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UCLA researcher receives $1M grant for prostate cancer research

Post Date:October 05, 2017 8:00 AM
UCLA's Dr. Isla Garraway chose to study prostate cancer after her father's battle with the disease. She dreams of a future in which her son will never have to know what prostate cancer is.

A researcher from UCLA’s Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center will receive a $1 million grant over the next two years to fund research that profiles molecular changes that occur in prostate cancers associated with metastatic progression and treatment resistance. The study will focus on men diagnosed and treated within the Veterans Healthcare System, with the goal of improving staging, prognostic, and predictive biomarkers that aid in the clinical management of prostate cancer.

Dr. Isla Garraway led a team that was one of eight groups chosen by the Prostate Cancer Foundation to receive a 2017 Challenge Award. The Challenge Awards support teams of scientists’ worldwide conducting groundbreaking research that supports potential breakthrough treatments for prostate cancer patients. Garraway’s group was selected out of 92 international applications after an extensive review process that assessed each project’s scientific research and how it could benefit patients.

Garraway is an associate professor in the department of urology at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. Her research currently focuses on characterizing the cells of origin of prostate cancer, mechanisms of metastatic progression, and multiplatform prostate cancer profiling.

“I am honored that the Prostate Cancer Foundation has chosen to support our team’s work with the Veterans Affairs population,” said Garraway, who is also an attending urologist within the Greater Los Angeles VA Healthcare System. “Prostate cancer affects thousands of Vets, and new strategies to identify aggressive cancer variants and optimize treatment is important to prolong life and quality of life in all men affected with this disease.”

Garraway’s team includes Dr. Beatrice Knudsen from Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and Dr. Peter Kuhn from the University of Southern California.  Scientists from Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory and Greater Los Angeles Veterans Affairs Healthcare System were also part of the research group.

Dr. Jonathan W. Simons, the Prostate Cancer Foundation’s president and chief executive officer says they are proud to fund these teams who will be conducting life-saving research for patients with prostate cancer.

“The research conducted by these teams will change the face of how we view the treatment landscape of prostate cancer and have the potential to result in cures even for men with very advanced disease who previously had no further treatment options available,” Simons said.

Challenge grant recipients were chosen by a peer review committee of scientific and clinical experts.

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