The Prostate Cancer Foundation (PCF) is the world’s largest philanthropic source of support for prostate cancer research to discover better treatments and cures for prostate cancer. PCF accelerates the world's most promising prostate cancer research.
Achoo! Caught a nasty cold from that co-worker who insisted on bringing her hacking cough to the office? No problem….your immune system will fight the invading virus and you’ll be feeling better in a few days.
We’re used to thinking of the immune system as the body’s defense against colds, the flu, or a troublesome stomach bug. But it does much more, including detecting and destroying errant cells almost anywhere in our body that have become cancerous. Scientists can harness the power of the immune system to treat cancer, including prostate cancer. (Regular readers of pcf.org may have already seen our three-part primer on the immune system and prostate cancer. These articles provide a clear introduction to what can seem like a complex topic.)
Now, PCF-funded investigator Dr. Aaron LeBeau of the University of Minnesota and his team are developing an interesting and provocative new type of immunotherapy using a specific type of immune cell called natural killer cells, or NK cells for short. These cells are like beat cops on patrol, traveling around the body to look for and kill cells infected with a virus, bacteria, and cancer cells.
NK cells have several potential advantages vs other types of immunotherapy. A single patient requires an infusion of ten billion NK cells. Where do these cells come from? NK cells can easily be isolated from blood and grown in the lab. Nor do they require donor matching, a process similar to that used for blood transfusions, so a single donor could, in theory, provide NK cells for many patients. Thus, NK cell treatmentscan be significantly cheaper than other immunotherapies that must be made from a patient’s own cells. NK cells live for about a week in the body, so they won’t “hang around” too long, possibly causing adverse effects.
What’s the catch? NK cell therapies still face some hurdles, such as a lack of “targeted” action – they don’t necessarily go to where they are needed. Tumors can also influence the environment immediately around them and suppress the immune system locally.
One way to overcome the problem of tumors hiding from the immune systemis to create and attach a “targeting device” to the NK cell, such that it would recognize prostate cancer cells and not normal tissue. Dr. LeBeau and his team are creating a specialized “chimeric antigen receptor,” or CAR for short, to accomplish tumor targeting. The CAR is a genetically engineered protein that recognizes a particular protein on the surface of prostate cancer cells and activates the NK cell to kill the tumor cell. Supported by a PCF Challenge Award, the project will move to testing in animal models this fall. It may be possible to start clinical trials in four years.
That may sound like a long time for a patient considering his options for treatment today. However, it is a reminder that clinician-scientists like Dr. LeBeau are working today to ensure that we have safe and effective new treatments in the future. PCF is proud to support promising early-stage research that has the potential to significantly advance the field of prostate cancer therapeutics.
– Updated Publication: Prostate Cancer Patient Guide
– Updated Publication: Additional Facts for African-American Men and Their Families
– New Online Tool: Prostate Cancer Clinical Trial Finder
– New Article Series: Thoughts on Prostate Cancer by Janet Farrar Worthington
– Online Support Groups: Facebook Communities for Patients, Caregivers and Survivors
LOS ANGELES, May 8, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — The Prostate Cancer Foundation (PCF), the world’s leading philanthropic organization funding and accelerating prostate cancer research, announced today that the newly revised 2019 Prostate Cancer Patient Guide is available for free download on pcf.org. The guide, which was first published in late 2017, is a comprehensive resource for diagnosis, treatment, side effects, survivorship, and risk factors for patients and families with a history of prostate cancer. Because prostate cancer standards of practice change due to rapidly advancing scientific breakthroughs, this document is updated throughout the year in its electronic form.
The 2019 Prostate Cancer Patient Guide focuses all of the information available about contemporary prostate cancer research, treatments and lifestyle factors into one consolidated resource. It is for any man who has been newly diagnosed, is in treatment, or is concerned about a rising prostate specific antigen (PSA). Because prostate cancer is one of the most heritable cancers, the guide includes information for all family members, both men and women, about genetic cancer risks. It is also for any caregiver who wants to cut through the information noise and get directly to need-to-know information for prostate cancer patient navigation.
“We at PCF work daily on the front lines of science to find treatments and cures for prostate cancer, and because of our investments over the past 25 years, we are in a remarkable period where progress for patients is taking place more rapidly than ever before,” said Christine Jones, COO, PCF. “It is our duty to provide patients with the most comprehensive information available about prostate cancer so that they may have highly informed discussions with their doctors and make the best choices based on state-of-the-art medical research.”
Also available for immediate download is the new resource, Additional Facts for African-American Men and Their Families. This guide specifically addresses the risks and issues associated with prostate cancer in African-Americans, who are 76 percent more likely to be diagnosed and more than twice as likely to die from the disease vs. other ethnicities. It also highlights PCF’s research focused on identifying and overcoming health disparities.
To further improve access to information that can improve outcomes by getting patients on “the right track” as soon as possible, PCF has also launched its prostate cancer clinical trial finder in collaboration with Smart Patients. Because finding a trial can be confusing for patients, PCF has custom-curated trials that may be specifically relevant to men with prostate cancer. The tool allows men to search based on their disease state, stage, and their geographical location.
In addition to the guides, and because it is important to provide regular science updates as well as feature stories about patients, families and researchers, PCF is collaborating with award-winning science writer Janet Farrar Worthington, whose series of articles about prostate cancer can be found exclusively on pcf.org. Her straightforward, approachable style allows readers to connect with the difficult topic and academic science on a more human level. Recent stories include “Stopping the Runaway Train: A Brand New Way to Kill Prostate Cancer” and “Aggressive Prostate Cancer and Our ‘Dark DNA.'”
PCF also provides several online communities through Facebook groups where men and their families can communicate, advise, and seek advice from others who are at a similar stage in the prostate cancer journey. PCF offers groups for patients (including separate groups for newly diagnosed and for those facing metastatic disease), caregivers, and survivors. Recently, patients with metastatic prostate cancer have shared their experiences with genetic testing among the group.
About the Prostate Cancer Foundation The Prostate Cancer Foundation (PCF) is the world’s leading philanthropic organization funding and accelerating prostate cancer and other research. Founded in 1993, the PCF has raised more than $770 million and provided funding to more than 2,000 research programs at more than 210 cancer centers and universities. The PCF global research enterprise extends to 22 countries and funds a robust research portfolio. The PCF advocates for greater awareness of prostate cancer and more efficient investment of governmental research funds for transformational cancer research. Its efforts have helped produce a 20-fold increase in government funding for prostate cancer.
MEDIA CONTACT: Colleen McKenna Prostate Cancer Foundation (310) 570-4722 firstname.lastname@example.org
Original Press Release Issued by: ICR (The Institute of Cancer Research)
Scientists have identified a gene mutation in the tumours of men with prostate cancer that is linked to very poor survival – and which could be used to pick out patients for especially intensive treatment.
Men with mutations in the retinoblastoma gene in their tumours were more than three times as likely to die and nearly seven times as likely to relapse on standard treatments as those without the gene.
The retinoblastoma gene, known as RB1, is so called because mutations in it cause a rare children’s eye cancer of the same name and is known to play a central role in stopping healthy cells from dividing uncontrollably.
Researchers at The Institute of Cancer Research, London, and The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust believe testing men for the mutation could identify those with especially aggressive disease who need the most intensive available treatments. They are also studying new ways to treat patients with the high-risk gene.
The researchers, along with colleagues in the US and Europe, looked in detail at the DNA sequence, the activity of genes and how the tumours looked under the microscope in 444 tumours samples from 429 men with advanced prostate cancer.
The team wanted to identify which of the many genes linked to prostate cancer were the most important indicators of patient survival and response to the standard treatments abiraterone and enzalutamide.
Patients with mutations in the RB1 gene in their tumours were 3.3 times more likely to die and 6.6 times more likely to relapse during the course of the study than other men who also had standard treatment but did not have the mutation.
RB1 was the only gene found to have such an impact on survival, but mutations in two further genes – p53 and the androgen receptor gene – were associated with an increased risk of relapse on abiraterone or enzalutamide.
Mutations in DNA repair genes BRCA1, BRCA2 and ATM, and in PI3K genes were relatively common but had no impact on treatment with abiraterone or enzalutamide or on overall survival.
However, the research did identify clues for how some patients with prostate cancer could be treated more effectively using immunotherapy and a breast cancer treatment.
Men whose tumours had mutations in a gene linked to a good response to immunotherapy, CDK12, often also had mutations in the genes CDK4 and CCND1, which are the targets of a breast cancer drug called palbociclib.
That suggests that combining immunotherapy with palbociclib could be an effective treatment for this group of men.
New approaches to prostate cancer treatment
Professor Johann de Bono, Regius Professor of Cancer Research at the ICR, and Consultant Medical Oncologist at The Royal Marsden, said:
“Our study really got under the bonnet of prostate cancer to understand the ‘engine’ driving tumour growth and explore how a wide range of genes affect the disease and its response to treatment. We identified one particular genetic mutation that seems to indicate that tumours are going to be very aggressive, and that the affected men need the most intensive treatment we have available.
“Our research could also open up various new approaches to prostate cancer treatment, and offers the intriguing suggestion that some patients could benefit from immunotherapy alongside an existing breast cancer drug.
“That’s a great example of how genetic research can find the common links between cancers, and ensure research into one cancer type can also benefit patients with other tumours.”
“There are a large number of genetic mutations present in a tumour, and working out their relative importance is crucial to deliver the best precision medicine to cancer patients.
“This exciting study has identified which features of advanced prostate tumours are the most important for treatment and survival – and has picked out one gene mutation in particular which has an especially serious adverse impact on how long patients live.
“The crucial thing now is that we make use of this information, by developing a test to identify affected men and to make sure they receive the best treatments we have available today, while also focusing our efforts on improving options for the future.”
LOS ANGELES, Calif. – April 1, 2019 – The Prostate Cancer Foundation (PCF) today announced the kick-off of its new national “Know the Numbers” campaign to raise awareness about how prostate cancer disproportionately affects African American men, who are 76 percent more likely to be diagnosed than men of other ethnicities, 2.2 times more likely to die of the disease and are 23% more likely to present with advanced/metastatic disease. The campaign, themed “Know the Numbers,” encourages men and their families to understand their risks and to take proactive measures to protect their health.
“I am honored to serve as an ambassador for the Prostate Cancer Foundation and to use my platform to raise awareness about this insidious disease which has affected so many people close to me,” said Lennix. “In honor of those I have lost, I am encouraging all men, including African Americans who are at heightened risk, to take the time to familiarize themselves with this disease and to take steps to reduce their risk for developing prostate cancer or to catch it early enough to survive it.”
Despite recent reports of declining mortality rates for African American men, they remain the hardest hit by prostate cancer, with nearly 20 percent still being affected, and suffer the highest mortality rate from the disease of any racial or ethnic group in the United States. There remains a need to build public awareness about prostate cancer and to provide easy access to critical information, including screening guidelines, prevention and new targeted treatments. Equally important is destigmatizing the disease through open, honest dialogue, such as this discussion featuring former minority leader of the Georgia House of Representatives, Stacey Abrams, and her father, which will lead to more men becoming proactive about their health.
“Currently, there is focus and large commitment in place to understand why the disparities that affect African American men with prostate cancer exist, and we are finally seeing some progress. But this is not the time to take the foot off the gas; this is the time to accelerate,” said Christine N. Jones, Chief Operating Officer, PCF. “We have a two-pronged approach to address this issue – education and awareness – which we know is saving lives on the front end, and investment in science, so we can better understand what is going on so precision treatments can be developed.”
National Minority Health Month Campaign Highlights
Actor Harry Lennix, who currently co-stars on the NBC drama “The Blacklist,” is the face of PCF’s 2019 “Know the Numbers” campaign, which encourages men to understand their personal risks for prostate cancer, take charge of their health and save lives by breaking down barriers and talking about the disease. The PCF’s new PSA featuring Lennix can be viewed at pcf.org/knowthenumbers.
The PCF’s new “PROSTATE CANCER: Additional Facts for African American Men and Their Families” is available for free download at pcf.org. The new guide provides actionable information about what men can do to prevent prostate cancer as well as information about risks and screening guidelines specifically for African Americans. The guide features comments from Chris Tucker, Brian Custer, “Uncle” Charlie Wilson and Snoop Dogg. Also available for free download is a comprehensive Prostate Cancer Patient Guide.
The PCF currently has more than $10 million invested in research focused on prostate cancer in African American men. Teams across the U.S. are investigating a range of topics such as environmental factors to targeted therapies and genomics. Commencing this month is recruitment for the RESPOND study, which represents a $1 million PCF investment and is the largest study of its kind aimed at identifying the environmental and genetic factors related to disproportionately high diagnoses of aggressive prostate cancer in African American men. The study aims to recruit 10,000 participants over a three-year period to generate key biological and non-biological information that will help researchers reduce the rate of aggressive prostate cancer in this population. Find out more at www.pcf.org/RESPOND.
Randy Jackson, Chris Tucker, Rev. Rosey Grier and others will be featured in month-long social media campaigns designed to reach men to encourage them to “Know the Numbers.”
Original Press Release Issued by: Weill Cornell Medicine
The deletion of a gene that normally promotes healthy cell division in the prostate encourages the growth of cancer in the gland, according to a new study by Weill Cornell Medicine investigators. The findings, published March 28 in Cancer Cell, suggest that the gene, once deleted, helps to promote tumorous growth.
Scientists knew that the gene, called chromodomain helicase DNA binding protein 1 or CHD1, was often deleted in prostate cancer cells, just like tumor-suppress or genes often are, said senior study author Dr. Christopher Barbieri, an associate professor of urology at Weill Cornell Medicine. “However, scientists did not know how and why CHD1 might be acting as a tumor suppressor,” he said.
Michael Augello, PhD
“The interesting aspect of CHD1 deletion is that it seems to only occur in tumors that develop from the prostate,” said lead author Dr. Michael Augello, a post-doctoral fellow and Prostate Cancer Foundation Young Investigator in Dr. Barbieri’s lab. “This is unusual and suggests that CHD1 might have functions which are unique to prostate cells, which help to limit tumor formation.”
About 15 percent of men with prostate cancer have a CHD1 deletion in their tumors.
Typically, CHD1 helps regulate the positioning of nucleosomes, which are balls of protein that strands of DNA wrap around. “The DNA winds around them like beads on a string,” said Dr. Barbieri, who is also a member of the Sandra and Edward Meyer Cancer Center and the Caryl and Israel Englander Institute for Precision Medicine at Weill Cornell Medicine, and a urologist at NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center. The function of CHD1 is to move the nucleosomes around on this string, making the DNA more or less accessible to molecules that are involved in turning genes on or off, called transcription factors.
In the study, Dr. Barbieri and his research team discovered that when CHD1 is present in prostate cells, it works with a transcription factor called the androgen receptor (AR), to turn on genes that are critical for normal functions of prostate tissue. When CHD1 is absent, however, the androgen receptor activates genes that promote cancer. “CHD1 appears to help AR turn on genes needed for prostate function,” Dr. Augello said. Without CHD1, AR has trouble regulating these programs, which helps to promote cancer growth.”
“AR has a dual role,” Dr. Barbieri added. “It’s important for a normal prostate, but it can also drive cancer.”
Christopher Barbieri, MD, PhD
For their study, the investigators deleted the CHD1 gene in mice, which led to the growth of prostate cancer tumors. They also studied human prostate cancer cell lines in which the gene was deleted and confirmed their findings about the effect of CHD1 deletion on androgen receptors by analyzing data from a large number of human prostate tumors.
“Our study is one of the critical first steps in understanding the mechanisms by which the androgen receptor gets hijacked from promoting normal prostate function and turns toward promoting cancer,” Dr. Barbieri said.
He and his research team are now working on finding medications that can target the process of CHD1 deletion and the subsequent hijacking of androgen-receptors that drives prostate malignancies. “One of the big questions we have is whether the process is reversible,” he said. “Can we flip it back so the androgen receptor may cause the cancer to slow down and stop growing?”
This work was funded in part by the Prostate Cancer Foundation. “These important findings improve the understanding of how normal prostate cells can be transformed into cancer,” said Dr. Howard Soule, executive vice president and chief science officer of the Prostate Cancer Foundation. “The Prostate Cancer Foundation is proud to have supported this work through funding to Drs. Barbieri and Augello, which will accelerate discovery of new treatments for men with lethal forms of this disease.”
Additional funding sources include grants from the National Cancer Institute: WCM SPORE in Prostate Cancer, P50CA211024-01, K08CA187417-01, R37CA215040; a Urology Care Foundation Rising Star in Urology Research Award; Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation MetLife Foundation Family Clinical Investigator Award; Department of Defense Postdoctoral Fellowship; Prostate Cancer Foundation Young Investigator Award; the Dutch Cancer Society/ Alpe d’HuZes; and The Movember Foundation.
The Prostate Cancer Foundation Scholar-in-Training Awards recognize promising young cancer researchers presenting outstanding proffered papers relating to advanced prostate cancer at the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) Annual Meeting. The Prostate Cancer Foundation is one of 17 organizations sponsoring this highly competitive awards program in conjunction with the AACR. The 2019 AACR Annual Meeting will be held from March 29 to April 3 at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta, Georgia.
Andi K. Cani, MS
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI Email: email@example.com Abstract #914
Development of a whole-urine, next-generation sequencing-based assay for early detection of aggressive prostate cancer
Andi K. Cani, Kevin Hu, Javed Siddiqui, Sumin Han, Daniel H. Hovelson, Chia-Jen Liu, Simpa S. Salami, Ganesh S. Palapattu, Todd M. Morgan, John T. Wei, Arul M. Chinnaiyan, Scott A. Tomlins. University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI
Despite advances in biomarker development, early detection of aggressive prostate cancer (PCa) remains challenging. Existing biomarkers show modest improvement over models based on serum prostate specific antigen (PSA). We have previously developed a clinical-grade laboratory-developed test, named MiProstate Score (MiPS), for individualized risk prediction of aggressive prostate cancer. It uses transcription-mediated amplification to quantify the gene-fusion TMPRSS2:ERG (T2:ERG) (T1E4 splice isoform) and the lncRNA PCA3 from whole-urine obtained after a digital rectal exam (DRE), combined with serum PSA. To improve MiPS, we describe here the pre-clinical development and validation of a targeted next generation sequencing assay (NGS-MiPS) using post-DRE urine RNA to asses ~90 PCa transcriptomic biomarkers. These include those in MiPS as well as many isoforms of common PCa gene fusions, mRNA, and lncRNA candidate biomarkers nominated by our large-scale PCa tissue RNAseq and other sources. We have obtained a 98% informative sample rate from 2.5 mL of urine and high technical reproducibility (Pearson r=0.99). Risk scores for having PCa [or high-grade PCa (Gleason Score >6)] on biopsy, as determined by clinical MiPS vs. the clinical MiPS model using NGS data, were highly concordant, Pearson’s r=0.74 (and r=0.81). Urine from patients with benign or Gleason 6 vs. Gleason ≥ 4+3=7 cancer on biopsy (extreme design) showed expected differences in the levels of T2:ERG T1E4 (p=0.00003) and PCA3 (p=0.07), with additional T2:ERG splice isoforms and other biomarkers also being significantly different between low vs. high grade cancer. Feature selection and logistic regression trained in an extreme design cohort (n=73) yielded a 29-transcript model that outperformed MiPS and serum PSA in two validation cohorts: 1. A held-out set from the extreme design cohort n=36, AUC 0.81 vs. 0.76 and 0.63 respectively; 2. A separate active surveillance cohort n=45, AUCs 0.66 vs. 0.56 and 0.53 respectively. These results support the potential utility of our urine based targeted NGS assay to supplement serum PSA for the early detection of aggressive prostate cancer.
This abstract will be presented in a Minisymposium entitled “Biomarkers for Early Detection and Biologic Assessment of Cancer” on Sunday, March 31, 2019, 3:00 pm – 5:00 pm located in Room B302 – Georgia World CC.
Androgen regulated IL-8 expression in prostate cancer: Insights into tumor cell mediated immunosuppression
Zoila A. Lopez Bujanda1, Michael C. Haffner1, Matthew G. Chaimowitz2, Nivedita Chowdhury1, Paula J. Hurley1, Angela M. Christiano2, Charles G. Drake2. 1Johns Hopkins, Baltimore, MD; 2Columbia University, New York, NY
Androgen deprivation therapy (ADT) results in castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC) in a significant fraction of patients. We have previously reported that the protein levels of interleukin-8 (IL-8) were inversely correlated with disease progression in men with biochemical recurrent prostate cancer treated with Lenalidomide. Recently, polymorphonuclear myeloid-derived suppressor cells (PMN-MDSCs) were implicated as potential drivers of CRPC. Here we show that IL-8 expression is upregulated as a consequence of ADT and mediates the recruitment of PMN-MDSCs to the tumor microenvironment. We found that IL-8 expression is regulated by both an inflammatory stimulus (NF-kβ mediated) and loss of androgen receptor (AR) signaling following ADT. We confirmed direct binding of both the p65 subunit of NF-kβ and AR to the IL-8 promoter, and their respective effects on promoter activity. The suppressive activity of AR was further supported by a reduction in active transcription markers at the chromatin level surrounding the IL-8 promoter. Accordingly, intratumoral infiltration of PMN-MDSCs correlated with IL-8 expression, and was reduced in IL-8 knockouts. Taken together, these results suggest an innate inflammatory response, loss of AR suppressive activity, and subsequent chemokine upregulation as a potential mechanism that regulates the infiltration of PMN-MDSCs to the tumor microenvironment of CRPC after ADT. These findings open a window of opportunity for therapeutic interventions aiming to improve responses to checkpoint blockade in prostate cancer.
This abstract will be presented in a Poster Session entitled “Suppressive Myeloid Cells” on Monday, April 1, 2019, 8:00 am – 12:00 noon located in Section 24, Board 6.
Naveen Ramesh, MS
The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX Email: NRamesh@mdanderson.org
Plasma genome sequencing identifies prostate cancer patients that are sensitive to platinum-based therapy
Naveen Ramesh, Emi Sei, Pei Ching Tsai, Christopher Logothetis, Paul Corn, Ana Aparicio, Amado J. Zurita, Nicholas E. Navin. MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX
Castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC) is a lethal disease. A subset of these patients present with atypical clinical characteristics and aggressive disease behavior. These patients, classified as Aggressive Variant Prostate Cancer (AVPC), may derive benefit from platinum-based chemotherapy. However, the identification of AVPC patients is often challenging due to heterogeneity in clinical presentations and potentially in biological drivers, which may not be fully reflected in a biopsy obtained from a single tumor site. To address these challenges, we developed an unbiased genome sequencing method called PEGASUS (Plasma Exome and Genome Analysis by Size-Selection and Unbiased Sequencing) that enables the simultaneous detection of copy number aberrations and exome mutations from circulating-tumor DNA (ctDNA). We applied this method to plasma specimens obtained from 160 CRPC patients with and without AVPC participating in a randomized trial of cabazitaxel alone or in combination with carboplatin. We were able to successfully isolate ctDNA (>2 ng) for genomic profiling using PEGASUS in 91/160 (57%) CRPC patients. Among these 91 CRPC patients, we detected common prostate cancer mutations as well as genomic copy number changes in genes such as RB1, PTEN and TP53 and several other genes associated with DNA repair. One of the most salient features that distinguished the patients’ outcomes was whether they had diploid or aneuploid genomes detected by whole genome profiling of the ctDNA. Patients with aneuploid ctDNA had worse progression-free and overall survival. Overall, our data shows the feasibility of performing whole- genome and exome profiling of ctDNA in CRPC patients to characterize the molecular features associated with distinct clinical presentations. Candidate markers associated to benefit from platinum-based chemotherapy are being evaluated. These results pave the way for future clinical applications in biomarker discovery to assist treatment decisions in prostate cancer patients.
This abstract will be presented in a Poster Session entitled “Current Developments in Non-invasive Biomarkers for Assessment of Cancer 1” on Sunday, March 31, 2019, 1:00 pm – 5:00 pm located in Section 18, Board 18.
Prostate cancer researchers dedicate their lives working in labs and clinics, collaborating with colleagues, designing experiments and trials… all with one big goal in mind: to help patients. Whether it’s exploring the biology of cancer in the lab or conducting clinical trials with patients, research eventually converges into better treatments.
But how are these discoveries communicated to practicing doctors? The urologist who takes your blood for your PSA usually has little to do with the doctor who developed the test. One way that information is spread is through major scientific conferences: several times a year, researchers, clinicians, science writers, experts from the pharmaceutical industry, patient advocates, and, of course, leaders from PCF gather under one roof for a few information-packed days to present and discuss the most important developments in the prostate cancer field. Everyone comes away inspired – a researcher plans to try a new approach to a vexing challenge in her lab, a doctor sees a new treatment coming to market that could help his patients in the next few months.
In February, the team at PCF attended the Genitourinary Cancers Symposium in San Francisco. No cable cars or Ghirardelli chocolate for us – we spent our days in presentations. We are very excited to share news about two important developments in treating advanced prostate cancer.
A new drug, darolutamide, a second-generation androgen receptor (AR) inhibitor, may soon be a new treatment option for patients with non-metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer (nmCRPC). Dr. Karim Fizazi of the Institut Gustave Roussy and the University of Paris shared results which demonstrated that adding darolutamide to ADT delayed metastasis or death (whichever came first) by an average of 22 months compared with the addition of a placebo. This represents a 59% reduction of risk for metastasis or death for patients with nmCRPC. It is too soon to know the impact of this treatment on overall survival, but there is a positive trend, suggesting a nearly 30% reduction in the risk of death. If approved by the FDA, darolutamide would become a third option for patients with nmCRPC, in addition to the current drugs apalutamide and enzalutamide, both of which were FDA-approved last year for the treatment of nmCRPC in combination with ADT.
Patients with metastatic “hormone-sensitive” prostate cancer (mHSPC) may soon have another option to slow the growth of their cancer. PCF Young Investigator Dr. Andrew Armstrong of the Duke University School of Medicine and Duke Cancer Institute presented results showing that the addition of enzalutamide to ADT reduced the chances of tumor growth on scans or death (whichever came first) by 61% compared with a placebo, in men with mHSPC. This was seen in different types of mHSPC patients – those who had high and low levels of metastases, and whether or not they had already been treated with docetaxel. Again, it is too early to measure total survival, but the results appear somewhat positive.
What does this information mean to patients with advanced prostate cancer? Both of these drugs are currently under review by the FDA for use in these specific disease states. If approved, patients and their families will have more options to treat their disease.
PCF is proud to have funded the original synthesis of enzalutamide at UCLA by chemist Michael Jung, PhD, in collaboration with prostate cancer physician-scientist Charles Sawyers, MD (now at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center).
CRANBURY, N.J.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–CURE Media Group, which reaches over 1 million patients, survivors and caregivers across an industry-leading multimedia platform devoted solely to cancer updates, research and education, has added the Prostate Cancer Foundation (PCF) to its Strategic Alliance Partnership (SAP) program.
“PCF works hard to fund and accelerate research for prostate cancer while raising awareness in the community,” said Michael J. Hennessy Jr., president of MJH Associates, Inc., parent company of CURE Media Group. “We are proud to partner with them and work together to improve the lives of those diagnosed with prostate cancer.”
PCF is the top philanthropic organization funding and accelerating prostate cancer research in the world. The foundation has raised more than $765 million and provided funding to more than 2,000 research programs at more than 210 cancer centers and universities. Its global research enterprise extends to 22 countries and funds a robust research portfolio. In addition to fundraising for research programs, PCF increases awareness of prostate cancer and lobbies for government research funds for prostate cancer research.
“We are pleased to partner with Cure Media Group to launch a Prostate Cancer Foundation page on their advocacy hub where many people go to seek disease specific information,” said Christine Jones, COO, PCF. “We appreciate the opportunity to provide more people with best-in-class resources that can make a significant impact on the lives of prostate cancer patients, their families and caregivers.”
The SAP program builds a community of advocacy groups, medical associations and medical institutions fostering collaboration and an open exchange of information for the ultimate benefit of patients and their families. As part of this joint effort, CURE Media Group will work with PCF to share content and raise awareness of prostate cancer. The SAP program is designed to facilitate an open exchange of information among trusted peers, with the ultimate goal of improving patient care.
For more information about CURE Media Group’s Strategic Alliance Partnership program, click here.
CURE Media Group is the leading resource for cancer updates, research and education. It combines a full suite of media products, including its industry-leading website, CUREtoday.com; innovative video programs, such as “CURE Connections®”; a series of widely attended live events; and CURE® magazine, which reaches over 1 million readers, as well as the dynamic website for oncology nurses, OncNursingNews.com, and its companion publication, Oncology Nursing News®. CURE Media Group is part of the Cranbury, New Jersey-based MJH Associates, Inc., family of businesses, which includes the acclaimed OncLive® platform of resources for the practicing oncologist. For more information, visit http://www.curetoday.com and http://www.mjhassoc.com.
LOS ANGELES, Calif., March 13, 2019 – Winners of the 2nd Annual TRUE Love campaign, which honors caregivers of prostate cancer patients, were announced today by the Prostate Cancer Foundation (PCF). Selected by actress Kristen Bell from hundreds of submissions, the winning stories recognized Deborah Price from Petaluma, CA and Shirley Tompkins from Connersville, IN. In addition to being featured on PCF’s website and social media channels, both winners will receive “caregiver packages” personally curated by Bell. The campaign not only provided those who have been affected by the disease an outlet to express their appreciation to their caregivers, but also helped raise awareness about prostate cancer and the resources available for patients and their caregivers.
“I have personally witnessed the important role caregivers play in prostate cancer patients’ lives. The work they do is extremely difficult and requires true dedication, which so often goes unrecognized,” said Bell. “I want to express my sincere gratitude to everyone who submitted the beautiful and heartfelt stories that were filled with hope, love and admiration. It’s an honor to work with the Prostate Cancer Foundation to pay tribute to these unsung heroes.”
2019 TRUE Winners:
• Robert Coleman wrote about the strength of his wife, Deborah Price, demonstrated throughout his journey and the overwhelming challenges she faced while taking care of him, her business and their household, while surviving the devastating Paradise fire in Northern California.
Excerpt: “I had never experienced such unyielding unconditional love. I couldn’t bear the thought of leaving her and our daughter behind. I realized that love in a relationship is not granted to everybody because it isn’t a given in this world. You have to make it more real every single day.” View Robert’s complete story here.
• As an adopted daughter of two loving parents, Jade Beckman shared an incredible story of how her mother, Shirley Tompkins, who fostered 70 children, has been the “ultimate caregiver,” to her husband of 56 years, James Robert Tompkins.
Excerpt: “My mom is the ultimate caregiver. She loves until it seems she doesn’t have the strength to love any more, and then, she somehow finds it. …she never complains or raises her voice or feels sorry for herself, she just keeps loving my dad.” View Jade’s complete story here.
“The TRUE Love campaign has become an annual favorite at PCF. We love providing a platform where caregiver stories can be told, and their tireless efforts can be honored,” said Christine Jones, COO, PCF. “We are so grateful to Kristen for all she has done to raise awareness about prostate cancer and the critical role caregivers play in the patient journey.”
All of the stories, including the winners can be found at www.PCF.org/true. Although this year’s campaign has ended, PCF still encourages everyone to visit the website to share their caregiver story.
About Prostate Cancer
According to the American Cancer Society and the National Cancer Institute, there are more than four million men living with prostate cancer in the U.S. In 2019, nearly 175,000 U.S. men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer, and nearly 32,000 will die from the disease. One in nine men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer during his lifetime. Prostate cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in American men, behind lung cancer.
About the Prostate Cancer Foundation
The Prostate Cancer Foundation (PCF) is the world’s leading philanthropic organization funding and accelerating prostate cancer and other research. Founded in 1993, the PCF has raised more than $770 million and provided funding to more than 2,000 research programs at more than 210 cancer centers and universities. The PCF global research enterprise extends to 22 countries and funds a robust research portfolio. The PCF advocates for greater awareness of prostate cancer and more efficient investment of governmental research funds for transformational cancer research. Its efforts have helped produce a 20-fold increase in government funding for prostate cancer. More information about the PCF can be found
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Prostate Cancer Foundation
LOS ANGELES, Calif. – March 7, 2019 — The Atlanta Hawks’ inaugural campaign to raise awareness to help defeat prostate cancer while raising funds to support life-saving research, resulted in $150,000 donated to the Prostate Cancer Foundation (PCF). In recognition of Black History Month and to bring greater awareness of this disease to the African-American community, the team kicked off the Black History Month Assist Challenge in February, pledging to donate $250 per assist from the Hawks Foundation to PCF. With 295 assists during the month, the 8th most in the NBA during February, the team raised $73,750 from the Hawks Foundation. Tony Ressler, Jami Gertz and the Ressler family matched the team and contributed another $76,250 to reach a total of $150,000.
Life-saving information about risks and screening for this cancer that disproportionately affects African-American men reached approximately 120,000 Atlantans at State Farm Arena during Hawks home games in February and millions more through digital outreach efforts.
“We are deeply grateful to the entire Atlanta Hawks organization for their all-star efforts to engage their audience through basketball to address the real problem we face in the in this country of too many African-American men dying from prostate cancer,” said Jonathan W. Simons, MD, PCF’s president and CEO. “Lives will not only be saved through education and awareness created about the disease, but also through the Hawks’ generous contribution to science which will be utilized for projects directly related to addressing the issue of disparity in African-American prostate cancer.”
The Hawks are the first team in the NBA to partner with PCF to raise awareness through basketball about the disease that affects more than four million men in the U.S. and 14 million worldwide. With one in six men of African descent in the U.S. diagnosed with prostate cancer in his lifetime, it is imperative that everyone understand the risks, especially African-American men who are 76 percent more likely to be diagnosed, more than twice as likely to die, and are much more likely to develop aggressive forms of the disease than other ethnicities.
As part of the month-long campaign, Hawks Vice Chair of the Board and Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Famer Grant Hill and his father, NFL Legend Calvin Hill, filmed a special public service announcement that was aired throughout the month on various Hawks channels (link). Additionally, the public had access to educational resources via a custom website: Hawks.com/PCF.
PCF is currently funding more research related to understanding and solving disparities in African-American prostate cancer than any other time in its 25-year history. The Hawks’ significant donation will be added to the more than $10 million committed to research teams focused on understanding why African-American men are affected by prostate cancer disproportionately to other ethnicities and how to address this issue with treatments and cures.
Prostate cancer is the most common non-skin cancer among men in America and the fourth-most common tumor diagnosed worldwide. Despite its frequency, most men will not experience any symptoms. However, if the cancer is caught at its earliest stages, 99 percent of patients live five years or longer after diagnosis, which makes education so critically important.
ABOUT THE PROSTATE CANCER FOUNDATION
The Prostate Cancer Foundation (PCF) is the world’s leading philanthropic organization funding and accelerating prostate cancer research. Founded in 1993, PCF has raised more than $788 million and provided funding to more than 2,000 research programs at nearly 200 cancer centers and universities. The PCF global research enterprise now extends to 19 countries. PCF advocates for greater awareness of prostate cancer and more efficient investment of governmental research funds for transformational cancer research. Its efforts have helped produce a 20-fold increase in government funding for prostate cancer. For more information, visit www.pcf.org.
ABOUT THE ATLANTA HAWKS
With a bold identity and strong new ownership, the Atlanta Hawks Basketball Club and State Farm Arena remain committed to making Atlantans proud on the court and off. The 2014-15 Southeast Division Champions, the Hawks made the postseason in 10 consecutive seasons and reached the Eastern Conference Finals for the first time in franchise history in 2015. Off the court, the organization has built a culture of inclusion, diversity and innovation, all with a touch of Southern Hospitality. It continues into the community where the organization builds bridges through basketball, whether by constructing and refurbishing courts in Atlanta neighborhoods, providing scholarships to our basketball camps, or surprising and delighting our fans with unique Atlanta Hawks experiences. Atlanta Hawks Membership, which includes your seat for every home game for the 2018-19 regular season, is on sale now at www.hawks.com/membership or by calling 866-715-1500! For more information on the Hawks, log on to www.hawks.com today or follow us on twitter and Instagram @ATLHawks.