Chen Zhu was awarded 2018 Sjoberg Prize

Late February 5, The royal Swedish academy of sciences announced The 2018 Sjoberg Prize awarded Chen Zhu from China Ruijin Hospital affiliated to Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine, Anne Dejean fromPasteur institute in Paris, France, and Hugues De The from The college De France in Paris in recognition of three scientists for their discovery in the molecular mechanism of leukemia and acute early young granulocyte leukemia (APL) revolutionary treatment.

The prize was awarded by the royal Swedish academy of sciences and announced by the Sjoberg foundation. The foundation was founded in 2016 by Swedish businessman Sjoberg who donated 2 billion Swedish kronor to promote scientific research focusing on cancer, health and the environment. The prize of 1 million dollars is in line with the world-famous Nobel Prize. The royal Swedish academy of sciences, which awards the prize, is also the selection body for the Nobel prizes in physics, chemistry and economics.

The royal Swedish academy of sciences, said the three scientists won the prize because they use all trans retinoic acid (ATRA) and arsenic trioxide (ATO) on acute myelocytic leukemia for joint target therapy, early make the disease more than five years of disease-free survival rate jumped to 90%, reach the standard basic “cure”. At the same time, the molecular mechanism revealed how ATRA and arsenic induced differentiation and apoptosis of leukemia cells, so as to achieve the purpose of disease treatment.

The idea of using arsenic originated in traditional medicine, but is supported by scientific experiments in the treatment. The winners methodically revealed the molecular mechanisms underlying the disease, making it possible to treat it scientifically. They identified a specific genetic mutation in the type of leukemia cells and destroyed the wrong proteins, blocking the process of death. The treatment eliminated cancer cells from self-renewal. In many countries, this combination therapy has become the preferred treatment for acute promyelocytic leukemia. 

Royal Swedish science Sjoberg gold prize is in the case of confirmed the disease gene drugs again, so the treatment effect is very obvious, the cure rate is as high as 90%.

When delivering their acceptance speech, professor Chen Zhu said: “sharing the prestigious award with other two scientists is my greatest honor, because the prize is recognition of important contribution to cancer research”, he thought, “The prize does not only mean the glory. A kind of responsibility is more important. The responsibility to me and my team and partners will help us continue to work hard to crack the other type of blood cancer pathogenesis, through cooperation with other partners to develop innovation, effective treatment strategy for these disorders.”

The three winners are still active in cancer research. Anna dejan is focused on continuing her work in liver cancer, studying the significance of protein modification in cancer development. Huger de The is studying potential treatments that stimulate cancer cells to mature and block their self-renewal. Chen Zhu is working on genetic and molecular changes in other types of leukemia.