LOS ANGELES, Calif., Nov. 11, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — Four new Prostate Cancer Foundation (PCF) Centers of Excellence (COEs) have joined the PCF’s dedicated network of centers executing the ambitious mission of improving the care for U.S. Veterans with prostate cancer. With the addition of the new centers, the PCF has established 10 COEs to date. Located in Philadelphia, PA, Washington, DC, Durham, NC and Tampa Bay, FL, these new COEs join six other established Centers in cities across the U.S. in delivering cutting-edge precision treatments to save the lives of Veterans battling prostate cancer. The other centers are based in Seattle, WA, Chicago, IL, Bronx, NY, Los Angeles, CA, Manhattan, NY and Ann Arbor, MI. More than 15,000 men in the Veterans Affairs (VA) are newly diagnosed with prostate cancer each year, making it the most frequently diagnosed cancer among Veterans. One in nine men and one in six African American men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer with four million men in the U.S. living with the disease.
The PCF’s Veterans Health Initiative, which was established in 2016 is committed to investing $50 million to deliver innovative, best-in-class prostate cancer care to Veterans, which includes expanding genomic data banking to provide improved prostate cancer treatment, greater access to clinical trials, and resources to develop better precision oncology care. Precision medicine is individualized, allowing for custom-tailored treatment that targets cancer by its genetic signature. It is the key to ending deaths from prostate cancer. More than half the funds the PCF has committed have been used to launch 10 COEs in a collaborative network at the forefront of precision oncology for prostate cancer. The PCF has also dedicated funding to the research of numerous VA physician scientists. The platform the PCF and VA have created is being used to build centers of excellence for other cancers as well.
“I was diagnosed five and a half years ago with a particularly lethal form of prostate cancer that had metastasized,” said Chris Seelye, U.S. Navy Veteran and patient at the Puget Sound VA in Seattle, Washington. “I was fortunate to be treated at a PCF Center of Excellence where it was discovered through genetic testing that the BRCA gene was implicated in my cancer. I was given a precise form of treatment specific to my cancer that literally saved my life. It is critical that all men, including Veterans understand their risks.” For more information about the PCF and VA efforts, and Seelye, visit the PCF YouTube Channel here.
The goal of a precision medicine approach is to tailor treatments to each patient’s cancer based on their unique biology. State-of-the-art molecular testing will allow doctors to match patients to treatments based on a genetic understanding of their disease. The precisely targeted treatment reduces toxicities of one-size-fits-all treatments that are unlikely to be effective. Genetic counseling and cutting-edge clinical trials are among the best-in-class care options that the initiative has made possible for Veterans.
“We are proud to be in partnership with the VA to deliver exceptional treatment options to our Nation’s Veterans and we want each and everyone to know that these Center of Excellence exist and how to access them,” said Jonathan W. Simons, MD, PCF’s president and CEO. “No Veteran should be left behind when a medical breakthrough comes to the clinic. It is our duty to ensure every Veteran receives the very best care, and access to new precision treatments.”
To learn more about clinical trials offered by the PCF-VA Centers of Excellence, Veterans should call (206)-277-3621. Information is also available at www.PCF.org/veterans.