LOS ANGELES, Calif., December 6, 2022 – The Prostate Cancer Foundation (PCF) today announced four inaugural Class of 2022 TACTICAL (Therapy ACceleration To Intercept CAncer Lethality) Award recipients. This $30 million program will support cross-disciplinary pioneering research toward the goal of developing 21st Century therapies for the most life-threatening form of prostate cancer.
PCF TACTICAL Awards are intended to support large-scale, multi-institutional team research projects addressing metastatic, lethal prostate cancer. The TACTICAL Campaign is PCF’s largest effort to date to develop novel therapies that target the molecular mechanisms driving lethal prostate cancer. PCF TACTICAL Awards provide up to $10 million in total funding over a three-year period.
“We are making tremendous progress in developing new therapies for prostate cancer that prolong life, and improve the quality of life, but still an estimated 375,000 men will die of the disease this year,” says Charles J. Ryan, MD, PCF President and CEO. “Recent research advances are revealing the mechanisms driving resistance to these therapies in castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC) or metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer. We must now develop therapies that target these mechanisms.”
“PCF congratulates the investigators receiving the inaugural TACTICAL Awards on their research which we believe has the strongest potential to further reduce death and suffering from prostate cancer, and potentially other cancers,” says Howard R. Soule, PhD, PCF Executive Vice President and Chief Science Officer.
2022 PCF TACTICAL Awards
For full project descriptions visit https://www.pcf.org/c/tactical-awards-class-of-2022/ .
Project Title: An Accelerated Platform using Lead-212 Targeted α-particle Therapy to Radically Improve Cancer Lethality of Prostate Cancer Theranostics using Novel Targets and Better Understanding of Resistance: the Cancer Lethality Lead Collaboration
Project Description: The team will develop a new treatment called targeted alpha therapy using the radioactive substance Lead-212. This emits highly energic particles that can eradicate cancer while travelling less than the width of a human hair limiting side effects. This will be combined with a mRNA-based technology to discover new small molecules that lock onto cancer cells enabling targeted delivery of the radioactive payload. Additionally, researchers will characterize mechanisms of treatment resistance and develop biomarkers for better personalizing these treatments.
Principal Investigators: Michael Hofman, MBBS, Mohammad Haskali, PhD, Luc Furic, PhD, Heidi Fettke, PhD, Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre; Johannes Czernin, MD, Christine Mona, PhD, Caius Radu, MD, Elie Besserer, PhD, University of California, Los Angeles; Tom Hope, MD, Felix Feng, MD, Martin Sjoestroem, MD, PhD, University of California, San Francisco; Ken Herrmann, MD, Katharina Lückerath, PhD, Valeska von Kiedrowski, PhD, Uniklinik Essen.
Co-Investigators: Shahneen Sandhu, MBBS, Anna Trigos, PhD, Arun Azad, MD, PhD, Declan Murphy, FRACS, Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre; Giuseppe Carlucci, PhD, Thuc Le, PhD, University of California, Los Angeles; Jonathan Tranel, PhD, University of California, San Francisco; Wolfgang Fendler, MD, Anna Pacelli, PhD, Uniklinik Essen
Young Investigators: Marwa Rahimi, PhD, Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre; Magdalena Staniszewska, PhD, Uniklinik Essen.
Project Title: Developing Engineered Cell Therapies for Metastatic Castrate-Resistant Prostate Cancer to Increase Efficacy and Decrease Toxicity
Project Description: This team will develop new clinic-ready CAR T cell therapies for mCRPC that can overcome the limitations of prior CAR T cell products for prostate cancer. This may ultimately lead to a powerful new arsenal of immunotherapy treatments for advanced prostate cancer patients, that are effective in racially diverse populations and against heterogenous advanced disease types. This knowledge may also advance immunotherapy in patients with other types of solid tumors.
Principal Investigators: Carl June, MD, Joseph Fraietta, PhD, Avery Posey, PhD, University of Pennsylvania; Saul Priceman, PhD, Tanya Dorff, MD, City of Hope; Naomi Haas, MD, Abramson Cancer Center at the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine; John Maris, MD, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia; James Gulley, MD, PhD, National Cancer Institute
Co-Investigators: Vivek Narayan, MD, Abramson Cancer Center at the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine; Priti Lal, MD, Regina Young, PhD, University of Pennsylvania; Evan Weber, PhD, Yi Xing, PhD, Nikolaous Sgourakis, PhD, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia; Peter Choyke, MD, Scott Norberg, DO, Wiem Lassoued, PhD, Jennifer Marte, MD, MPH, National Cancer Institute; Nan-Ping Weng, MD, PhD, National Institute on Aging; Peter Kuhn, PhD, University of Southern California; Kara Maxwell, MD, PhD, Daniel Lee, MD, Darshana Jhala, MD, The Corporal Michael J. Crescenz VA Medical Center
Young Investigators: Andrew Rech, MD, PhD, University of Pennsylvania; Mark Yarmarkovich, PhD, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia
Project Title: Novel Theranostic Agents for Neuroendocrine Prostate Cancer
Project Description: This team will validate DLL3 as a theranostic target for the identification and treatment of patients with NEPC, a highly aggressive and currently untreatable form of advanced prostate cancer. A novel DLL3-targeted PET-based diagnostic and DLL3-targeted radioligand therapy will be developed and readied for testing in clinical trials. These studies will also aid in the identification of rational combinatorial strategies that synergize with DLL3-targeted agents. These results will lay the groundwork for the clinical trials of not only the theranostic proposed in this grant, but also for immunotherapeutics, antibody–drug conjugates, and other DLL3-directed strategies that are currently under development for both NEPC and small cell lung cancer (SCLC).
Principal Investigators: Jason Lewis, PhD, Michael Morris, MD, Lisa Bodei, MD, PhD, Samir Zaidi, MD, PhD, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center; Himisha Beltran, MD, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute; Felix Feng, MD, University of California San Francisco; John Poirier, PhD, NYU Grossman School of Medicine
Co-Investigators: Kishore Pillarsetty, PhD, Yu Chen, MD, PhD, Anuradha Gopalan, MD, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
Young Investigators: Ryan Reddy, MD, Salomon Tendler, MD, PhD, Audrey Mauguen, PhD, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
Project Description: This team will employ a suite of cutting-edge drug development techniques to develop an effective inhibitor of MYC, a major driver of ~70% of all cancers, including prostate cancer. These agents will be rapidly translated into clinical trial testing and have the potential to benefit a broad population of patients, including all clinical stages of prostate cancer and many types of cancer beyond prostate cancer.
Principal Investigators: Arul Chinnaiyan, MD, PhD, University of Michigan; Sarki Abdulkadir, MD, PhD, Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University
Co-Investigators: Shaomeng Wang, PhD, Ganesh Palapattu, MD, Joshi Alumkal, MD, Zachery Reichert, MD, Ulka Vaishampayan, MD, Xiaoju (George) Wang, PhD, Jean Tien, PhD, Yuanyuan Qiao, PhD, Jeanne Stuckey, PhD, Alex Tsodikov, PhD, Jeremy Taylor, PhD, University of Michigan; Maha Hussain, MD, Gary Schiltz, PhD, Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University; Yuzhuo Wang, PhD, University of British Columbia; Ke Ding, PhD, Shanghai Institute of Organic Chemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences
Young Investigators: Abhijit Parolia, PhD, Lanbo Xiao, PhD, University of Michigan; Sarah Fenton, MD, PhD, Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern 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 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.
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