Prostate Cancer Foundation Announces 24 New Young Investigator Awards
Successful proposals in the Class of 2016 forecast new paradigms for the understanding and management of prostate cancer and other genetically complex diseases. These include increased reliance on genomics to accurately predict prognosis and personalize treatments. Several YIs are working on game-changing new immunological approaches that redirect a patient’s own immune cells to fight cancer. Advances in these areas may one day circumvent treatment resistance and eliminate the need for systemic treatments that can be toxic.
Projects also predominantly concentrate on treatment resistant prostate cancers. This work will not only identify new vulnerabilities in aggressive forms of prostate cancer, but will also help prevent the onset of—and possibly reverse—resistance to first-line therapies.
Other YIs address the relationship of lifestyle factors, such as obesity, and aggressive disease, a burgeoning research area that has gained momentum in recent months.
The YI Program has been a pillar of PCF’s Research Enterprise since its inception in 2007. Awards make 3-year investments in early career scientists with the skills and expertise to rapidly advance high impact discoveries that can be translated to clinical practice. As part of the YI program, awardees are mentored by leaders in prostate cancer research. Each award is matched dollar-for-dollar by the investigator’s institution.
To date, PCF has provided funding to 202 YIs, representing a total investment of $42.3 million in 10 countries. Awardees have been responsible for innovative discoveries related to prostate cancer diagnostics, disease progression, and the development of treatment resistance.