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Please note: This article is part of the Cancer Center's News Archive and is here for historical purposes. The information and links may no longer be up-to-date.

Michigan Oncology Journal Spring 98

NCI Grant to University of Michigan Targets Prostate Cancer

---Kenneth J. Pienta, M.D.,
Associate Professor of Internal Medicine and Director of the SPORE in Prostate Cancer

Beginning in 1991, the National Cancer Institute developed a new program to specifically target grant moneys against common types of cancer. These Specialized Programs of Research Excellence (SPOREs) were targeted to lung, breast, gastrointestinal, and prostate cancers. The SPORE in prostate cancer at the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center was awarded in 1994, and is designed to explore areas of science that have the potential to directly impact the diagnosis and treatment of prostate cancer and to reduce the morbidity and mortality of prostate cancer.

The SPORE grant supports an interactive group of established and new investigators in a translational research program directed at understanding the biol-ogy of prostate cancer, as well as developing new tools for its diagnosis, prevention and treatment. Currently, the SPORE consists of nine multidisciplinary research projects — six headed by established investigators and three by career development investigators. These investigators come from a wide variety of University departments and represent the disciplines of Urology, Oncology, Radiation Oncology, Genetics, Epidemiology, and Cell Biology and Anatomy. The nine projects are divided into general categories that fall under Molecular and Clinical Epidemiology and Novel Therapeutics.

Molecular and Clinical Epidemiology: Implications for Diagnosis, Prognosis and Screening
Project 1:
“Gain of 8q as a prognostic indicator for prostate cancer recurrence” (J. Macoska,
T. Glover, J. Montie)
Project 2:
“Epidemiology of prostate cancer in African-Americans” (J. Montie, D. Schottenfeld,
K. Cooney, K. Alscer)
Project 3:
“Hereditary prostate cancer in African-American families” (K. Cooney, J. Montie, D. Schottenfeld)
Career Development Project 1:
“Cloning and characterization of a gene associated with metastatic prostate cancer” (E. Schwab)

Novel Therapeutics: Implications for Prevention and Treatment
Project 4:
“RB as a regulator of prostate tumorigenesis” (M. Day, B. Redman)
Project 5:
“Inhibition of human prostate cancer metastasis” (K. Pienta, A. Raz, H. Sandler)
Project 6:
“Vaccinia PSA for androgen-modulated, post-surgical recurrence of prostate cancer” (M. Sanda, D. Smith)
Career Development Project 2:
“PHSCN and related peptides: Novel anti-invasive and anti-metastatic therapeutic agents” (D. Livant)
Career Development Project 3:
“The effect of butyrate on apoptosis induced by radiation, hormone-withdrawal, and chemotherapy in human prostate cancer cells” (M. Ljungman)

In addition to these main themes, the SPORE has placed special emphasis on prostate cancer in African-American men (Projects 2 and 3) and prostate cancer metastasis (Projects 5, CD 1, CD 2). Each project has a basic scientist and a clinician working together. Particularly, Project 2 “Epidemiology of prostate cancer in African-Americans,” pairs the U-M Cancer Center faculty with faculty from the Institute for Social Research, as well as private practice urologists from the Flint area. These unique interactions have allowed the SPORE to successfully recruit several hundred African-American men to participate in this study as well as multiple spin-off projects.

In the future, the work generated from the SPORE will provide a great resource to prostate cancer investigators. We believe that we are well on the way to achieving our goal of reducing the morbidity and mortality that result from prostate cancer.


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Please note: The articles listed in the Cancer Center's News Archive are here for historical purposes. The information and links may no longer be up-to-date.
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