Washington University endocrine surgeon Taylor C. Brown, MD, MHS, has been awarded the American Association of Endocrine Surgeons (AAES) Foundation’s Paul LoGerfo Research Award for further investigation into understanding and developing new therapies for aggressive thyroid cancer.
Brown and his project, entitled “Credentialing Human DNA Polymerase Theta (POLQ) as Novel Therapeutic Target in Aggressive Thyroid Cancer,” received the award at the AAES 42nd Annual Meeting, held in late May in Cleveland.
This research will investigate how DNA repair pathways can be targeted in thyroid cancer and hopefully reveal new therapeutic opportunities for patients. This work will also synergize with current thyroid cancer treatments and potentially make them more effective and durable.
Established to honor the life of past AAES president Paul LoGerfo, MD, the award serves to enrich the discipline of endocrine surgery and to advance the careers of researchers interested in a career in academic endocrine surgery.
“It is an honor to be recognized by the AAES for this important work,” says Brown. “The AAES has been critical to supporting my research and improving the care of thyroid cancer patients across the world. This award provides additional funding to carry out our investigation and move this project forward.”
This was not the first time the AAES Foundation has recognized Brown for his leadership in endocrine surgery and thyroid cancer research. In 2020, Brown also received the ThyCa: Thyroid Cancer Survivors’ Association Award for Thyroid Cancer Research for his project, “Mapping of Intratumoral Heterogeneity and Identification of Druggable Targets in Anaplastic Thyroid Cancer using Whole-Exome Sequencing.”
The support from these awards helps Brown continue to research the evolution of anaplastic thyroid carcinoma, the deadliest form of thyroid cancer, and work to determine new therapeutic pathways for treating this rare and extremely aggressive disease.
“Anaplastic thyroid cancer is a devastating disease,” Brown says. “Unfortunately, survival remains very poor and new therapies are urgently needed.”
Washington University is internationally recognized for its experience researching and treating rare endocrine conditions. This legacy of research excellence began with former Department of Surgery chair Samuel Wells Jr., MD, who led a team that identified the genetic mutations responsible for multiple endocrine neoplasia (MEN) syndromes. Wells and late Surgical Oncology Chief Jeffrey Moley, MD, advanced a preventative procedure that included removal of the thyroid gland.
“Our entire department is strengthened by the outstanding clinical and research expertise of our faculty,” says chief of surgical oncology Ryan Fields, MD, the Kim and Tim Eberlein Distinguished Professor of Surgery. “Dr. Brown’s surgical prowess, ongoing projects, and now this remarkable award from the American Association of Endocrine Surgeons is a true display of his dedication to the fight against aggressive thyroid cancer.”
This legacy continues with advancements in treatments and research taking place at the Thyroid Cancer Program at Siteman Cancer Center. Endocrine surgeons including Brown see the highest volumes of endocrine surgery patients in the St. Louis region and offer clinical trials that evaluate new therapeutic options. To make an appointment with a Washington University endocrine surgeon or refer a patient, please call (314) 362-2280.