5 New Movember Foundation – PCF Challenge Awards Advance Precision Treatments for Lethal Prostate Cancer

 

Prostate Cancer Foundation Receives More Than $5 Million from the Movember Foundation

5 New Challenge Awards will Fund Investigations in Lethal Prostate Cancer

SANTA MONICA, CA August 2, 2016 — The Prostate Cancer Foundation(PCF) announces 5 new Movember Foundation-PCF Challenge Awards to advance new treatments and cures for metastatic, lethal prostate cancer. The Movember Foundation is a global men’s health charity raising funds to deliver innovative, breakthrough research and support programs that enable men to live happier, healthier and longer lives.

To support these multi-year, team science awards, PCF received $5.3 million from the Movember Foundation’s 2015 US Campaign.

“The latest discoveries in prostate cancer genetics have brought us closer than ever to a cure, but there is far more work to be done in the realm of advanced, aggressive prostate cancers,” said Jonathan W. Simons, MD, president and chief executive officer, PCF. “These 5 teams exemplify how a multi-disciplinary approach is necessary for realizing critical results. We are grateful for our partnership with the Movember Foundation and their commitment to saving the lives of all men with this disease.”

“The Movember Foundation is honored to continue our commitment to raising awareness and funding breakthrough prostate cancer research with our valued partners at PCF,” said Mark Hedstrom, SVP of Global Operations for the Movember Foundation. “The 5 new Challenge Award recipients are well-deserved and truly represent measurable actions in changing the face of men’s health.”

Since 2007, the Movember Foundation has contributed approximately $44 million to PCF to further new discoveries that will provide permanent remissions for men with incurable forms of prostate cancer. This is an area of urgent clinical need-while prostate cancer is 100% treatable if detected early, approximately 20% of patients will develop aggressive disease that will recur, progress, and metastasize.

Successful applications were selected following a rigorous peer-review, with priority given to high-risk, currently unfunded projects.

The following projects were selected to receive 2016 Movember Foundation-PCF Challenge Awards:

Pharmacogenetic Dissection of Protein Synthesis Control across the Spectrum of PI3K Pathway Mutations in Prostate Cancer ($1 million), led by Andrew Hsieh, MD (Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center) This team is working on strategies to target the cancer-promoting PI3K pathway, which is frequently mutated in treatment resistant prostate cancer. Investigation of these mutations will help determine how they affect responses to various PI3K pathway-targeting agents in order to develop biomarkers that will match patients with optimal therapies.

Development and Qualification of the PCF SELECT (Specific Evaluation in Liquid biopsies of Established prostate Cancer Targets) Plasma DNA Assay($1 million), led by Gerhardt Attard, MD, PhD (The Institute of Cancer Research, London) and Himisha Beltran, MD (Weill Cornell Medicine) This team is developing a novel genomics sequencing test capable of identifying actionable mutations from a simple blood sample. The test will allow clinicians to make precision medicine treatment decisions at every treatment change without requiring invasive biopsies.

Targeting ROR-gamma with Novel Therapeutics for Lethal Prostate Cancer($1 million), led by Hongwu Chen, PhD (University of California, Davis) Dr. Chen’s team is working to optimize a new therapy that targets ROR-gamma, a partner of the androgen receptor (AR), the primary driver of prostate cancer. This therapy has exhibited potent anti-tumor effects in preclinical models largely through inhibiting the over-production of AR. The team hopes to select a promising therapeutic candidate for entry into clinical trials.

Integrated Identification and Molecular Evaluation of Disseminated Tumor Cells and their Microenvironment ($1 million), led by Kenneth Pienta, MD (Johns Hopkins University) Dr. Pienta’s team is utilizing novel single cell biotechnologies to study dormant tumor cells that reside in the bone marrow of prostate cancer patients and may eventually reactivate and develop into metastases. The team will develop methods to identify dormant tumor cells with lethal potential, utilize these cells as biomarkers for identifying patients at high risk for recurrence, and credential genomic analyses of dormant tumor cells for guiding precision medicine decisions for men with advanced prostate cancer.

Mechanisms of Prostate Cancer Relapse in Marrow ($1 million), led by Russell Taichman, DMD (University of Michigan) Prostate cancer cells are able to live in bone marrow and develop into lethal bone metastases. Using the emerging cancer model Drosophila melanogaster (fruitfly) in concert with mammalian tumor models, this team will identify evolutionarily conserved genes critical for the growth and survival of disseminated prostate cancer cells in bone. This will lead to the identification of new therapeutic targets for advanced prostate cancer patients.

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 $660 million and provided funding to more than 2,000 research programs at more than 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. Connect with PCF: Facebook | Twitter | LinkedIn

About the Movember Foundation

The Movember Foundation is a global men’s health charity that raises funds to deliver innovative, breakthrough research and support programs that enable men to live happier, healthier, and longer lives. Awareness and fundraising activities are run year-round by the Foundation, with the annual Movember campaign being globally recognized for its fun, disruptive approach to fundraising and getting men to take action for their health. During Movember, men are challenged to grow a moustache, and men and women can make a physical activity commitment to MOVE or host a fundraising event. Not only do these commitments raise vital funds, they also generate powerful and often life-changing conversations. Millions have joined the movement to disrupt the status quo, raising $710M and funding over 1,000 programs focused on prostate cancer, testicular cancer and suicide prevention. The Foundation’s vision is to have an everlasting impact on men’s health. For more information and to support, visit Movember.com. Movember is fully accredited by the Better Business Bureau, and for the past four years, has been named a Top 100 best NGO by The Global Journal. For more information please visit Movember.com. Movember is a registered 501(c)(3) charity.

Terms to know from this article:

androgen

A type of hormone that promotes the development and maintenance of male sex characteristics.

Tumor

A mass of excess tissue that results from abnormal cell division. Tumors perform no useful body function. They may be benign (not cancerous) or malignant (cancerous).