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Faces of Prostate Cancer

Dr. Hong Wu

PCF Researchers

Dr. Hong Wu is dedicated to discovering why men get prostate cancer and how they react to treatments for advanced cases. A professor in the molecule and medical pharmacology department at UCLA, Dr. Wu has been working for several years to unravel these basic yet critical prostate cancer mysteries.

With funding from PCF, she has made great strides working with the root, or stem, cells of prostate cancer, which appear to be the key to eradicating cancer from the body. “The Prostate Cancer Foundation really has had a significant impact on my research from the initiation stage,” says Dr. Wu. “Without PCF I probably would have had to follow my old research path, because it was really risky for junior faculty with no track record to embark on a new era of research.”

Dr. Hong Wu

In addition to funding research, Dr. Wu says PCF has coalesced a “community against prostate cancer,” which helps her and other researchers like her to empathize with the human side—not just the scientific aspects—of the disease. At PCF’s annual Scientific Retreat, Dr. Wu and others came together to discuss their research and findings.

She credits PCF for bringing a sense of urgency to the research effort. “The retreat helps you realize the urgent need for research from the patient and the patient’s family,” she says, “which is very different from the regular scientific meeting where you talk about your basic research and everybody is proud of the achievements.”

Dr. Wu believes continued PCF research funding along with the strong emphasis on communal sharing of data will go a long way in accelerating fight against prostate cancer. “I think PCF almost plants a seed in the cancer research community,” she says. “If we want to get rid of this disease, everybody should be involved. That includes the current patient, the future patient, the people interested in this disease and the research scientists.”

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