Dr. Andrei Gafita receives award to develop predictive tool for treating patients with advanced prostate cancer
Dr. Andrei Gafita, a postdoctoral scholar in the Ahmanson Translational Theranostics Division at UCLA and the UCLA Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center, has been named a 2021 Young Investigator Award recipient by the Prostate Cancer Foundation.
Gafita was awarded the Larry Ruvo-PCF Young Investigator Award and $225,000 to support his research to develop standardized imaging criteria to guide optimal selection of patients most likely to benefit from a novel, targeted molecular radiotherapy.
The award will bolster Gafita’s research into developing a prognostic tool to help physicians better identify which patients with advanced prostate cancer will respond favorably to the therapy. The tool, commonly called a “nomogram,” analyzes a wide range of imaging and clinical data to assist physicians in predicting the best candidates. Earlier this year, Gafita’s research was published in the journal The Lancet Oncology.
“I am both honored and humbled to receive this prestigious award,” he said. “It will greatly enhance our collaborative work at UCLA in the field of theranostics to enable precision medicine for patients with metastatic prostate cancer.”
Gafita joins his colleague, Dr. Jeremie Calais, who was similarly recognized by the PCF last year. Gafita’s mentors include Calais, Dr. Johannes Czernin, chief of the Ahmanson Translational Imaging Division, and Dr. Matthew Rettig, medical director, Prostate Cancer Program of the Institute of Urologic Oncology at UCLA and all members of the UCLA Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center. Gafita also is a member of the institute.
The PCF created these awards to support young investigators – generally age 35 or younger – in postdoctoral fellowships or junior faculty positions whose careers are dedicated to the field of prostate cancer.