6 New Movember Foundation – PCF Challenge Awards Advance Precision Medicine and Novel Treatments for Lethal Prostate Cancer

The Prostate Cancer Foundation (PCF) announces that it has received nearly $7 million from the Movember Foundation, a valued partner since 2007.

Nearly $7 Million to Fund Lifesaving Research

SANTA MONICA, CA August 4, 2015 — The Prostate Cancer Foundation (PCF) announces that it has received nearly $7 million from the Movember Foundation, a valued partner since 2007. These funds were made possible by the 2014 Movember U.S. Campaign and will support 6 new Movember Foundation-PCF Challenge Awards for investigations in metastatic, lethal prostate cancer. The Movember Foundation is the global charity raising funds and awareness for men’s health, with the goal of helping men live longer, healthier and happier lives.

The Movember Foundation-PCF Challenge Awards are multi-year team science projects that focus specifically on permanent solutions for lasting remissions that advanced prostate cancer patients urgently need. To date, the Movember Foundation has contributed approximately $39 million, funding 28 projects globally, to help PCF further this aim.

Click here to learn more about the 2015 Movember Foundation – PCF Challenge Awards

“Our focus on metastatic prostate cancer fills a critical gap in our understanding of the disease,” said Jonathan W. Simons, president and chief executive officer, PCF. “While our research efforts have helped to reduce the prostate cancer death rate by more than 50%, this advanced form of the disease remains the leading cause of prostate cancer deaths in the United States. Our vital partnership with the Movember Foundation brings us closer to conquering this disease.”

“The Movember Foundation is committed to raising awareness and funding breakthrough prostate cancer research with our partners at PCF,” said Mark Hedstrom, U.S. Country Director for the Movember Foundation. “We are extremely pleased to be funding 6 new Challenge Awards and couldn’t do it without our incredible Movember community, who is changing the face of men’s health.”

$1 million was awarded to a team led by Phuoc Tran, MD, PhD (Johns Hopkins University) for their work on oligometastatic prostate cancer. This disease state, in which only a few detectable metastatic lesions have developed in a treatment-naïve patient, may still represent a curable form of advanced prostate cancer if effective treatments can be developed. Dr. Tran and team are studying the effects of using stereotactic ablative radiation (SABR) with or without immunotherapy and developing non-invasive methods of disease monitoring. If successful, this project will lead to a new treatment regimen that extends the lives of oligometastatic prostate cancer patients.

$1 million was also awarded to Peter Nelson, MD (University of Washington) and team for a study of metastatic prostate cancer genomics that will advance precision medicine for the disease. Successful treatment of prostate cancer requires the identification of genomic alterations that confer sensitivity patient to specific treatments. Dr. Nelson and team are identifying and characterizing DNA-damage repair gene alterations that occur in ~20-30% of prostate tumors. If successful, this study will result in the development of biomarker tests that identify patients who should be treated with PARP inhibitors or platinum chemotherapy, and will enable population-based screening to identify individuals at increased risk for prostate cancer.

The following 2015 proposals also received funding:

  • Targeting the MLL Complex for the Development of New Therapeutics for CRPC, led by Shaomeng Wang, PhD of the University of Michigan
  • Integrative Genomics of Prostate Cancer Progression, led by Mark Rubin, MD of Weill Cornell Medical College
  • CARAVAN: Checkpoint-Radiation-Vaccine Neoadjuvant Trial for Metastatic Prostate Cancer, led by Adam Dicker, MD, PhD of Thomas Jefferson University
  • Targeting Aberrant AR-FL and AR-V Expression and Activity to Overcome Therapy Resistance in Metastatic Castration-Resistant Prostate Cancer, led by Haojie Huang, PhD of the Mayo Clinic

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 $615 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, click here.

About the Movember Foundation

The Movember Foundation is a global charity raising funds and awareness for men’s health. These funds deliver breakthrough research and support services to allow men to live longer, healthier, happier lives. Since 2003, millions have joined the men’s health movement, raising more than $650 million and funding over 1,000 programs through impact investments, focusing on prostate cancer, testicular cancer and poor mental health.

The Foundation runs awareness and fundraising activities year-round, with the annual Movember campaign in November being globally recognized for its fun and innovative approach to raising money and getting men to take action for their health. During Movember, we challenge men to grow a moustache or to make a commitment to get active and MOVE, both of which are about real action for health and are done to spark conversation and raise vital funds and awareness. The Foundation’s vision is to have an everlasting impact on men’s health.

Movember is fully accredited by the Better Business Bureau, and for the past three 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:

Immunotherapy

Immunotherapy is a type of treatment that boosts or restores the immune system to fight cancer, infections and other diseases. There a several different agents used for immunotherapy; Provenge is one example.

Biomarker

A measurable biological substance that can be used to indicate disease characteristics such as diagnosis, prognosis, or therapeutic responses.

Screening

Checking for disease when there are no symptoms.

Progression

Increase in the size of a tumor or spread of cancer in the body.

Neoadjuvant

Done or added before the primary treatment; for example, neoadjuvant hormone therapy could be given prior to another form of treatment such as a radical prostatectomy; compare to adjuvant.

Gene

The functional and physical unit of heredity passed from parent to offspring. Genes are pieces of DNA, and most genes contain the information for making a specific protein.