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The Prostate Cancer Foundation Announces 2021 Challenge Awards

LOS ANGELES, Calif., February 24, 2022 – The Prostate Cancer Foundation (PCF) today announced the 2021 Class of PCF Team Challenge Award recipients and a total of more than $9 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, nine highly coveted PCF Challenge Awards totaling $9 million were granted to teams at some of the world’s leading cancer research institutions.

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

2021 Durden Foundation-PCF Challenge Award
Project Title: Single Cell Profiling to Identify Mechanisms of Tumor Progression in Metastatic Prostate Cancer
(Deploying blood- and tissue-based biomarker tests to identify patients whose tumors are at high risk for disease progression to particularly aggressive neuroendocrine prostate cancer.)
Team Leaders: Joshi Alumkal, MD, and Euisik Yoon, PhD, MSc (University of Michigan)

2021 PCF Challenge Award
Project Title: Exploiting BH3 Mimetic Drugs to Drive Apoptosis in Prostate Cancer
(Investigating the use of BH3 mimetic drugs, a class of therapeutics that induces cancer cell death, as precision medicine treatments for prostate cancer patients.)
Team Leaders: Steven Balk, MD, PhD (Harvard: Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center), Johann de Bono, MD, PhD (Institute of Cancer Research), Eva Corey, PhD (University of Washington), Yuzhuo Wang, PhD (University of British Columbia)

2021 Movember-Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride-PCF Challenge Award
Project Title: Leveraging Epigenomics to Target Acquired Vulnerabilities in Treatment-Resistant Prostate Cancer
(Investigating gene transcription regulators that control the conversion of prostate cancer to metastatic and treatment-resistant states as potential therapeutic targets to prevent development of advanced, lethal prostate cancer.)
Team Leader: Matthew Freedman, MD (Harvard: Dana-Farber Cancer Institute)

2021 Credit Suisse, Republic National Distributing Company (RNDC), Trailsend Foundation, PCF Challenge Award
Project Title: Targeting the PTGES3-AR Axis in Advanced Prostate Cancer
(Investigating the biology by which PTGES3, an androgen receptor regulator, drives prostate cancer progression and treatment resistance in order to develop targeted therapies which may extend and improve the lives of patients.)
Team Leaders: Luke Gilbert, PhD; Felix Feng, MD; Kevan Shokat, PhD; Michelle Arkin, PhD (University of California, San Francisco)

2021 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)

2021 Movember-PCF Challenge Award
Project Title: MET-PAAM: Elucidating the Molecular Mechanisms of Tumor Progression in Metastatic Prostate Cancer Among Men of African Ancestry
(Mapping the landscape of genomic alterations in African American prostate cancers, which will enable the development of new precision medicine approaches for these patients.)
Team Leaders: 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)

2021 John Black Charitable Foundation-PCF Challenge Award
Project Title: Biomarker Profiling in Oligo-Metastatic Prostate Cancer – Interactions Between Systemic Therapy and Radiotherapy in the STAMPEDE Trial
(Using an artificial intelligence-based approach to identify biomarkers that predict which patients will benefit from the addition of prostate radiotherapy to androgen deprivation therapy to optimize personalized treatment decisions.)
Team Leaders: Nick James, MBBS, PhD (Institute of Cancer Research), Gerhardt Attard, MD, PhD (University College London), Bissan Al-Lazikani, PhD (Institute of Cancer Research)

2021 AIRA Matrix-PCF Challenge Award
Project Title: Testing Deep Learning Algorithms for Prognostication and Prediction in Prostate Cancer
(Developing and validating artificial intelligence-based digital pathology technologies with high accuracy for predicting prostate cancer aggressiveness, tumor molecular characteristics, and clinical outcomes, enabling clinicians to choose more appropriate treatment strategies for patients.)
Team Leaders: Tamara Lotan, MD; Angelo DeMarzo, MD, PhD (Johns Hopkins University)

2021 Stewart Rahr- PCF Challenge Award
Project Title: Metabolic and Inflammatory Response to a Whole Food Plant-Based Diet in Overweight/Obese Men with Prostate Cancer Receiving Androgen Deprivation Therapy: A Phase II Randomized Study
(Examining whether a whole-food plant-based diet can reduce adverse effects associated with androgen deprivation therapy in obese/overweight patients, including weight gain, accumulation of body fat, insulin resistance, and an elevated risk of diabetes and cardiovascular death to improve outcomes for men with advanced prostate cancer.)
Team Leaders: David Nanus, MD (Weill Cornell Medicine), Channing Paller, MD (Johns Hopkins 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 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. Thanks in part to PCF’s commitment to ending death and suffering from prostate cancer, the death rate is down by over 50% and countless more men are alive today as a result. PCF research now impacts more than 73 forms of human cancer by focusing on immunotherapy, the microbiome, and food as medicine. Learn more at pcf.org.

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