Thanks to a $1 million grant from the Movember Foundation and Prostate Cancer Foundation (PCF), a team led by Mark Rubin, M.D., will attempt to identify these alterations, by analyzing matched primary tumor and mCRPC specimens. If successful, this project will identify molecular mediators and molecular pathways of prostate cancer progression that may serve as therapeutic targets and/or biomarkers that inform optimal therapies for individual patients.
Dr. Rubin and team are collecting archived primary prostate tumor samples from patients whose mCRPC tumor genomic and transcriptomic alterations have previously been characterized by the PCF-International Dream Team. Of the 500 patients assessed by the Dream Team, approximately 200 have primary tumor tissue available for this study.
Because of the continual acquisition of genomic mutations, tumors are heterogeneous and can be "multi-focal." This results in multiple tumor clones with different disease potentials that arise independently. Multiple regions of the primary tumor will be analyzed by these methods in order to identify the tumor clone that ultimately results in mCRPC.
Other investigators on the Integrative Genomics of Prostate Cancer Progression project include Joanna Cytra, M.D., also of Weill Cornell Medical College, as well as Scott Tomlins, M.D., Ph.D. of the University of Michigan and Ronglai Shen, Ph.D., of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.
"Our focus on metastatic prostate cancer fills a critical gap in our understanding of the disease," said Jonathan W. Simons, president and chief executive officer, PCF. "While our research efforts have helped to reduce the prostate cancer death rate by more than 50 percent, this advanced form of the disease remains the leading cause of prostate cancer deaths in the United States. Our vital partnership with the Movember Foundation brings us closer to conquering this disease."