SANTA MONICA, CA—January 25, 2016—President and CEO of the of the Prostate Cancer Foundation, Dr. Jonathan W. Simons, MD, today released the following statement regarding President Donald J. Trump’s nominee to be secretary of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). Dr. Shulkin is currently serving as the undersecretary for health at the department, a position he held in the Obama administration.

“As the undersecretary for health at VA, Dr. Shulkin has been instrumental in working with PCF to speed the development of new treatments options and cures for veterans fighting prostate cancer,” said Jonathan W. Simons, MD. “We believe Dr. Shulkin to be a transformational leader who will ensure that veterans battling cancer have access to the latest advances in precision oncology. Dr. Shulkin’s overwhelming 2015 Senate approval is indicative of the bipartisan support we hope to see at his upcoming Senate confirmation hearing.”

The Honorable Dr. David J. Shulkin, at the 2016 Launch Pad: Pathways to Cancer InnoVAtion event

This past fall Shulkin, in his current role leading the Veterans Health Administration, took part in an event co-hosted by VA and PCF: Launch Pad: Pathways to Cancer InnoVAtion. The event brought together world-class oncology experts, corporate and nonprofit partners to discuss research, big data, technology and clinical solutions to advance screening, diagnostics and care coordination for cancer and to promote the implementation of best practices across the VA healthcare system.

VHA and PCF, through a $50-million partnership effort, are now collaborating to augment precision oncology medicine for the treatment of prostate cancer among veterans; and the clinical care of veterans with prostate cancer using the latest and most sophisticated biotechnologies. Precision oncology medicine is a transformative model of healthcare that uses information in the DNA code of each tumor to predict the optimal course of treatment including novel investigational therapies.

This collaboration represents a significant move forward for PCF and VA scientists working to prevent and treat prostate cancer.  A collaboration between VA and PCF may lead to new discoveries and life-extending medications or therapies for veterans.

The Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs will hold a hearing on Dr. Shulkin’s nomination on Wednesday, Feb. 1, 2017.

Terms to know from this article:

Screening

Checking for disease when there are no symptoms.

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).