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Vector Group Ltd. Contributes $2.4 Million to Weill Medical College Lung Cancer Detection Program.

Business Editors

MIAMI--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Dec. 4, 2000

Gift Will be Used to Further Spiral CT Scanning Research; Early

Detection Screening Method Helps Increase Lung Cancer Survival Rate

Vector Group Ltd. (NYSE: VGR), the parent of Liggett Group Inc. tobacco company, announced today that it has donated $2.4 million to provide for the expansion of spiral CT scanning research at the Joan and Sanford I. Weill Medical College of Cornell University in New York City. The project is headed by Dr. Claudia Henschke of Weill Medical College, who has assembled an international, multi-site collaboration for lung cancer screening.

CT screening for lung cancer uses helical low-dose CT, multi-slice or single slice, scanners to detect early stage lung cancer. Early detection is considered by medical experts to be the most critical factor in the survival of lung cancer patients. Advances in spiral CT scanning offer the possibility of a dramatically improved cure rate over the current rate of approximately 10% for patients diagnosed via the traditional x-ray method.

Bennett S. LeBow, Chairman and CEO of Vector Group said, "We are very proud and thankful that we are able to help support this very important cause and believe it's the right thing to do. Spiral CT scanning can potentially save millions of lives a year. We are especially pleased to partner with Weill Cornell Medical College and Dr. Henschke and her esteemed colleagues to further efforts to ensure the availability and reliability of this critical cancer screening method. We hope the other companies in the industry join us in our efforts."

The International Collaboration to Screen for Lung Cancer ("ICScreen") will work with ten participating medical centers nationwide. Each center is expected to screen more than 500 subjects per year, over a two-year period, using spiral CT scanning. ICScreen will be responsible for designing the research plan, monitoring the performance of the participating sites and gathering and analyzing the resulting data. ICScreen's goal is to modernize and standardize the administration of spiral CT scanning and quantify with empirical data the number of lives saved by this screening process in order to increase the use of CT scanning in the future.

Dr. Henschke, Professor of Radiology and Chief of Chest Imaging at the Weill Medical College of Cornell University, stated, "Thanks to the contribution of Mr. Lebow and Vector Group, we have raised the initial funding needed to support this important research and data collection on the effectiveness of spiral CT scanning. In the U.S. alone, there are currently 48 million former smokers and 40 million smokers waiting to be screened by this method. This endowment brings us one step closer to amassing the data needed to ensure that this screening is reliable, affordable and accessible to all who need it going forward."

Claudia Henschke received an M.S. and bachelor's degree in French and Mathematics from Southern Methodist University and a Ph.D. in mathematical statistics from the University of Georgia. She was an Assistant Professor of Statistics and Computer Science at the University of Georgia and an Assistant Professor of Biostatistics and Epidemiology at Georgetown University before receiving her M.D. from Howard University Medical School and radiology specialty training at Harvard Medical School. Before joining Cornell in 1983, Dr. Henschke was an Assistant Professor of Radiology at Harvard Medical School.

Founded in 1898, Cornell University Medical College (now known as Joan and Sanford I. Weill Medical College of Cornell University) has long ranked among the leading medical schools in the U.S. From the start, the medical college has followed an educational philosophy that emphasizes the importance of combining a strong basic foundation in the medical sciences with extensive clinical training in patient care. In 1927, the Medical College and The New York Hospital entered into a major affiliation agreement, which culminated with the opening, in 1932, of a unified campus on the Upper East Side of Manhattan.

Vector Group is a holding company that indirectly owns Liggett Group Inc. and a controlling interest in New Valley Corporation. Effective May 24, 2000, Vector Group changed its name from Brooke Group Ltd.
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Publication:Business Wire
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Dec 4, 2000
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