Quest Winter 2014 : Page 1

This issue of Q UEST is sponsored by A Publication of Dr. William J. Catalona Q uest Winter 2014 • Volume 22, Number 3 and the Urological Research Foundation ©Dan Oldfield SPORE: Making Strides in Prostate Cancer Research S • Addressing the need for pecialized Programs of Research new treatments for men Excellence (SPOREs) are an with advanced cancer that integral part of the National Cancer no longer responds to Institute’s efforts to promote current therapy. collaborative and interdisciplinary cancer research. The prestigious SPORE A close-up perspective can make all Collaboration is key grants fund projects that will result in the difference. among top researchers new and diverse approaches to the The SPORE in Prostate Cancer has Southern California. It is fully prevention, early detection, diagnosis assembled a committed team of integrated into a rich research and treatment of cancer. SPOREs are researchers, including highly environment that both strengthens the designed to translate scientific results accomplished senior investigators, proposed research and leverages into clinical settings, and to discover the rising stars in prostate cancer resources available for the planned biology behind research and projects. observations made in The SPORE will enable researchers talented new Dr. Catalona is Director of Prostate people with cancer or recruits . All of the to test new technologies and Cancer Research at the Robert H. Lurie in populations at risk SPORE investigators Comprehensive Cancer Center. This human applications to advance for cancer. have a history of allows him to guide the research Dr. William the highest level of translational being highly agenda of all prostate-related research Catalona is Principal prostate cancer research. collaborative and at the institution. Dr. Walter Stadler, Investigator of one of interactive. The Co-Principal Investigator of the eight SPOREs in Prostate Cancer. On results obtained from SPORE studies SPORE, serves as Deputy Director of September 24, Dr. Catalona, with the will be made available to all cancer the University of Chicago’s invaluable assistance of Dr. Robin Leikin investigators through a variety of Comprehensive Cancer Center. Thus, and Katherine Lewitt, submitted a new mechanisms including seminars, he is in a unique position to integrate grant application for the SPORE in symposia, website and publication. The the SPORE into their overall activities. Prostate Cancer. The overall objective of investigators will meet monthly and in The SPORE benefits from strong the SPORE proposal is to conduct small groups as needed. institutional and philanthropic support studies that impact the outcomes and The program is a collaboration to augment funding from the National overall quality of life of prostate cancer between Northwestern University’s Cancer Institute. patients. Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer See page 2 for information on the Dr. Catalona and his collaborators SPORE’s proposed research projects. Center, the University of Chicago’s proposed four major research projects Comprehensive Cancer Center that involve two of the most important and NorthShore University he mission of the URF is to advance issues in prostate cancer: HealthSystem, with research for the prevention, detection • Identifying which patients need contributions from the immediate treatment and which and treatment of prostate cancer. Please University of California San can be managed with active Francisco, the University of support the URF in these efforts. surveillance. Pittsburgh and the University of T

SPORE: Making Strides in Prostate Cancer Research

Specialized Programs of Research Excellence (SPOREs) are an integral part of the National Cancer Institute’s efforts to promote collaborative and interdisciplinary cancer research. The prestigious SPORE grants fund projects that will result in new and diverse approaches to the prevention, early detection, diagnosis and treatment of cancer. SPOREs are designed to translate scientific results into clinical settings, and to discover the biology behind observations made in people with cancer or in populations at risk for cancer.

Dr. William Catalona is Principal Investigator of one of eight SPOREs in Prostate Cancer. On September 24, Dr. Catalona, with the invaluable assistance of Dr. Robin Leikin and Katherine Lewitt, submitted a new grant application for the SPORE in Prostate Cancer. The overall objective of the SPORE proposal is to conduct studies that impact the outcomes and overall quality of life of prostate cancer patients.

Dr. Catalona and his collaborators proposed four major research projects that involve two of the most important issues in prostate cancer:
• Identifying which patients need immediate treatment and which can be managed with active surveillance.
• Addressing the need for new treatments for men with advanced cancer that no longer responds to current therapy.

Collaboration is key among top researchers
The SPORE in Prostate Cancer has assembled a committed team of researchers, including highly accomplished senior investigators, rising stars in prostate cancer research and talented new recruits. All of the SPORE investigators have a history of being highly collaborative and interactive. The results obtained from SPORE studies will be made available to all cancer investigators through a variety of mechanisms including seminars, symposia, website and publication. The investigators will meet monthly and in small groups as needed.

The program is a collaboration between Northwestern University’s Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center, the University of Chicago’s Comprehensive Cancer Center and NorthShore University HealthSystem, with contributions from the University of California San Francisco, the University of Pittsburgh and the University of Southern California. It is fully integrated into a rich research environment that both strengthens the proposed research and leverages resources available for the planned projects.

Dr. Catalona is Director of Prostate Cancer Research at the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center. This allows him to guide the research agenda of all prostate-related research at the institution. Dr. Walter Stadler, Co-Principal Investigator of the SPORE, serves as Deputy Director of the University of Chicago’s Comprehensive Cancer Center. Thus, he is in a unique position to integrate the SPORE into their overall activities.

The SPORE benefits from strong institutional and philanthropic support to augment funding from the National Cancer Institute.

The SPORE proposes four major projects.
Project 1: Impact of germline genetic variants on failure of active surveillance for prostate cancer
• Led by Drs. William Catalona, John Witte, Brian Helfand, Charles Brendler, Denise Scholtens, Ramana Davuluri and Jianfeng Xu.
• Results from this project will develop criteria to distinguish which patients with clinically localized prostate cancer need immediate treatment versus those who can be managed with active surveillance.

Project 2: Glucocorticoid receptor transcriptional activity and the evolution of enzalutamide-resistant Castrate- Resistant Prostate Cancer
• Led by Drs. Russell Szmulewitz, Suzanne Conzen, Donald Vander Griend and Walter Stadler.
• The development of combination therapies to overcome resistance to hormonal therapy drugs is of paramount clinical importance.

Project 3: EphB4 receptor kinase as a target in prostate cancer
• Led by Drs. Sarki Abdulkadir, Parkash Gill and Timothy Kuzel.
• This project will develop the receptor tyrosine kinase called EPHB4 as a therapeutic target for human prostate cancer and will implement a clinical trial using a novel drug to treat patients.

Project 4: Targeting FoxA1- downstream pathways: a novel therapeutic strategy for Castrate-Resistant Prostate Cancer
• Led by Drs. Jindan Yu, Raymond Bergan, Chung Lee and Timothy Kuzel.
• This study will shed light on the role of FoxA1 in tumors that no longer respond to hormonal therapy. It will also evaluate targeted therapy that renders the tumors hormone-sensitive again.

The SPORE Cores
In addition to the research projects, the SPORE has three cores that provide the framework for collaborative research efforts:
• Administrative, Leadership Development and Advocacy Core
• Biostatistics and Bioinformatics Core
• Biospecimen Pathology Core

The Administrative Core introduces a Leadership Program that will mentor young investigators in developing their careers and becoming future SPORE cancer research leaders. The SPORE also includes a Developmental Research Program that provides seed money for innovative pilot projects and a Career Development Program that provides funding for young researchers during the early phases of their research careers. The SPORE investigators are dedicated to fostering the careers of junior investigators, serving as mentors to Career Development Project awardees and providing expertise to basic science laboratory investigators who wish to translate basic science results to the clinic. These programs will ensure that new ideas can be explored and future researchers can be developed.

The core funds will also support a Patient Advocacy Group. SPORE patient advocates are ambassadors between the SPORE and the larger prostate cancer community.

Read the full article at http://epubs.democratprinting.com/article/SPORE%3A+Making+Strides+in+Prostate+Cancer+Research/1864125/234739/article.html.

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