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The Prostate Cancer Foundation and ZERO – The End of Prostate Cancer Announce 2022 Young Investigator Award

LOS ANGELES, Calif., December 14, 2022 – The Prostate Cancer Foundation (PCF) and ZERO today announced the 2022 ZERO-PCF VAlor Young Investigator Award for innovative research into the causes of racial disparities in prostate cancer and potential strategies to reduce them.

The $225,000 ZERO-PCF VAlor Young  Investigator Award was awarded to Jun Gong, MD, of Cedars-Sinai Medical Center for his project entitled A Nationwide Study on Systemic Treatment Patterns in Black Patients with Metastatic Castration-Resistant Prostate Cancer (mCRPC).

“Racial disparities in prostate cancer remain a significant unsolved problem, with Black patients more than twice as likely to die from the disease than their white counterparts,” says PCF President and CEO Charles J. Ryan, MD. “We believe Dr. Gong’s work will shed important light on how differences in treatment impact patient outcomes which may support strategies that ultimately reduce racial disparities in prostate cancer.”

“We can’t end prostate cancer without eliminating the long-standing disparities in prostate cancer,” says Jamie Bearse, ZERO’s CEO and President. “Dr. Gong’s work is critical to help get us get closer to everyone having a fair and just opportunity to prevent, find, treat, and survive prostate cancer.”

Some clinical trials have shown evidence that Black patients with mCRPC do as well or better than white patients; however, these studies have been limited by the small number of Black men enrolled in them. Dr. Gong, a urological oncologist at the Samuel Oschin Comprehensive Cancer Institute at Cedars-Sinai is investigating treatment patterns and disparities by using data from more than 10 million Veterans to generate the largest known cohort of Black patients with mCRPC. The underlying causes of racial disparities in prostate cancer are multifactorial and complex but do include unequal access to health care. Dr. Gong and team will investigate how differences in treatment patterns and time to treatment initiation contribute to prostate cancer disparities, information that will help improve access to and timely initiation of standard and novel treatments for Black patients to reduce disparities.

PCF Young Investigator Awards are intended to identify a cohort of future research leaders who will keep the field of prostate cancer research vibrant with new ideas and offer career and project support for early career physicians and scientists who are committed to advancing the prostate cancer field. In 2022, 34 PCF Young Investigator Awards totaling $7.2 million were granted to the promising next generation of cancer researchers. Read more about the Class of 2022 PCF Young Investigator Awards here.

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 245 leading cancer centers in 28 countries around the world. Since PCF’s inception, and through its efforts, patients around the world are living longer, suffering fewer complications, and enjoying better quality of 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 ZERO – The End of Prostate Cancer
ZERO — The End of Prostate Cancer is the leading national nonprofit with the mission to end prostate cancer and help all who are impacted. ZERO advances research, provides support, and creates solutions to achieve health equity to meet the most critical needs of our community. From early detection to survivorship, ZERO is the premier resource for prostate cancer patients and their families to access comprehensive support, make meaningful connections, and take action to save lives. Our dedicated national and chapter staff is joined with a growing team of passionate volunteer champions to increase advocacy, awareness, and community engagement to ZERO out prostate cancer. ZERO is recognized with four out of four stars by Charity Navigator and accredited by the Better Business Bureau. ZERO spends more on programs than any other prostate cancer charity, dedicating 85 cents of every dollar to support, education, and research. 

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