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The Prostate Cancer Foundation Announces 2020 Challenge Awards Totaling More Than $11 Million For Prostate Cancer Research

LOS ANGELES, Calif., December 31, 2020 – The Prostate Cancer Foundation (PCF) today announced the 2020 Class of PCF Team Challenge Award recipients and a total of $11 million in funding for innovative prostate cancer research.

PCF Challenge Awards fund international, multi-institutional, cross-disciplinary teams of investigators conducting highly innovative research with the greatest potential for accelerating new and improved treatments for advanced prostate cancer. Following a rigorous peer review process that assessed each project’s scientific merit and potential patient impact, 12 highly coveted PCF Challenge Awards totaling $11 million were granted to teams at some of the world’s leading cancer research institutions.

2020 PCF Challenge Awards
For full project descriptions visit https://www.pcf.org/c/challenge-awards-class-of-2020/.

2020 PCF Challenge Award
Project Title: 177Lu-PSMA-617 as a Radioimmunotherapy for Prostate Cancer
(Investigating potential therapeutic synergies between radiation therapy and immunotherapy, and developing biomarkers and novel PET imaging methods to measure anti-tumor immune responses.)
Team Leaders: Rahul Aggarwal, MD (University of California, San Francisco), Lawrence Fong, MD (University of California, San Francisco), Michael Evans, PhD (University of California, San Francisco), Thomas Hope, MD (University of California, San Francisco)

2020 Movember-Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride-PCF Challenge Award
Project Title: Targeting Transcriptional Addiction in Prostate Cancer by Impeding Neo-enhancer Accessibility
(Early-phase study of the efficacy of a therapeutic strategy that targets cancer-driving regulators of gene expression in advanced, treatment-resistant prostate cancer.)
Team Leaders: Arul Chinnaiyan, MD, PhD (University of Michigan), Marcin Cieslik, PhD (University of Michigan), Ulka Vaishampayan, MBBS (University of Michigan), Yuzhuo Wang, PhD (University of British Columbia)

2020 John Black Charitable Foundation-PCF Challenge Award
Project Title: Targeting the Host Microbiota to Reverse Therapeutic Resistance in Lethal Prostate Cancers
(Studying the biology of how ‘unfavorable’ gut microbes impact prostate cancer.)
Team Leaders: Johann de Bono, MD, PhD (Institute of Cancer Research), Andrea Alimonti, MD (Institute of Oncology Research)

2020 Janssen-PCF Challenge Award
Project Title: PARPi Response Evaluation for Clinical Impact and Scientific Innovation in Oncology: The PRECISION Registry
(Creating a large international registry of data from patients treated with various PARP inhibitors to better understand how genomic alterations render sensitivity or resistance to these treatments.)
Team Leaders: Veda Giri, MD (Thomas Jefferson University), Susan Halabi, PhD (Duke University), Alexander Wyatt, PhD (University of British Columbia)

2020 John Black Charitable Foundation-PCF Challenge Award
Project Title: Epitranscriptomic Determinants of Androgen Deprivation Therapy Resistance in Prostate Cancer
(Studying how RNA methylation alterations impact disease progression and treatment resistance and the potential of METTL3-inhibitors as a novel treatment.)
Team Leader: Nigel Mongan, PhD, University of Nottingham

2020 PCF Challenge Award
Project Title: PC-REACTR: A Multidimensional Tumor Atlas to Overcome Prostate Cancer Therapy Resistance
(Developing a multidimensional prostate cancer databank to investigate tumor biology and predict improved therapy combinations that can overcome treatment resistance.)
Team Leaders: Peter Nelson, MD (University of Washington) Elisabeth Heath, MD (Wayne State University/Karmanos Cancer Center)

2020 PCF Challenge Award
Project Title: Dissecting the Prostate Cancer Diaspora
(Investigating the use of biomarkers to identify patients at risk for lethal disease and to reveal the pathways by which prostate cancer metastasizes.)
Team Leader: Kenneth Pienta, MD, Johns Hopkins University

2020 Bristol-Myers Squibb-PCF Challenge Award
Project Title: The Role of Precision Therapy in the Treatment of CDK12 Altered Metastatic Prostate Cancer
(Investigating the efficacy and mechanisms by which checkpoint immunotherapy may work in CDK12-mutant prostate cancer.)
Team Leaders: Dan Robinson, PhD (University of Michigan), Felix Feng, MD (University of California, San Francisco), Ajjai Alva, MD (University of Michigan)

2020 Movember-Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride-PCF Challenge Award
Project Title: Radiolabeled Systemic Therapy with SABR for Castration Sensitive Prostate Cancer Oligometastatic Disease
(Testing the efficacy of a highly focused form of radiation therapy combined with other systemic radioactive treatments in prostate cancer patients with limited metastasis.)
Team Leaders: Phuoc Tran, MD, PhD (Johns Hopkins University), Kenneth Pienta, MD (Johns Hopkins University)

2020 PCF Special Challenge Awards
For full project descriptions visit https://www.pcf.org/c/challenge-awards-class-of-2020/.

2020 Larry and Camille Ruvo-PCF Special Challenge Award
Project Title: The Influence of Germline Variation on Prostate Cancer RNA Circularization
(Studying the heritable “germline” genome of prostate cancer in patients of different ancestries to lay the groundwork for developing new risk prediction tools, prognostic biomarkers, and treatments.)
Team Leaders: Paul Boutros, PhD, MBA (University of California, Los Angeles), Robert Reiter, MD (University of California, Los Angeles), Huihui Ye, MD (University of California, Los Angeles)

2020 Robert F. Smith-PCF Special Challenge Award
Project Title: Optimization and Clinical Assessment of a Polygenic Risk Model for Targeted Screening and Strategic Earlier Detection of Prostate Cancer in Men of African Ancestry: “SPEAR Test”
(Creating a registry of genetic data on 100,000 African American men to identify prostate cancer genetic risk factors and develop a clinical “polygenic risk score” test to predict lifetime risk of prostate cancer.)
Team Leader: Christopher Haiman, ScD, University of Southern California

2020 Ken Griffin-PCF Special Challenge Award
Project Title: Targeting TMPRSS2 in Early COVID-19
(Testing the efficacy of camostat, a TMPRSS2 inhibitor, on preventing prostate cancer progression and poor outcomes in patients who recently tested positive for SARS-CoV2 infection.
Team Leaders: Joseph Vinetz, MD (Yale University), Geoffrey Chupp, MD, (Yale University)

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 raised more than $850 million 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% 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.

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