PHEN President Thomas A. Farrington, a member of the Prostate Cancer Dream Team
Oscar-nominated actor Terrence Howard (movies include Hustle & Flow and Red Tails) with Farrington at the Prostate Cancer Dream Team announcement on April 1st in Chicago. Howard is a member of ?Stand Up to Cancer,? a program of the Entertainment Industry Foundation. Terrance moderated the Dream Team announcement program.
Stand Up To Cancer (SU2C) and the Prostate Cancer Foundation (PCF), along with the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) announced the formation of a new Dream Team dedicated to prostate cancer research during a press conference on Sunday, April 1st in Chicago, Ill.
Arul M. Chinnaiyan, M.D., Ph.D., of the University of Michigan, and Charles L. Sawyers, M.D., of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, will lead the Dream Team project titled "Precision Therapy for Advanced Prostate Cancer." The Dream Team scientists are drawn from five leading prostate cancer clinical research centers in Ann Arbor, New York, Boston, Seattle, and London.
Phillip Kantoff, M.D., of Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Levi Garraway, M. D., PhD, of Dana-Farber and the Broad Institute join the Team leaders as principals along with Peter S. Nelson, M.D., Johann S. de Bono, M.D. and Mark A. Rubin, M.D. Thomas A. Farrington, President of the Prostate Health Education Network (PHEN) and Trustee of Dana-Farber is a member of the Dream Team as the Patient Advocate Leader.
Prostate cancer, like other types of cancer, is not a homogeneous disease. The diversity of genetic aberrations found in prostate cancer suggests that treatment decisions will require a personalized or precision approach - matching treatment to specific characteristics of a tumor. The Dream Team will focus on patients with metastatic prostate cancer. First, the team will implement a multi-institutional study that systematically evaluates the prostate cancer genomes of patients enrolling in four clinical trials, evaluating novel drugs for hormone resistant metastatic disease or beginning treatment with approved drugs. The Team will identify predictors of why some patients respond to these therapies, as well as predictors of resistance to these therapies. The study will capture a molecular snapshot of a patient's cancer and incorporate this information into the clinical trials. It will also enable a framework that will facilitate progress toward a personalized approach for evaluating new drugs and treating patients with prostate cancer.
The delivery of clinically valuable information based on the analyses of each patient's tumor will improve the lives of patients with prostate cancer. This multi-disciplinary, multi-institutional effort establishes a framework for translating research into precision prostate cancer medicine for patient care. The SU2C-PCF Prostate Dream Team Translational Cancer Research Grant will provide funding of $10 million over a three-year period for this effort.
Patient outreach and education is a critical component of the Dream Team?s effort. Each of the participating institutions has designated a patient advocate who will become part of the team led by Farrington. The patient advocate team includes Doug Pergament (Michigan), James Kiefert (Seattle), Stan Klein (Boston), Ian Liston (London, U. K.) and Grant Gregory (New York).
Enrolling a significant number of African American men in this effort is an important goal. This project could help scientists identify and better understand any prostate cancer genetic aberrations that might be more common to African American patients and which therapies might work best. African American men have a prostate cancer mortality rate which is 2.4 times higher than for other men. PHEN?s education and awareness initiatives will be used extensively to outreach to African Americans. This includes PHEN?s monthly webcasts and e-newsletters, Father?s Day Rally, Annual African American Prostate Cancer Disparity Summit, PHEN TV, church partnerships and other activities.