Blank Family Foundation Donates $1M to Mount Sinai for Prostate Cancer Research

Blank Family Foundation Donates $1M to Mount Sinai for Prostate Cancer Research

The Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation has given $1 million to the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai‘s urology department to support research into prostate cancer.

Together with an earlier foundation gift of $500,000, the money will support the New York school’s Prostate Cancer Program, whose mission is to foster the development of new immunotherapies and personalized vaccines for treating prostate cancer.

“The work being done by Mount Sinai has forever changed the course of research and medicine,” Arthur Blank, chairman of the foundation and a board member of Mount Sinai’s urology department, said in a press release.

“I feel beyond fortunate to have been one of the lives saved because of their work and will continue to be a champion for their efforts,” said Blank, who is the owner of the Atlanta Falcons football team and Atlanta United soccer club.

Mount Sinai’s prostate cancer research team is committed to ambitious goals. The investigators want to cut in half the time needed for new therapies to get to the market, which normally takes 10 years plus a $1 billion investment.

Their projects focus on a range of topics related to prostate cancer, including a potential vaccine able to boost anti-cancer immunity, a tumor-directed treatment with gold nanoparticles, and ways of making prostate cancer treatment more personalized to patients.

Some projects also focus on the molecular mechanisms underlying the disease, as well as biomarkers of disease severity, diagnostic tests, and patient adherence to active surveillance.

“We are tremendously grateful to Arthur Blank for his support in advancing our understanding of prostate cancer,” said Ash Tewari, MBBS, chair of the urology department and one of the founders of prostate cancer research at Mount Sinai.

“From the laboratory to the clinic, the Prostate Cancer Program at Mount Sinai will enhance our treatment of this disease at all stages,” he added.

The Blank Foundation’s donation follows the 2019 International Prostate Cancer and Urology Symposium, held Nov. 7–9 at Mount Sinai Hospital, which was joined by more than 100 urologists, surgeons, oncologists, and care providers managing prostate cancer.

Mount Sinai houses the largest number of urologists on a healthcare system in New York City, totaling more than 190 experts. In 2018 alone, its investigators published results in more than 176 scientific journals.

The health system also runs an advanced robotic surgery program, and routinely provides genomic testing and advanced imaging to prostate cancer patients.