Stand Up To Cancer and the Prostate Cancer Foundation have announced a grant of up to $10 million over three years in support of translational cancer research by a newly selected "Prostate Dream Team."
The research project, Targeting Adaptive Pathways in Metastatic Treatment-Resistant Prostate Cancer, will explore the idea that patients develop resistance to treatments as a result of prostate cancer cells using common cellular responses, called adaptive pathways, to escape current therapies. Researchers believe that by identifying these pathways and inhibiting them, they will be able to improve patients' survival rates and quality of life.
The project also will work to develop a new application for patients called MedBook, a medical science-focused social network that is being created by former Apple vice president Ted Goldstein, who helped that company create tools and operating systems for the Macintosh and iPhone. "The precision prostate oncology MedBook application will be similar to an iPad app," said Jonathan Simons, president and CEO of the Prostate Cancer Foundation, "linking patients, doctors and researchers in a participatory information platform that will speed the matching of new medicines targeted at nine new druggable pathways to the patients who will benefit most."
The research team will be led by Eric J. Small, professor of medicine and urology and chief of the division of hematology and oncology at the University of California, San Francisco, and Owen N. Witte, professor of microbiology, immunology, and molecular genetics at the University of California, Los Angeles and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator. The team also includes scientists from the University of California, Santa Cruz; the University of California, Davis; Oregon Health & Science University; and the University of British Columbia.
"Despite an unprecedented increase in the number of drugs that have been approved for the treatment of advanced prostate cancer, our patients still develop resistance to these agents, and still die from progressive disease," said Small. "This SU2C-PCF project will help identify the causes of resistance in an individual patient, and help us tailor therapy for that patient."