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Eric Rosenthal Reports
Thoughts and observations about issues, trends, and controversies in the cancer community.
Saturday, October 13, 2012
Stand Up To Cancer Announces Second Prostate Cancer Dream Team
 

Stand Up To Cancer’s (SU2C) collaborations with like-minded organizations has produced a second Prostate Cancer Dream Team, the eighth translational research team funded by the cancer awareness and research effort spearheaded by the Entertainment Industry Foundation (EIF).

 

Stand Up and the Prostate Cancer Foundation (PCF) announced this week that up to $10 million over three years had been granted to a multi-institutional team pursuing treatment resistance to advanced prostate cancer.

 

 The “Targeting Adaptive Pathways in Metastatic Treatment-Resistant Prostate Cancer” team will be led by Eric J. Small, MD, professor of medicine and urology and chief of the division of hematology and oncology at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF),

and Owen N. Witte, MD, a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator and distinguished professor of microbiology, immunology, and molecular genetics at UCLA.

 

The other principal investigators are:

    Tomasz Beer, MD, Oregon Health & Science University

    Martin Gleave, MD, University of British Columbia

    Hsing-Jien Kung, PhD, University of California, Davis

    Joshua Stuart, PhD, University of California, Santa Cruz

 

And advocates on the team are:

    Arthur Kern, UCSF

    Roy Doumani, UCLA

 

The Dream Team will help identify the causes of resistance in individual prostate cancer patients and help tailor therapy for each patient, according to a news release issued by the American Association for Cancer Research, SU2C’s scientific partner.

It is organized around five working groups integrating expertise from each of the six centers, with a sixth “knowledge-exchange” working group coordinating Dream Team activities addressing therapeutic interventions for advanced prostate cancer with special emphasis on metastatic disease and delivering near-term patient benefit.

The team will explore the idea that resistance is a result of prostate cancer cells using adaptive pathways to escape current therapies, with the theory that by identifying and inhibiting these pathways it would be possible to overcome treatment resistance and extend survival and improve quality of life.

MedBook--a social network for medical science application similar to an iPad app--is also being developed by Ted Goldstein, a former Apple VP. This precision prostate oncology application will link patients, doctors, and researchers to help speed the matching of new therapies “targeted at nine new druggable pathways to the patients who will benefit most,” according to the release.

Kathleen Lobb, a SU2C cofounder and EIF senior vice president, told me that Stand Up has a mantra about being nimble in order to take advantage of great research opportunities.

 

“The SU2C and PCF representatives on the Joint Scientific Advisory Committee, as well as AACR, were enthusiastic about two of the finalist prostate cancer Dream Team proposals,” she said. “We announced the first team, and then both organizations decided to made additional financial commitments, so with that and funding from other donors, we were delighted to name a second prostate cancer team.”

   

The new team will begin work later this fall, with the first clinical trials scheduled to open in 2013, and is expected to collaborate with the first Prostate Cancer Dream Team, “Precision Therapy for Advanced Prostate Cancer,” announced in April at AACR’s annual meeting.

 

Team one is also a joint project of SU2C and PCF, and is led by Arul M. Chinnaiyan, MD, PhD, of the University of Michigan, and Charles L. Sawyers, MD, of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. The goal of that team is to decode the cancer genomes of 500 treatment-resistant prostate cancer patients to help direct them to the most effective therapies.

 

About the Author

Eric T. Rosenthal
Eric T. Rosenthal has spent more than 40 years in journalism and academic public affairs, more than half of them involved in the cancer community. He has received several journalism awards as Special Correspondent for Oncology Times, and helped organize two national conferences dealing with medicine and the media.