Nation's Top Scientists Unveil Discoveries in Prostate Cancer - Fueling Groundbreaking Discussions Across All Fronts

Discoveries released for the first time at national press conference uncover new understanding of prostate cancer prevention, detection, diagnosis, treatment, and quality of life

Mar 10, 2011, 12:15 ET from Department of Defense Prostate Cancer Research Program

ORLANDO, Fla., March 10, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, the nation's most prestigious minds in prostate cancer research unveiled the findings of their groundbreaking studies at the Prostate Cancer Research Program's (PCRP's) Innovative Minds in Prostate Cancer Today (IMPaCT) conference in Orlando, Florida. 

Leading prostate cancer clinicians, researchers, and consumer advocates (prostate cancer survivors) formed a unified front against the ravages of prostate cancer through their studies and stories at one of the largest prostate cancer research conferences in the U.S.  These findings are key developments in translating laboratory research into new and more effective treatments for men and their families affected by prostate cancer.

Featured press conference presenters include:

  • Dr. Lionel L. Banez, Assistant Professor of Urology in the Division of Urologic Surgery, Department of Surgery at Duke University Medical Center, and Director of the Duke Prostate Center Outcomes Database.
  • Mr. Joel Nowak, Prostate Cancer Consumer Advocate, Malecare.
  • Dr. Folakemi Odedina, Professor of Pharmaceutical Outcomes and Policy, and Director of Community Outreach and Minority Affairs at the University of Florida.
  • Dr. Brian Olson, Fellow at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, whose research includes tumor immunology with a focus on vaccine development.
  • Dr. Howard I. Scher, Chief of the Genitourinary Oncology Service and Professor of Medicine, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center.

In an exclusive press conference, scientists and clinicians spoke of the exciting developments in their work.  Key studies include:

  • Prevention:  The largest national clinical trial studying the effects of a vegetable-intense diet on the prevention and treatment of prostate cancer was showcased.  The multi-centered study called Men's Eating and Living (MEAL) examines the role of diet in the development and progression of prostate cancer.

In another study, researchers revealed that men who take a certain class of cholesterol-lowering medicine, otherwise known as statins, may be 60 percent less likely to be diagnosed with high-grade prostate cancer.  Involving more than 55,000 men, this study offers an exciting understanding of prostate cancer prevention.

  • Early detection:  Scientists discussed their recent findings that show a strong correlation between weight gain, obesity, and potentially life-threatening delay in the detection of prostate cancer.  The study concluded that for every 10 pounds gained in body weight, prostate-specific antigen (PSA) levels significantly decreased.  These levels are crucial in the detection of prostate cancer and present a startling finding that directly impacts the health of American men.
  • Treatments:  New research is moving ever closer to a cancer vaccine and offers hope to men suffering from prostate cancer.  Top scientists presented their preliminary findings for the development and use of a new immunotherapeutic vaccine to treat patients with prostate cancer.

Scientists are also expanding our understanding of the cancer migration process by examining specific molecules and how they stimulate the migration of prostate cancer cells.  This increased knowledge is paving the way for the next steps toward effective therapeutic treatments for prostate cancer patients.

  • Quality of Life:  Results from a study on erectile dysfunction (ED) provide a scientific basis for the emerging clinical interest in preventing or "curing" ED after men undergo radical prostatectomy.
  • Clinical trials:  To address the critical need for new drugs for prostate cancer, top researchers and clinicians showcased the accomplishments and developments coming from the Prostate Cancer Clinical Trials Consortium (PCCTC), a highly successful collaboration of 13 leading academic institutions specializing in cutting-edge prostate cancer research.  As part of this monumental effort, PCCTC members have worked together on a single mission to design, implement, and complete hypothesis-driven phase I and phase II trials in prostate cancer—translating scientific discoveries to improve standards of patient care.  The consortium has enrolled more than 2,532 patients, opened 84 clinical trials, and helped advance eight therapeutic candidates to phase III studies.
  • Health disparity issues:  As one of the most comprehensive population-based health disparity studies ever conducted on prostate cancer in the U.S., the North Carolina-Louisiana Prostate Cancer Project (PCaP) addresses differences in such factors as disparate levels of physician trust and access to care between Caucasian and African American men.  

Other researchers revealed an alarming disparity in prostate cancer knowledge among African American men, a population suffering from the highest incidence rate for prostate cancer among all racial and ethnic groups.  Researchers look to assess the information gap that appears to exist by following newly diagnosed African American and Caucasian men on their journey toward treatment.  In another study, modifiable prostate cancer risk reduction and early detection behaviors among African American men were discussed.

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About the PCRP and IMPaCT Conference

The Department of Defense Prostate Cancer Research Program (PCRP) is the second-largest funder of prostate cancer research in the U.S.  The program brings together prestigious prostate cancer researchers, survivors, and policy makers to tackle research challenges and offer hope to the millions of people affected directly and indirectly by prostate cancer.  The IMPaCT conference represents an unparalleled collaboration between the research community and prostate cancer survivors and advocates—making the PCRP successful in identifying innovative research that tackles prostate cancer's most critical issues.

Contact: Kristi Betz

Phone: 410.821.8220

SOURCE Department of Defense Prostate Cancer Research Program