Georgia high school researcher discovers mechanism that may prevent metastatic cancer

Through his research, a Georgia high school student discovered that an antioxidant in green tea may be responsible for preventing metastatic cancer. He recently exhibited his findings at a science fair, where he switched to the Regeneron International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF) for the third time. The ISEF, the largest international pre-college science competition in the world, will be held in May.

At the Cobb-Paulding Science Fair last month, Stephen Litt, a 12and student enrolled at the Kennesaw Mountain High School Academy of Mathematics, Science and Technology (Magnet program), presented his Phase VII research that demonstrates how an antioxidant in green tea can prevent cancer from spreading and therefore be classified as metastatic. This is based on evidence that the antioxidant, EGCG, binds to a protein responsible for cancer becoming more aggressive and spreading. Stephen is no stranger to science fairs and has been competing since grade one and focused on his cancer research since grade six.

At the fair, Litt earned the Best Overall Project designation and a coveted spot as a finalist at the Regeneron International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF) for the third time in his high school career. ISEF will be held in Atlanta, Georgia from May 7-13, 2022 at the Georgia World Congress Center. The ISEF, a program of the Society for Science & the Public, is the largest international pre-college science competition in the world.

The research began when Litt was in college and used planarian worms as a model for cancer treatment. Subsequently, Litt was able to work with human breast and cervical cancer cells and prove that EGCG killed cancer cells without harming normal human epithelial cells. Over the past two years, Litt has decided to delve into the molecular level to determine how EGCG can keep cancer at bay.

Today, millions of students around the world participate in local, school-sponsored science fairs each year. winners of these events then participate in affiliated regional and national fairs from which the top performers win the opportunity to attend Regeneron ISEF.

Regeneron ISEF brings together these top young scientific minds, showcasing their talents on an international stage, where doctoral-level scientists review and judge their work.

Source: Science Cobb-Paulding