August 21st, 2019

2019 Movember x PCF Challenge Awards

Announcing three new awards - getting us closer to our goal of a world where no man dies from prostate cancer.
Prostate Cancer

We are pleased to announce three new Movember Foundation - PCF Challenge Awards with our men’s health partners at the Prostate Cancer Foundation (PCF). These awards are granted to teams at some of the world’s leading cancer research institutions. They will receive a total of $2.5 million to support cross-disciplinary pioneering research toward the goal of finding a cure for prostate cancer. Of these funds, $2 million was raised from the 2018 US Movember campaign, and nearly $500,000 came from The Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride (DGR) in 2018. The world's largest charity motorcycle event, DGR occurs on the last Sunday of September every year with dapper men and women riding classic and vintage style motorycles in over 700 cities worldwide raising money for men's health.

As part of Movember and PCF’s commitment to accelerate research and innovation in prostate cancer, Challenge Award teams are required to include at least three investigators, one of whom must be a young investigator. Each proposal submitted to the PCF is subjected to a rigorous peer-review process that assesses the scientific merit of the project, as well as its potential impact on patients.

“Work of this quality is only made possible through the incredible efforts of our fundraising community. We’re delighted that the efforts of our Mo Bros and Mo Sisters have been joined by The Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride to further advance therapies and defeat prostate cancer once and for all,” said Paul Villanti, Executive Director, Programs.

The following projects were selected to receive a Movember Foundation - PCF Challenge Award. If you would like to read about each in depth, click here

L1CAM Chimeric Antigen Receptor T Cell Therapy for Small Cell Neuroendocrine Prostate Cancer

Principal Investigator: John Lee, MD, PhD (Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center)

Small cell neuroendocrine prostate cancer (SCNPC) is an aggressive and incurable form of prostate cancer for which effective treatments are urgently needed.  Dr. Lee and team will develop a novel CAR T cell immunotherapy against SCNPC that will engineer a patients’ own immune cells to target and kill their cancer, and will test the safety and efficacy of this treatment in clinical trials.

A Genomics-Guided Clinical Interpretation and Translational Discovery Engine for Prostate Cancer

Principal Investigator: Eliezer Van Allen, MD (Harvard: Dana Farber Cancer Institute)

Precision medicine is an emergent clinical approach in which patients’ treatment plans are made based on their unique personal and tumor features. Dr. Van Allen and team will develop a prostate cancer registry that contains multi-dimensional patient data, and create algorithms that can predict patient outcomes. The team will also build a digital resource to match patients with optimal precision medicine clinical trials. This project will significantly accelerate precision medicine for all men with prostate cancer.

2019 Movember Foundation-Distinguished Gentleman's Ride-PCF Challenge Award 

Maximizing Androgen Deprivation ImmunoGenICity through PD-1 and IL-8 Blockade in Lethal Prostate Cancer (MAGIC-8)

Principal Investigator: Charles Drake, MD, PhD (Columbia University; New York-Presbyterian)

New strategies are needed in order to harness the power of the immune system as an effective therapy in men with prostate cancer. Dr. Drake and team are conducting a clinical trial testing a novel immunotherapy regimen that combines a drug that blocks immune suppression with a drug that enhances anti-cancer immune activity. This project will determine the clinical and biological effects of this treatment in patients, and develop biomarkers that can predict which patients are most likely to respond.