Faces of Prostate Cancer
Dr. Peter Nelson
When Dr. Peter Nelson is on the verge of a cancer research breakthrough, the last thing he wants to do is wait a year for funding to continue his work. That’s where the Prostate Cancer Foundation comes in.
“PCF support has allowed me to take risks to do new things that more traditional funding mechanisms would not allow,” says Dr. Nelson, a member of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and a professor at the University of Washington. “When you have one of those eureka moments, you need to test it before it gets stale.”
Like many innovative researchers, Dr. Nelson has received PCF funding for several projects over the years. His research focuses primarily on how prostate cancer cells are unique relative to any other cancer and what that means for treatments. Funding from PCF has helped Dr. Nelson explore numerous treatment options, which is vitally important for those with prostate cancer.
“This disease is very diverse, and there isn’t a simple single pathway or method of treatment,” he says. “There is diversity because the disease does present and progress in different ways.”
He says men are much more informed these days about which treatments are best for them. But with so much information out there, wading through it all can be difficult. “Patients should recognize that PCF can serve as a clearinghouse of information, both through its website and the network of researchers that are actively engaged,” says Dr. Nelson.
According to Dr. Nelson, this accessibility, combined with a strong focus on innovation, makes PCF unique. “I think PCF clearly had a vision from its inception of doing things in a different way,” he says. “They looked at the field of prostate cancer research and treatment, recognized where the deficiencies were and set out to rectify them.”