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The Prostate Cancer Foundation and Movember Announce 2021 Challenge Award Winners

LOS ANGELES, Calif., October 1, 2021 – The Prostate Cancer Foundation (PCF) and Movember today announced two new Movember – PCF Challenge Awards. The awards, which total $2 million, are granted to teams at some of the world’s leading cancer research institutions to support cross-disciplinary pioneering research toward the goal of finding cures for prostate cancer. Of these funds, $1.3 million was raised from the 2020 Movember U.S. Campaign and nearly $200,000 came from the 2020 Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride.

The two teams awarded 2021 Movember – PCF Challenge Awards are:

2021 Movember-PCF Challenge Award

Principal Investigators: Franklin Huang, MD, PhD (University of California, San Francisco; San Francisco Veterans Affairs Medical Center), Elisabeth Heath, MD (Karmanos Cancer Institute; Wayne State University), Clayton Yates, PhD (Tuskegee University).

Co-Investigators: Hala Borno, MD (University of California San Francisco), Matthew Cooperberg, MD, MPH (San Francisco Veterans Affairs Medical Center; University of California, San Francisco), Nancy Greenland, MD, PhD (San Francisco Veterans Affairs Medical Center; University of California, San Francisco), Felix Feng, MD (University of California, San Francisco), Thomas Hope, MD (San Francisco Veterans Affairs Medical Center; University of California, San Francisco).

Project Title: MET-PAAM: Elucidating the Molecular Mechanisms of Tumor Progression in Metastatic Prostate Cancer among Men of African Ancestry

Project Description: African American patients experience significant disparities in prostate cancer diagnosis and outcomes compared with Caucasian patients.  Dr. Huang and team will map the landscape of genomic alterations in African American prostate cancers, which will enable the development of new precision medicine approaches.  The team will also create a digital health tool that will increase ethnic and racial diversity in prostate cancer clinical trials, and develop a training program to increase the numbers of underrepresented minorities in the field of computational prostate cancer disparities research.


2021 Movember-Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride-PCF Challenge Award

Principal Investigator: Matthew Freedman, MD (Harvard University, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute).

Co-Investigators: Mark Pomerantz, MD (Dana-Farber Cancer Institute), Wilbert Zwart, PhD (The Netherlands Cancer Institute), Sylvan Baca, MD, PhD (Dana-Farber Cancer Institute), Tesa Severson, PhD (Netherlands Cancer Institute).

Project Title: Leveraging Epigenomics to Target Acquired Vulnerabilities in Treatment-Resistant Prostate Cancer

Project Description: There are currently no curative treatment options for prostate cancer that has progressed to a metastatic, treatment-resistant state.  Dr. Freedman and team have identified a set of gene transcription regulators that control this progression. They are testing whether these regulators may serve as promising targets for developing new treatments to prevent progression to advanced, lethal prostate cancer.  The team is also developing a prostate cancer research resource, which will help other investigators uncover novel biology and treatment opportunities for prostate cancer patients.


For more detailed project descriptions visit https://www.pcf.org/c/challenge-awards-class-of-2021

“Research from past Challenge Awards has led to many significant findings that improve outcomes for men with prostate cancer,” said Movember’s Global Director of Cancer Research and Clinical Trials, Jane Fisher, PhD.  “Movember is pleased to be continuing the support of this critical research and we’re delighted that the efforts of our Mo Bros and Mo Sisters have been joined by the Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride.”

“The intent of the PCF Challenge Award is to support ambitious team science with the potential to develop new treatments for metastatic prostate cancer,” said PCF Executive Vice President and Chief Science Officer Howard R. Soule, PhD. “We congratulate Drs. Huang, Heath, Yates, and Freedman and their colleagues on their research which we believe has the potential to develop new therapeutic approaches for advanced prostate cancer and provide more options for patients in need.”

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 close to $1 billion in support of cutting-edge research by more than 2,200 research projects at 220 leading cancer centers in 22 countries around the world. Thanks in part to PCF’s commitment to ending death and suffering from prostate cancer, the death rate is down by 52 percent and countless more men are alive today as a result. The Prostate Cancer Foundation research now impacts more than 70 forms of human cancer by focusing on immunotherapy, the microbiome, and food as medicine. Learn more at www.pcf.org.

About Movember

Movember is the leading charity changing the face of men’s health on a global scale, focusing on mental health and suicide prevention, prostate cancer and testicular cancer. The charity raises funds to deliver innovative, breakthrough research and support programs that enable men to live happier, healthier and longer lives. Committed to disrupting the status quo, millions have joined the movement, helping fund over 1,250 projects around the world.

In addition to tackling key health issues faced by men, Movember is working to encourage men to stay healthy in all areas of their life, with a focus on men staying socially connected and becoming more open to discussing their health and significant moments in their lives. The charity’s vision is to have an everlasting impact on the face of men’s health. To donate or learn more, please visit Movember.com.

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Staci L. Vernick
Prostate Cancer Foundation
[email protected]