PCF Helps Fund 2 Centers of Excellence to Treat Veterans With Prostate Cancer

PCF Helps Fund 2 Centers of Excellence to Treat Veterans With Prostate Cancer
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The Prostate Cancer Foundation (PCF) has committed $5 million to support the launch of two new Centers of Excellence that will provide precision medicine treatments to veterans with prostate cancer.

The centers are being launched in collaboration with the Veterans Administration Boston Healthcare System, the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, the VA Portland Health Care System, and Oregon Health & Science University.

“Partnering with Dana-Farber and Oregon Health & Science University brings top expertise to our precision oncology efforts serving our nation’s veterans,” Jonathan W. Simons, MD, PCF president and CEO, said in a press release. “It is our duty to ensure that no veteran is left behind when a medical breakthrough comes to the clinic.”

Precision medicine in oncology describes individualized treatments tailored to the unique genetic makeup of a person’s tumor.

“Knowing more about each patient’s specific mutation(s) gives us the knowledge we need to explore more treatment and clinical trial options,” said Julie Graff, MD, section chief at the VA Portland Health Care System. “Ultimately, we want veterans to know they have access to leading treatment and clinical trials through the VA Portland Health Care System.”

The PCF’s Veterans Health Initiative is committed to investing $50 million to delivering best-in-class prostate cancer care to veterans. This includes gathering genomic data to improve prostate cancer treatment, facilitating greater access to clinical trials, and building resources to improve precision care.

More than half of this investment has contributed to the Center of Excellence network, a platform that is also being used to establish such centers for other cancers and to launch clinical studies of COVID-19. The fund also supports the research of various VA physician-scientists.

The two new centers will be located in Boston, MA, and Portland, OR, bringing the network to 12 centers in total. The others are in Philadelphia, PA, Washington, DC, Durham, NC, Tampa Bay, FL, Seattle, WA, Chicago, IL, Bronx, NY, Los Angeles, CA, Manhattan, NY, and Ann Arbor, MI.

Prostate cancer is the most frequently diagnosed cancer among veterans, with more than 15,000 men in the VA health system receiving prostate cancer diagnoses each year.

“Our partnership will create better access to clinical trials and genomics for veterans across all VA systems, and deliver the best possible care for veterans diagnosed with prostate cancer,” said Laurie H. Glimcher, MD, president and CEO of Dana-Farber.

The two new centers were established with funding from the Blavatnik Family Foundation, and Rob and Cindy Citrone.

Forest Ray received his PhD in systems biology from Columbia University, where he developed tools to match drug side effects to other diseases. He has since worked as a journalist and science writer, covering topics from rare diseases to the intersection between environmental science and social justice. He currently lives in Long Beach, California.
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Inês holds a PhD in Biomedical Sciences from the University of Lisbon, Portugal, where she specialized in blood vessel biology, blood stem cells, and cancer. Before that, she studied Cell and Molecular Biology at Universidade Nova de Lisboa and worked as a research fellow at Faculdade de Ciências e Tecnologias and Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciência. Inês currently works as a Managing Science Editor, striving to deliver the latest scientific advances to patient communities in a clear and accurate manner.
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Forest Ray received his PhD in systems biology from Columbia University, where he developed tools to match drug side effects to other diseases. He has since worked as a journalist and science writer, covering topics from rare diseases to the intersection between environmental science and social justice. He currently lives in Long Beach, California.
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