from the American Cancer Society in Dallas, Texas, on September 29, 2007. Presented at the Society's annual Cattle Baron's Ball in Dallas, the grant will support research programs at St. Luke's Cancer Center.

Dr. Salem expressed appreciation to the American Cancer Society and Cattle Baron's Ball members by saying, "In my professional life, I have always believed that research is the key to the advancement of knowledge and science. Without it, knowledge and the sciences remain stagnant. I am very privileged to have the opportunity to conduct research and we should never forget that the ultimate objective of research is not only to expand knowledge, but more importantly to expand the human mind, which is the miracle of life. I am most honored to receive this generous grant for cancer research at St. Luke's Episcopal Hospital."

Programs at the Cancer Center that will benefit from this grant include:

  • Clinical trials relating to the treatment of pancreatic and ovarian cancers, exploring the role of genetic therapy and immunotherapy;
  • Breast cancer prevention;
  • Studies on the combination of radiation therapy and genetic treatment for prostate cancer - a relatively new approach to treatment with extremely encouraging preliminary findings;
  • Clinical trials relating to the treatment of malignant melanoma, for which there is currently no treatment;
  • Exploration of the clinical usefulness of new target therapy agents in the treatment of lymphomas and a variety of neoplastic diseases.

Dr. Salem is a physician, researcher and educator with over 40 years of experience in cancer research and treatment. Dr. Salem was a professor of cancer medicine at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center before he was appointed Director of Cancer Research in 1991 at St. Luke's Episcopal Hospital.

"St. Luke's is proud that renowned physicians such as Dr. Salem are working in such a vital research field. He is certainly deserving of such a prestigious award that further encourages his contribution to cancer research at St. Luke's," said David C. Pate, MD, JD, CEO of St. Luke's Episcopal Hospital. St. Luke's is establishing the Philip A. Salem Chair in Cancer Research in recognition of his contributions to St. Luke's and to cancer research.

With regular appearances in America's Top Doctors, one of his greatest contributions to medicine is the discovery of the link between infection and cancer. He established in the early 1970's that an infection in the gastrointestinal tract can develop into cancer if left untreated. His research was considered the gateway for research that captured the Nobel Prize in Medicine and Physiology in 2005.

Dr. Salem has also received the Ellis Island Medal of Honor by the National Ethnic Coalition Organization (NECO) and was named "Scientist of the Year" by the Italian Foundation for Promotion of Science and Culture. He is also a recipient of the Senatorial Medal of Freedom from the U.S. Congress for his contributions to science and medicine.

St. Luke's Episcopal Health System comprises the flagship St. Luke's Episcopal Hospital in the Texas Medical Center, founded in 1954 by the Episcopal Diocese of Texas; St. Luke's Community Medical Center-The Woodlands, opened in 2003; St. Luke's Episcopal Health Charities, a charity devoted to assessing and enhancing community health, especially among the underserved; and Kelsey-Seybold Management, LLP, overseeing 21 area clinic locations. St. Luke's Episcopal Hospital is home to the Texas Heart® Institute, founded in 1962 by Denton A. Cooley, MD, and consistently ranked among the top 10 cardiology and heart surgery centers in the nation by U.S. News & World Report. Affiliated with several nursing schools and two medical schools, St. Luke's serves as the primary adult teaching hospital for Baylor College of Medicine. St. Luke's was the first hospital in Texas named a Magnet hospital for nursing excellence, and the Health System has been recognized by FORTUNE as among "100 Best Companies to Work For" and by Houston Business Journal as a top employer in Houston for three consecutive years.