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The Prostate Cancer Foundation and Bayer Announce First Ever Bayer-PCF Health Equity Research Challenge Awards

LOS ANGELES, Calif., November 30, 2023 – The Prostate Cancer Foundation (PCF) and Bayer today announced three 2023 Bayer-PCF Health Equity Research Challenge Awards totaling $600,000. The awards will support novel health equity research projects with the goal of reducing racial and ethnic disparities in the diagnosis and treatment of advanced prostate cancer.

Globally, prostate cancer is the second most common form of cancer diagnosed among men, with over 1.4 million cases diagnosed worldwide.1,2 In the United States alone, Black men are about 70 percent more likely to be diagnosed with prostate cancer and over twice as likely to die from it than white men.3 The Bayer-PCF Health Equity Research Challenge Awards will focus specifically on research to develop clinical management strategies to improve equitable access to standards of care (diagnostics, prognostics, or treatments) and improve outcomes for Black patients with advanced prostate cancer.

“The Prostate Cancer Foundation has been funding research to understand and address this disparity for more than 30 years,” said Howard R. Soule, PhD, Executive Vice President and Chief Science Officer, PCF. “We are honored to partner with Bayer in this endeavor and congratulate the investigators on their research which we believe has the potential to reduce disparities in prostate cancer.”

“Studies show that Black men are more likely to be diagnosed with prostate cancer when it is more advanced, and may experience inferior outcomes when compared to Caucasian men. However, when access to treatment options is similar, 10-year survival is comparable or even higher among this population,3” said Iain Webb, Vice President and Head of U.S. Medical Affairs, Oncology at Bayer. “Working together with these investigators provides us the opportunity to address and potentially improve disparities in the U.S. We congratulate the winners of these awards and look forward to seeing the results of the research.”

The teams awarded 2023 Bayer-PCF Health Equity Research Challenge Awards are:

Principal Investigator: Burcu Darst, PhD, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center
Co-Investigators: Heather Cheng, MD, PhD, and Yaw Nyame, MD, MS, of the University of Washington; Manoj Menon, MD, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center
Young Investigator: Hiba Khan, MD, MPH, University of Washington
Collaborator: Veda Giri, MD, Yale University
Project Title: Incorporating Patient Education into Germline Testing in Black Patients with Prostate Cancer

Principal Investigator: Brian Joyce, PhD, Northwestern University
Co-Investigators: Adam Murphy, MD, Mamoudou Maiga, MD, PhD, Lifang Hou, PhD, MD, all of Northwestern University
Young Investigator: Zequn Sun, PhD, Northwestern University
Project Title: Impact of Genetic Ancestry and DNA Methylation on Prostate Cancer in African and African American Patients

Principal Investigator: Nallasivam Palanisamy, PhD, MsC, Henry Ford Health System
Co-Investigators: Pin Li, PhD, Nilesh Gupta, MD, Craig Rogers, MD, all of Henry Ford Health System; Daniel I. Isaac, DO, MSc, Michigan State University
Young Investigator: Wei Zhao, MD, PhD, Henry Ford Health System
Project Title: Molecular Evaluation of Prostate Saturation and Progression Biopsies for Risk Assessment and Early Intervention.

About the Prostate Cancer Foundation
The Prostate Cancer Foundation (PCF) is the world’s leading philanthropic organization dedicated to funding life-saving prostate cancer research. Founded in 1993 by Mike Milken, PCF has been responsible for raising more than $1 billion in support of cutting-edge research through more than 2,250 research projects at 245 leading cancer centers, with a global footprint spanning 28 countries. Since PCF’s inception, and through its efforts, patients around the world are living longer, suffering fewer complications, and enjoying better quality of all life. PCF is committed to creating a global public square for prostate cancer, in service to our mission of ending death and suffering from the disease. Learn more at pcf.org.

About Bayer
Bayer is a global enterprise with core competencies in the life science fields of health care and nutrition. Its products and services are designed to help people and the planet thrive by supporting efforts to master the major challenges presented by a growing and aging global population. Bayer is committed to driving sustainable development and generating a positive impact with its businesses. At the same time, the Group aims to increase its earning power and create value through innovation and growth. The Bayer brand stands for trust, reliability and quality throughout the world. In fiscal 2022, the Group employed around 101,000 people and had sales of 50.7 billion euros. R&D expenses before special items amounted to 6.2 billion euros. For more information, go to www.bayer.com.

Forward-Looking Statements

This release may contain forward-looking statements based on current assumptions and forecasts made by Bayer management. Various known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors could lead to material differences between the actual future results, financial situation, development or performance of the company and the estimates given here. These factors include those discussed in Bayer’s public reports which are available on the Bayer website at www.bayer.com. The company assumes no liability whatsoever to update these forward-looking statements or to conform them to future events or developments.

PP-PF-ONC-US-3048-1 11/23

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Staci L. Vernick
Prostate Cancer Foundation
[email protected]
[email protected]

Carolyn Nagle
[email protected]


  1. American Cancer Society. Facts & Figures 2023. American Cancer Society. Atlanta, Ga. 2023.
  2. Wang L, Lu B, He M, Wang Y, Wang Z. Prostate Cancer Incidence and Mortality: Global Status and Temporal Trends in 89 Countries From 2000 to 2019. Front. Public Health. Volume 10 – 2022 February 16, 2022.
  3. Cancer Facts & Figures for African American/Black People 2022-2024. Atlanta: American Cancer Society, Inc. 2022.