Better Treatments

Better Treatments

For over 25 years, PCF has funded work related to nearly every practice-changing development in prostate cancer research, as well as providing seed money to develop late-stage therapies for men who previously had no hope of survival.

Creating an HOV Lane
for Drug Development

An HOV highway lane provides a fast path to a destination using minimal resources (one car). At PCF, we fund groups of scientists working together towards a singular goal. PCF’s method ensures that researchers do groundbreaking research, with the best resources, and the clearest path to a cure. Traditional research can be mired in paperwork, but PCF’s researchers aren’t required to do 100s of pages of “administrivia.” Instead, we ask only that they (1) share results, (2) spend more time on research, and (3) get life-saving treatments into the hands of patients.

From Clinic to Patient:
8 Drugs PCF Catalyzed to Market

PCF funds early stage research. This means we fund innovation when it is just the kernel of an idea in a scientist’s mind. Later, after rigorous investigation of a drug’s efficacy, safety, and correct usage (via clinical trials), the drugs we fund are approved by the FDA for use in extending the lives of patients with cancer.


1. Docetaxel
2. Abiraterone
3. Enzalutamide
4. Apalutamide
5. Sipuleucel T
6. Zoledronic acid
7. Radium-223
8. Denosumab*

There are currently dozens of additional drugs under investigation within our research engine.

* In the 3 years since the publishing of this report, PCF research has helped bring another 3 anti-prostate cancer FDA-approved treatments to market.

30 Practice Changing Developments
Funded by PCF

In addition to funding drug research, we fund hundreds of projects (over 2,000 in 25 years) that blossom into new ways to look at prostate cancer prevention and treatment, improve men’s lives, and work towards curing the whole family. Of these, here are the top 30 practice changing developments we’ve funded, with more on the way everyday thanks to your generous support.

TOP 30 (not counting fda drug approvals)

1 Created the First Prostate Cancer Clinical Trials Consortium

a collaboration of academic hospitals that drove the accelerated testing of new treatments for advanced prostate cancer in almost 200 clinical trials that resulted in several life-prolonging FDA approvals including docetaxel, apalutamide, abiraterone, enzalutamide, and velcade.

2 Launched a precision medicine revolution

with prostate cancer as a prototype.  Precision medicine approaches are now the new paradigm for drug development and will soon be the gold standard of care for patients with advanced prostate cancer.

3 Altered the clinical trials methodology

for precision therapies by selecting patients based on their genomic profile instead of same-treatment-for-all concept.

4 Discovered PARP-inhibitors

as a treatment for prostate cancer by driving the biological, genomic and clinical studies that demonstrated their efficacy in prostate cancer patients.

5 Revolutionized immunotherapy

with the first FDA-approved drug for solid tumors, Provenge. PCF provided early support to lead researchers James Allison and Padmanee Sharma for anti-CTLA4 (ipilimumab) and anti-ICOS antibodies. These discoveries led to the approval of ipilimumab and the first class of therapies that can actually be curative for patients with advanced solid tumors.f

6 Funded PSMA science and early development of PSMA PET imaging

for earlier and more sensitive detection of prostate cancer metastases, allowing doctors to treat sooner and with better precision.

7 Credentialed PSMA

as a therapeutic target for prostate cancer. This has led to the development of multiple types of treatments that target PSMA, including PSMA-targeted radionuclides (phase 1, 2, and 3 trials) and PSMA-targeted CAR T cells (phase I trials).

8 Championed treatments for oligometastatic disease

by funding clinical investigations on best treatments for patients with oligometastatic (less than 5 detectable metastases) prostate cancer with curative intent.

9 Identified 17 hereditary gene alterations (so far)

that increase risk in men for prostate, breast, and pancreatic cancer. This led to changes in National Comprehensive Cancer Network® (NCCN®) guidelines and has cleared the path for families to undergo genetic counseling to determine those who have inherited these genes. Today, specialized genetic clinics have been established to counsel prostate cancer patients and their families.

10 Discovered androgen receptor variants,

which are markers for resistance to hormone therapy, and funded development of new tests for these variants.  These tests are being used to predict sensitivity to certain treatments for metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer (mCRPC).

11 Funded biotechnology of circulating tumor cells (CTC),

establishing tumor cells that can be found in a patient’s blood as a way to investigate cancer progression, patient genomics, and to provide treatment selection and inform prognosis for patients.

12 Established methodologies for analyzing circulating tumor DNA

found in blood as a less-complicated procedure (versus tissue biopsy) to analyze tumor genomics.

13 Funded first 3 CAR T-cell

research programs in prostate cancer.

14 Identified a very advanced form of castration resistant prostate cancer

with markers of neuronal cell types.  This has strong implications for selection of therapy.

15 Funded genomic investigations for African American patients

with prostate cancer, to better understand the biology of this health care disparity.

16 Funded numerous studies on exercise

to investigate the role it plays in delaying cancer progression.

17 Funded lifestyle-nutrition investigations

into how diet may affect prostate cancer risk, and disease progression.

18 Funded the identification of a clinical trials shortcut

by mining high-quality randomized clinical trials with survival endpoints in an effort to discover intermediate endpoints that will shorten cancer treatment clinical trials, which in turn will speed delivery of new medicines to prostate cancer patients.

19 Funded the development of gene expression tests

that may better inform selection of therapy for the treatment of primary prostate cancer.

20 Funded the discovery of hormonal pathways

other than androgens that are leading to new treatments for CRPC.

21 Funded discovery and early development

of new medicines for currently undruggable prostate cancer drivers.

22 Funded structural investigations of the androgen receptor

and computational biophysics to identify new heretofore undescribed AR-antagonists.

23 Funded quality of life investigations on the side effects

of androgen deprivation therapy, which led to the FDA-approval of Zometa and Xgeva for the prevention of bone fractures in these patients.

24 Funded and launched an investigation of TROP-2,

a new prostate cancer target with an antibody-drug conjugate shown to be active in triple negative breast cancer.

25 Provided better treatment for veterans,

by launching a national network of centers of excellence, providing precision medicine clinical trials efforts within Veterans Administration Hospitals around the country.

26 Investigated of the role of prostatectomy

as part of a potentially curative treatment strategy in men with oligometastatic prostate cancer.

27 Funded strategies for aggressive prostate cancer

that help a unique subset of prostate cancer patients classified with aggressive variant prostate cancer.

28 Funded the discovery of a biomarker (BRCA2)

which has driven exceptional responses with platinum chemotherapy, PARP-inhibitors, and other treatments for patients with metastatic CRPC.

29 Funded research that led to an FDA-approved melanoma treatment

being investigated for prostate cancer by discovering an aberrant signaling pathway in mCRPC (MAPK) that has led to a clinical trial of trametinib.

30 Funded the identification of new biomarkers

for selection of patients for checkpoint immunotherapy clinical trials.  (Microsatellite instability (MSI) & CDK12)

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