The Prostate Cancer Foundation (PCF) is the world’s leading philanthropic organization funding and accelerating research. Founded in 1993, PCF has raised more than $500 million and provided funding to over 1,600 research projects at nearly 200 institutions in 15 countries around the world. PCF advocates for greater awareness of prostate cancer and more efficient investment of governmental research funds supporting transformational cancer research. Its efforts have helped produce a 20-fold increase in government funding for prostate cancer. More information about PCF can be found at pcf.org.
Of the funds raised in Movember 2010, over $5.7 million went directly to the Prostate Cancer Foundation. This donation is being rapidly deployed by PCF to fund innovative, high-impact research projects for better diagnostics, treatment and cures of prostate cancer.
Watch the video below, narrated by the PCF's Dr. Jonathan Simons, on the state of prostate cancer today.
MOVEMBER-PCF CHALLENGE AWARDS Movember-PCF Challenge Awards are designed to support cross-disciplinary teams of investigators in strategic areas of prostate cancer research and highly-innovative research projects with potential near-term patient benefits. Challenge Awards are given to projects not yet funded by any government or foundation program. These projects represent a range of focus and expertise that will address the most difficult problems in basic and translational research in prostate cancer.
The Movember-PCF Challenge Awards are funded for 2 years each, for a total commitment of $3 million. Recipients of the awards were chosen by the PCF as part of a global competition that produced 76 research proposals from 70 cancer centers around the world. The three recipients of the Movember Awards are Karen Knudsen, PhD (Thomas Jefferson University) and her team, John Isaacs, PhD (Johns Hopkins Medicine) and his team and Rob Reiter, MD (UCLA) and his team. These teams are researching ways to directly impact a prostate cancer patient’s experience with the disease by either learning more about its genomic profile, treatment resistance or reducing the spreading of cancerous tumors.
EXAMPLES OF MOVEMBER FUNDED PROGRAMS
Program: PSMA-based Imaging
In an effort to better diagnose men with prostate cancer, Movember funds through the Prostate Cancer Foundation were distributed to Creativity Award grant winner Dr. Steve Cho at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Dr. Cho and his team won this Movember-funded grant for his evaluation of an imaging technique, PSMA-based PET, which noninvasively pinpoints the location of prostate cancer on a smaller scale and with greater accuracy. This imaging system has the potential to more easily determine the stage of prostate cancer prior to initial treatment and determine those who might benefit from more aggressive treatment versus active surveillance. The ability to detect early metastatic prostate cancer will benefit patients and may prolong survival in men with a greater risk of developing aggressive forms of the cancer.
Program: Whole Genome Sequencing
As a result of the Movember community, for the first time scientists have been able to construct a complete genetic map of prostate cancer. This means that patients will eventually be able to work with their doctors to map the individual genetic alterations of their prostate cancer to determine the specific treatment needed for them. The result will be less men dying from prostate cancer, more effective treatment with less side effects, and it will spare some men from unnecessary treatments, eliminating an estimated $1.5 billion spent each year in over-treatment.
It is a truly historic development in the fight against prostate cancer and will expand the understanding of how the disease works, leading to improved and more personalized treatment.
The Prostate Cancer Foundation, the Broad Institute of Harvard, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston collaborated on this break-through research project.
Program: 27+ Types of Prostate Cancer
Arul Chinnaiyan, MD, PhD, and his colleagues at the University of Michigan has, through the PCF, completed a research program identifying 27+ different types of prostate cancer. This discovery will soon answer the agonizing question facing men with prostate cancer: does their cancer need immediate treatment or can it be left alone?
By identifying which type of prostate cancer a man has, the PCF will soon enable physicians and clinicians to distinguish between aggressive and non-aggressive prostate cancers and prescribe targeted treatments or proactive surveillance for patients. This same study found that rare rearrangements of a certain gene may be associated with more aggressive prostate cancers and tumor progression. This is the first time this type of gene has been found in prostate cancer. These discoveries will eventually help scientists identify potential new drug targets and move us closer to the goal of curing prostate cancer with less over-treatment.
“Movember has initiated a growing international dialog on prostate cancer and men’s health and is an invaluable partner in energizing the global research enterprise for prostate cancer. Here in the U.S., unrestricted funding from Movember is helping the Prostate Cancer Foundation accelerate the world’s most promising research, enabling game-changing projects from whole genome sequencing and the development of innovative therapies. These will help men with advanced prostate cancer live longer, more productive lives than ever before.” - Dr. Jonathan Simons, CEO and President of the Prostate Cancer Foundation
For more information on the research the PCF is funding visit: www.pcf.org
Prostate Cancer Foundation
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