February 03, 2015
Only institutions with proven track records of rapidly translating innovative scientific discoveries to improved standards of patient care are granted membership to the Prostate Cancer Clinical Trials Consortium (PCCTC). In November, The Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center at Thomas Jefferson University was appointed membership to the PCCTC, joining 14 other leading academic medical centers in the nation’s premier prostate cancer clinical trials group.
The partnership not only gives Jefferson patients access to groundbreaking clinical trials from across the country, but brings Jefferson's research in prostate cancer to centers across the United States. This will help researchers to complete their studies faster, and bring much needed novel therapies to patients sooner.
"Over the past several years, teams of basic scientists and clinical researchers have been working together to bring new discoveries in the laboratory to patients," said Wm. Kevin Kelly, D.O., Professor of Medical Oncology and Director of the Solid Tumor Division at the Sidney Kimmel Medical College at Thomas Jefferson University, and leader of the efforts to join the PCCTC in the Philadelphia area.
Already two of Jefferson's concepts have made their way from the research bench to a PCCTC clinical trial. The first approach is exploring a biomarker of prostate cancer aggressiveness that would allow doctors to stratify patients based on their cancer's genetic fingerprint. "This approach would let us select the treatment for the patients more appropriately on the first try rather than using a trial-error approach," says Leonard Gomella, M.D., Chair of the Department of Urology at the Sidney Kimmel Medical College at Jefferson.
An additional study from the research laboratory of cancer biologist Karen Knudsen, Ph.D., the deputy director for basic science at the Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center, focuses on targeting a molecule in prostate cancer cells that would enhance endocrine therapy – one of the most common treatments for this type of cancer. "It's a testament to the strength of our relationships at Jefferson that we can bridge the gap between science and medicine to develop these clinical trials," says Dr. Knudsen.
The PCCTC was developed ten years ago with support from the Prostate Cancer Foundation (PCF) and the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) Prostate Cancer Research Program (PCRP) in response to gaps identified in prostate cancer clinical research by physician investigators and prostate cancer advocates. The main objective of the PCTCC is to coordinate clinical research efforts to bring new therapies to patients with prostate cancer quicker. To date, the PCCTC has been very successful and has been instrumental in the development and approval of some of the new drugs for prostate cancer.
"We are proud to be the lead institution in the Philadelphia metro area to join the PCCTC and excited to be able to offer the newest treatments to our patients," says Adam Dicker, M.D., Ph.D., Chair of Radiation Oncology at the Sidney Kimmel Medical College at Jefferson.
About The Prostate Cancer Clinical Trials Consortium (PCCTC)
The Prostate Cancer Clinical Trials Consortium (PCCTC) was initiated in 2005 by the Prostate Cancer Foundation (PCF) and the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) Prostate Cancer Research Program (PCRP) in response to gaps identified in prostate cancer clinical research by physician investigators and prostate cancer advocates. Now a major multicenter clinical research organization consisting of a nationwide network of physicians at 15 academic institutions specializing in cutting-edge prostate cancer research, PCCTC members work together on a single mission: to design, implement and complete hypothesis-driven early phase trials in prostate cancer, translating scientific discoveries to improved standards of care. For more information, please visit www.pcctc.org.