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Two SYSU Research Achievements Won 2019 State Science and Technology Awards

Last updated :2020-01-14

Source: Office of Scientific Research
Written by: Office of Scientific Research, Cancer Center
Edited by: Xu Jia, Wang Dongmei

The National Science and Technology Awards Conference was held in Beijing on January 10, 2020. CPC and State leaders Xi Jinping, Li Keqiang, Wang Huning, and Han Zheng attended the Conference and presented awards to representatives of the award winners.

The 2019 State Science and Technology Awards were presented to 296 scientific projects and 12 scientists. There were 2 recipients of the State Preeminent Science and Technology Award; 1 first prize and 45 second prizes of the State Natural Sciences Award; 3 first prizes and 62 second prizes of the State Technology Invention Award; 3 grand prizes, 22 first prizes (including 1 innovation team prize) and 160 second prizes of the State Science and Technology Progress Award. Ten foreign scientists received the International Science and Technology Cooperation Award. Sun Yat-sen University (SYSU) won 1 second prize of the State Science and Technology Progress Award as the primary research unit at which the research project was undertaken and completed, and 1 first prize of the State Science and Technology Progress Award as a participating unit.

Prof. Xu Ruihua from Sun Yat-sen University Cancer Center at the Conference
 
The project entitled “Discoveries and Clinical Application of Molecular Biomarkers in Gastrointestinal Cancers” led by Prof. Xu Ruihua from Sun Yat-sen University Cancer Center won the second prize of the State Science and Technology Progress Award. Prof. Xu’s research team also includes Feng Wang, Hui-Yan Luo, Xin-Yuan Guan, Yun-Fei Yuan, Jing-Ping Yun, Tie-Bang Kang, Jian-Yong Shao, Huai-Qiang Ju, Miao-Zhen Qiu. This project was independently completed by Sun Yat-sen University Cancer Center.

Gastrointestinal (GI) cancer is a major health-threatening issue in China with an incidence and mortality accounting for more than 50% of all maligancies. Prof. Xu’s research team have been working on improving early cancer diagnosis rate, developing individualized therapeutic strategy and exploring mechanisms underlying tumor metastasis and drug resistance for 20 years. Their studies, funded by the national “863” project and NSFC, have identified serial molecular biomarkers contributing to remarkable improvement of diagnosis and treatment of GI cancer.

Firstly, Prof. Xu’s team identified ctDNA methylation markers in early diagnosis of hepatocellular carcinoma by making breakthrough in liquid biopsy, which significantly improved its diagnostic accuracy compared with the current clinical biomarkers. More importantly, the methylation diagnosis kit has been developed and applied clinically as an innovative technique.

Secondly, they discovered a modified chemotherapeutic combination (mXELIRI), in which the drug dose is adjusted according to polymorphism of UGT1A1, after learning lessons from the failure of European and American studies. Moreover, the limited toxicity and high efficiency of mXELIRI was demonstrated by an international multicenter clinical trial, which was led by Prof. Xu Ruihua.

Thirdly, the targeted therapy for advanced HER2-positive gastric cancer was optimized by Prof. Xu’s team. They determined the optimal dose of anti-HER2 drugs in the world, developed a real-time and non-invasive method to monitor drug resistance for the first time.

Prof. Xu’s team published 165 SCI papers. These fruitful findings were cited by 8 international guidelines and 84 classic English monographs and used in medical institutions worldwide, which benefits over millions of patients, plays an important role in solving national healthy issues, and contributes Chinese wisdom to global GI oncology development.

The project in which Prof. Wu Weikang from SYSU’s Zhongshan School of Medicine participated, won first prize of the State Science and Technology Progress Award. Professor Wu Weikang is the ninth participant in the project, and SYSU is the seventh participating unit.