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Marshall researchers to study oral cancer prevention

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has awarded the Marshall University School of Pharmacy a $444,000 research enhancement grant to explore possible preventive treatments for oral cancer.

Oral cancer, also known as squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck cancer (SCCHN), is the sixth most common cancer worldwide. It is caused by smoking, drinking, the Human papillomavirus (HPV) and betel nut chewing. While the incidence of many types of cancer is decreasing, the rate of SCCHN has continued to increase. In West Virginia, this cancer is increasing by 4.2% per year.

“Our NIH-funded research will use a synthetic version of curcumin, which is a substance in turmeric, to explore its anti-carcinogenic effects in mice,” said Ruhul D. Amin, Ph.D. (pictured), associate professor at the School of Pharmacy and principal investigator for this project. “If our study proves the substance prevents oral cancer, it will pave the way for further clinical development that could ultimately save thousands of lives.”

Additional information about Marshall University School of Pharmacy research is available at