Moffitt’s Dr. Scott Antonia to receive Special Achievement Award in Medicine

March 10, 2006

Tampa, FL -- The National Italian American Foundation (N.I.A.F) will honor Dr. Scott Antonia of the H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center & Research Institute with the N.I.A.F. Special Achievement Award in Medicine on March 22, 6 p.m., at the Italian Club in Ybor City. The event is open to the public.

Last year, Dr. Antonia was named the 2005 Physician of the Year at Moffitt. This prestigious award spotlighted his tireless effort and contribution to one day finding a cure for lung cancer. He is Medical Director, Cellular Therapies Core and Co-Program Leader for the Immunology and Immunotherapy Program. Dr. Antonia has developed a tumor cell vaccine that stimulates the patient’s own T cells to kill cancer cells. The gene-modified cell-based vaccine combines two of the most potent activators of the immune system so these cells can be mixed with the patient’s own tumor cells to be used as a vaccine.

This event will assist the H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center & Research Institute Foundation toward funding the final stages of Dr. Antonia’s vaccine research. All of the proceeds will benefit his research vaccine project and will be presented in the name of another Italian American, Charlie Cagno, who was diagnosed with lung cancer in 2004. Cagno has devoted his life to the Italian American community by serving as president of Tampa’s Sons of Italy and as the president of all of their Florida chapters. The Cagno Family has made a generous donation toward the $100,000 goal of this vaccine research. With the help of the supporters, a clinical trial vaccine treatment could be available within a month after this event.

For additional information please contact the Moffitt Foundation at (813) 745-1403.

In 2001, the National Cancer Institute awarded Moffitt the status of a Comprehensive Cancer Center in recognition of its excellence in research and contributions to clinical trials, prevention and cancer control. Additionally, Moffitt is a member of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network, a prestigious alliance of the country’s leading cancer centers, and is listed in the U.S. News & World Report as one of the top cancer hospitals in America. Moffitt’s sole mission is to contribute to the prevention and cure of cancer.