February 27, 2012 —The Prostate Cancer Foundation (PCF) recently announced the recipients of 15 competitive research grants in 2012, including the Lowell Milken Young Investigator Award given to Terence Friedlander at the University of California, San Francisco. PCF.org states that the "Young Investigator awards are designed to promote long-term careers in the field of prostate cancer by providing three-year grants for transformational research focused on prostate cancer treatments to improve patient outcomes." PCF has invested more than $20 million in Young Investigator grants to date.
The 2012 Lowell Milken – PCF Young Investigator Award
Terence Friedlander, MD
University of California, San Francisco
Mentors: Charles Ryan, MD and Pamela Paris, PhD
One of the medications used for androgen deprivation therapy (ADT) is the recently FDA-approved Abiraterone (Zytiga) which targets the biosynthesis of androgens in the adrenal glands and more importantly, in the tumor itself. Though patients respond well to Abiraterone and other ADT medications, almost all develop resistance to this therapy and their cancers progress. This stage of treatment resistance is termed castration resistant prostate cancer (CRPC). CRPC is hypothesized to develop due to either 1) the increased production of androgens by the tumor itself, or 2) mutations in the AR that make it independent of the presence/absence of androgens. Dr. Terence Friedlander proposes to investigate the specific genetic changes in prostate cancer cells that occur during the development and progression of castration resistance. During the course of these investigations, Dr. Friedlander will collect metastatic tumor biopsies and circulating tumor cells from patients to evaluate the precise mechanisms underlying Abiraterone resistance. A better understanding of the mechanisms that cause CRPC development will allow clinicians to optimize and sequence the new therapies available for the treatment of CRPC.
Each Young Investigator recipient is awarded $225,000 over a three-year period. Funding is also matched by each recipient’s research institution, making the total award worth $450,000. A total of 148 applicants applied for 2012 PCF Young Investigator funding and over 74 global professionals reviewed these applications, which addressed 29 specialized scientific areas within prostate cancer research.
For a complete list of all of the 2012 Young Investigator Awardees visit www.pcf.org
“In every endeavor, people make the difference, and just one person has the power to make a profound difference in the lives of so many people.” - Lowell Milken