LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA, May 25, 2021 – In recognition of Military Appreciation Month, the Prostate Cancer Foundation (PCF) today announced its new $ 2.5 million pledge, in partnership with the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) and the The Drew Foundation’s Precision Oncology Competence Center made a new $ 2.5 million commitment to open the San Francisco VA Health Care System (SFVAHCS), which provides world-class oncology treatment to prostate cancer veterans.
“PCF is committed to building our partnership with the VA to advance cutting-edge research and care for prostate cancer veterans,” said Dr. Jonathan W. Simons, President and CEO of PCF. “Working with the University of California, San Francisco brings world-class expertise to our precision oncology efforts that serve our nation’s veterans. UCSF researchers helped develop the latest FDA-cleared PSMA PET scan, which focuses on prostate cancer that has spread throughout the body to make it better suited for treatment. It is our duty to ensure that no veteran is left behind when such medical breakthroughs hit the clinic. ”
More than 15,000 men in the Veterans Affairs (VA) health care system develop prostate cancer each year. It is the most diagnosed cancer among veterans, and 500,000 veterans are living with the disease in the VA today. One in eight men and one in seven black people gets prostate cancer every year, and four million men in the United States live with the disease.
Precision medicine is key to ending prostate cancer deaths. It is individualized based on the gene sequencing of a patient’s tumor and enables a tailored treatment that targets an individual’s cancer based on its unique biology and genetic signature. More than half of the funds provided by PCF were used to launch its collaborative COE network, which is at the forefront of precision oncology for prostate cancer. The PCF has also provided funding for the research of numerous VA scientists. The platform created by PCF and the VA will be used to build centers of excellence for other cancers and launch clinical trials in the fight against COVID-19.
With the new center, PCF has established 13 COEs to date, fulfilling its ambitious mission to improve patient care for US prostate cancer veterans. The new COE in San Francisco, California, along with 12 other established centers in cities across the United States, offers advanced precision oncology treatments to save the lives of prostate cancer veterans. The other centers are located in: Boston, MA; Portland, OR; Philadelphia, PA; Washington, DC; Durham, NC; Tampa Bay, FL; Seattle, WA; Chicago, Illinois; Bronx, NY; Los Angeles, California; Manhattan, NY; and Ann Arbor, MI.
Franklin W. Huang, MD, PhD, Oncology Physician at SFVAHCS and Assistant Professor in the Department of Medicine at UCSF is the lead researcher, and Matthew R. Cooperberg, MD, MPH, Senior Consultant Urology at SFVAHCS, and Professor and Helen Diller UCSF, Family Chair in Urology, is the Chief Urologist at the Drew Foundation’s new Precision Oncology Competence Center. The collaboration has its roots in UCSF’s fundamental work in precision medicine for prostate cancer, funded by a 2012 research grant from the translational cancer team of the Stand Up to Cancer (SU2C) PCF prostate dream team.
“The PCF’s commitment to ensuring veterans have access to cutting-edge cancer therapies is vital, and UCSF appreciates our longstanding relationship with the PCF and the advances it has made,” said Alan Ashworth, PhD, FRS, President of UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center. “The team of UCSF scientists involved in the Drew Foundation’s new Precision Oncology Center of Excellence at SFVAHCS are leaders in this field and will add even more to our use of precision medicine in the treatment of prostate cancer.”
PCF’s Veterans Health Initiative, founded in 2016 and led by the VA Secretary Center for Strategic Partnerships, is committed to investing $ 50 million in providing innovative, world-class prostate cancer care for veterans, including expanding the genome database improvement business prostate cancer treatment, better access to clinical trials and resources to develop more accurate oncology care.
“We are very pleased to be making our resources available for these efforts. Prostate cancer affects veterans disproportionately, ”said Bonnie S. Graham, director of SFVAHCS. “Black men in particular have experienced more aggressive forms of this disease. We hope that precision oncology can find the reasons for these differences and lead to more effective therapies. ”
The San Francisco COE was founded with generous funding made possible by the Drew Family Foundation.
Other members of the Precision Oncology Competence Center (COE) of the Drew Foundation at SFVAHCS-UCSF are:
- Maren Scheuner, MD, MPH, Medical Director for Cancer Genetics, Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center; Professor, Department of Pediatrics, UCSF; Medical Department, Department of Hematology-Oncology, SFVAHCS
- Thomas Hope, MD, Associate Professor of Radiology, UCSF; Director, Molecular Imaging and Therapeutics, Department of Radiology and Biomedical Imaging, UCSF; Chief of Nuclear Medicine, SFVAHCS
- Sunny Wang, Associate Professor of Medicine, UCSF; Head of the Department of Hematology and Oncology, SFVAHCS
- Samuel L. Washington, III, MD, MAS, Assistant Professor of Urology and Endowed Goldberg-Benioff Professor of Cancer Biology, UCSF; Medical officer for urology, SFVAHCS.
To learn more about clinical trials offered by the PCF-VA Centers of Excellence, veterans should call (206) 277-3621. Information is also available at www.PCF.org/veterans.
About the Prostate Cancer Foundation
The Prostate Cancer Foundation (PCF) is the world’s leading philanthropic organization dedicated to funding life-saving prostate cancer research. Founded in 1993 by Mike Milken, PCF has raised more than $ 860 million to support cutting-edge research through more than 2,200 research projects at 220 leading cancer centers in 22 countries worldwide. Thanks in part to PCF’s commitment to ending death and suffering from prostate cancer, the death rate has fallen by 52%, and as a result, countless more men are alive today. Prostate Cancer Foundation research is now impacting more than 70 forms of cancer in humans by focusing on immunotherapy, microbiome, and food as medicine. Learn more at www.pcf.org.
Prostate Cancer Foundation
Donald Wilson for the Prostate Cancer Foundation