March 2020 Letter

March 24, 2020

Dear Friends,

LaboratorySupporters of the Prostate Cancer Foundation (PCF) know that our method of data-driven science, targeted philanthropic investment, and openly-shared information has produced impressive results over the past 27 years, saving lives and keeping families whole, all while changing how medical research itself is conducted. Although PCF is at the forefront of the most modern approach possible to clinical disease investigation today, our string of recent successes can make it easy to forget that, in the grand sweep of history, it wasn’t long ago that the majority of human diseases were assumed to be consequences of “bad air” or the “imbalance of humours in the body.” A reliance on hard data, the widespread sharing of information, and revolutionary but rigorous scientific investigation has profoundly changed humanity in a short amount of time.

As recently as 1900, 1 of every 5 children born in the U.S. didn’t live to celebrate a fifth birthday. Tuberculosis, pneumonia, and diarrhea caused more than half of all deaths across the general population. The average life expectancy was just 50 years in the U.S. and only 31 worldwide. Family in 1900During the 20th century, life expectancy increased to 77 years in the U.S. and more than doubled to 66 years worldwide as better communication and transportation spread information, training, and treatments across an eager planet. Improvements in sanitation, antisepsis, and infection control combined with the development of antibiotics and vaccines to extend lives. It was following World War II that medical researchers increasingly turned their attention to what at the time was considered one of America’s new modern killers: cancer.

PCF supporters know well that at the time of our founding in 1993, 1 in 7 men were diagnosed with prostate cancer every year, resulting in more than 40,000 deaths annually, with the problem expected to get worse with the aging of the Baby Boomer population. Funding for research was scant, and there were few treatment options available. Investment was insufficient to fund the kind of scientific breakthroughs needed to bring more treatments to clinics. It was a unique new data-driven approach introduced by our foundation that changed the field of cancer research forever.

Our supporters know that our focus on hard data and analysis is what sets PCF’s funding approach apart from other medical research organizations. Our venture philanthropy strategy looks at the totality of the cancer research landscape – the current scientific needs, the emergent opportunities, and the market needs – to determine the precise point in the pipeline your investment is most likely to have an impact. That’s why our PCF community relies on the smartest applications of their private philanthropy through PCF’s conservatively assessed 30:1 leverage, maximizing their individual impacts on the world of cancer research and scientific advancement.

Thanks to your support, those leveraged investments are powering PCF’s analytics-driven approach to scientific research funding. PCF relies on data here as well, implementing a competitive peer review process by a jury of the world’s top cancer researchers to find the most promising ideas from teams of top scientists around the world and brilliant young researchers early in their careers, funding them all with the condition that they must share the discoveries from their work with other researchers, institutions, and specialists. This invigorates the field with fresh approaches to standard ideas and energizes research with new ones, helping to accelerate more and better treatments for millions of men and families.

By working together, the power of our partnership has fueled over a quarter-century of historic scientific discovery, bringing people and institutions together to solve complicated problems. By clicking here, you’ll find a PDF of some information on proven, data-validated ways you and your family can promote wellness, prevent disease, and sustain optimal health through one of the most powerful tools available: our daily diet. This hard-earned information gleaned from medical research is part of the solution that can help families everywhere defeat disease challenges of all types and sizes, and is applicable to promoting overall human health. We hope you’ll use this information and share it widely with friends and loved ones alike.

Health WorkersAs today’s news and statistics remind us, humanity confronts fresh disease challenges every day. It’s easy to grow intimidated when we speculate on just how much more work lies in front of us. Luckily, as we look towards the challenges – and their solutions – that lay ahead, our community can know that we have already created a world of medical research that has never been more ready to confront challenges like these. On behalf of our foundation, our scientists, our patients, and our families, please accept my gratitude for your support.

In health, and with best wishes,



Benjamin Engel
Chief Development Officer

10 Revolutionary Ways to Prevent Disease (PDF)