Prostate Cancer Research Boosted by $1 Million Grant
A University of Wisconsin Carbone Cancer Center research team developing a blood test for men with prostate cancer has received a two-year, $1 million award from the Prostate Cancer Foundation (PCF).
The award received by Drs. Joshua Lang, David Beebe and Justine Bruce will fund a multi-site clinical trial on the blood test that captures and isolates circulating tumor cells (CTC). Shed from solid tumors, CTCs enter the blood stream and may be one cause of metastatic cancer.
“We have developed a platform so sensitive that, through a single blood draw, it is able to capture one circulating tumor cell out of 20 million blood cells,” said Lang.
Circulating tumor cells can be a marker for metastatic disease progression, enable doctors to find an individual patient’s cancer type and tailor drugs and doses most likely to help the patient. The test developed at the UW Carbone Cancer Center is being formulated to identify and monitor new markers of treatment resistance in these cancer cells.
The goal of the clinical trial is to validate the platform and look at individual patients’ initial and ongoing reactions to treatment with two drugs. Both drugs target a key driver of prostate cancer progression. Lang said the study will determine how and why men develop resistance to some drugs and what might be done to prevent or stall the development of drug resistance. The clinical trial will begin in 2014.
The award is supported by Movember, a men’s health awareness and fundraising campaign symbolized by the moustache. Movember allocated $7.7 million to PCF for grants to find better treatments and ultimately a cure for men’s cancers. Movember received local attention last year through the participation of Aaron Rodgers and Mike McCarthy of the Green Bay Packers.
“As we get ready for the upcoming Movember events, we are thrilled that the hard work of last year’s Wisconsin Movember participants has come full circle to develop innovative cancer tests for patients here in Wisconsin and around the world,” said Dr. Lang.
Date Published: 09/18/2013