"The problem is we're treating the wrong disease," said Esposito, a Princeton University graduate student in molecular biology.
Esposito took the top prize at the Innovation Forum, an event for University researchers to present potentially marketable discoveries, with his pitch for a method to stop the spread of cancer, called metastasis. Despite myriad combinations of chemotherapy, radiation and targeted biological agents — including 171 new drugs approved in recent decades — death rates for cancer have fallen only 20 percent since their peak 25 years ago, he said. These treatments attack cancer itself, but not metastasis. In his research, he found that blocking a single class of enzyme can dramatically lessen the spread of cancer cells and improve survival.
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