The Prostate Cancer Foundation (PCF) is the world’s leading philanthropic organization funding and accelerating prostate cancer research. Every 2.9 minutes a man is diagnosed with prostate cancer, and millions of men and their families are fighting the disease globally. In the United States, prostate cancer affects 1 in 7 men, making it the most common non-skin cancer in America. This means that a non-smoking man is more likely to develop prostate cancer than he is to develop colon, bladder, melanoma, lymphoma, and kidney cancers combined. In 2016 alone, it is estimated that more than 181,000 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer, and more than 26,000 will die from the disease. A man of African descent is 70% more likely to develop prostate cancer than a Caucasian man, and more than twice as likely to die from the disease.
Over the last two decades, PCF has demonstrated a firm commitment to saving lives and finding a cure for prostate cancer. We have raised more than $660 million and provided funding to more than 2,000 research projects at more than 200 cancer centers and universities in 19 countries around the world. In 2015, 82 cents of every dollar spent went directly towards prostate cancer research. These funds resulted in 23 chemically distinct, “first-in-field” anti-prostate cancer medicines in the pipeline, 14 team science awards supporting 132 individual investigators, and 41 early career scientists funded. This research is pivotal to the development of new, life extending therapies that will improve survivorship and quality of life for all men with prostate cancer.
PCF is unique in its innovative approach to medical research funding. PCF identifies the most promising research ideas and attracts brilliant individuals and teams of scientists, early in their careers, to PCF’s Research Enterprise. By channeling resources directly to the world’s top scientific minds, PCF is able to cut through red tape, speed scientific breakthroughs and deliver new treatments to patients. PCF funds a variety of different kinds of projects that vary in focus, scope and duration. Challenge Awards fund teams of scientists working on critical unmet needs for advanced prostate cancer. Creativity Awards support exceptionally novel projects to produce scientific breakthroughs. Young Investigator Awards jump start research programs for early career scientists and researchers. PCF researchers connect globally to exchange information and share scientific data in real time.
Since inception, PCF has been a pioneer in new drug development, providing key funding for FDA-approved treatments that improve survivorship. Having recruited over 5,000 of the best physician-scientists worldwide, many of the most important discoveries in the fight against prostate cancer since 1993 have resulted from PCF funding or coordination. Thanks in large part to the work of PCF researchers, between 2010 and 2013 the number of drugs approved to treat prostate cancer doubled—taking us from just 6 drugs approved in nearly 30 years to another 6 drugs approved in just 4 years. Of those 6 drugs, 5 were FDA-approved because they actually prolonged patients’ lives, rather than simply easing their symptoms.
By funding leading-edge research with innovative treatments now reaching patients, PCF has helped lower the U.S. death rate from prostate cancer by more than 50%. Without a doubt, the prognosis for men diagnosed with prostate cancer has never been more encouraging. Recent advances enable men with prostate cancer to live longer, more productive lives, and when detected early through routine physical exams and minimally invasive blood tests, prostate cancer is 100% treatable. Nearly 100% of men diagnosed with prostate cancer in the local or regional stages will be disease free after 5 years. Equally important is the fact that 4 discoveries in prostate cancer now extend to saving lives in 8 other forms of cancer (breast, myeloma, colon, lung, ovarian, melanoma, pediatric neuroblastoma, and bladder cancers).
By connecting patients, loved ones, care providers, and scientists to critical updates, new developments, best practices, and the latest news from the treatment pipeline, PCF provides hope for men diagnosed with prostate cancer. PCF is dedicated to keeping the pace of scientific progress moving rapidly to ensure new discoveries for years to come. Eliminating prostate cancer in our lifetimes is a possibility within reach, and the day when the disease becomes a manageable condition is closer than ever.