Jefferson University Hospitals

Dr. Timothy Showalter Receives 2011 Ben Franklin PCF Young Investigator Award

12/02/11

Timothy Showalter, M.D., of the Department of Radiation Oncology, was one of 24 people to be named a new Young Investigator by the Prostate Cancer Foundation in 2011.

Young Investigator awards are designed to encourage the most innovative minds in cancer research to focus their careers on prostate cancer. These grants provide three years of funding for transformational research focused on prostate cancer treatments and patients.

With the addition of these grants, the Young Investigators represent a $5.32 million investment in the global cancer research community. Since 2007, PCF has invested more than $16.5 million in Young Investigator grants. Each Young Investigator recipient is awarded $225,000 over a three-year period. Funding is also matched dollar-for-dollar by each recipient's research institution to protect time or to bridge salary support prior to a first government grant, making the total award worth $450,000.

Dr. Showalter, whose mentors include the Chair of Radiation Oncology, Adam Dicker, M.D., and Theresa Hyslop, PhD, of the Department of Pharmacology & Experimental Therapeutics, received this prestigious award for his ongoing investigation of the benefits of adjuvant radiation therapy (RT) after a radical prostatectomy and physician perceptions of the treatment option.

For prostate cancer patients at higher risk of recurrence after radical prostatectomy (RP), early RT has been shown in randomized trials to improve PSA-relapse free survival, metastasis-free survival and overall survival. Despite evidence to support adjuvant RT, less than 20% of qualifying patients in the U.S. actually receive this treatment. A national survey conducted by Dr. Showalter and colleagues has previously shown that urologist recommendations for adjuvant RT are influenced by perceptions of RT-related toxicity. The evidence to inform these toxicity estimates is lacking. Therefore, it is essential to bridge this difference by elucidating the real-world complication rates of post-prostatectomy RT, and to critically evaluate the significance of RT timing on the risk of complications.

Dr. Showalter's findings will improve management of high-risk prostate cancer, including the influence of timing after surgery, improve cure rates for these patients, and limit complications for lower risk patients.

“Young Investigators provide the most innovative and ground-breaking ideas in prostate cancer research,” said Howard Soule, PhD, chief science officer and executive vice president of PCF. “With their fresh ideas, the field of prostate cancer research will be heavily impacted and improved, and lives will be saved. We are extremely grateful to our generous donors who support these Young Investigators and have allowed our foundation to award 24 new recipients.”

Media Only Contact:
Steve Graff
Jefferson University Hospitals
Phone: 215-955-6300