Model for Curing All Cancer

Model for Curing All Cancer

For years, doctors focused on cancer as an organ-site disease, e.g. you had breast cancer, or colon cancer, or prostate cancer, etc. Thanks to some significant discoveries funded by PCF, we now know cancer is too complex to be studied in a single site in the body. Cutting-edge research is now targeting the mechanisms cancer uses to grow, which may be shared across many cancer types. In curing prostate cancer we will likely impact 100s of forms of disease, including most major forms of cancer in children.

PCF’s Influence in 67 Other Cancers

So where does 25 years of funding awe-inspiring, groundbreaking research with vast human impact leave us?


While PCF is still focused on eliminating all deaths from prostate cancer for all men, we’ve also got our eyes on a much bigger prize: using prostate cancer as a stepping stone to unlock the cure for all cancer.

Along the way to this 25-year anniversary, PCF scientists began to discover that the key to curing cancer wasn’t necessarily based on where it is (e.g. prostate, lung, breast, colon, etc.) but is often based on pathways that overlap multiple cancers. So far, PCF R&D has made an impact in about 70 other forms of chemo-resistant cancer …and those are just the ones we know of.

The same gene errors that we’re researching in prostate cancer apply to 7 of the top 10 pediatric cancers (that we know of, so far).

PCF is investing heavily in treatments for WNT gene signaling errors for prostate cancer, which also affects up to 30% of breast cancer patients, and 100% of colon cancer patients.

Precision Medicine Revolution

Welcome to the World of Precision Medicine.

That may sound futuristic, like something from a sci-fi movie. But it’s something that is here.

One day soon, there will no longer be trial and error for advanced prostate cancer drugs. PCF hates trial and error treatment; it takes up valuable time, messes with your quality of life, and wears you down. Our research into the genetic origins of cancer such as the PCF-funded MI-ONCOSEQ study, have led to new tests, which then point us to specific life-extending drugs.

Even better, many of these treatments have overlap into other forms of cancer. Since they are based on genes that run in families, some of the same drugs that we’ve discovered for prostate cancer may someday treat your sister or your daughter. And vice versa – PCF is beginning to invest in science across all cancers which has promising overlap into the elimination of prostate cancer and beyond.

Here’s five things you can expect to
see more of in the next five years:

Precision Prevention

The ability to use nutrition and lifestyle changes to slow down cancer’s progression, potentially eliminating it entirely.

Patients as Partners

From today on, patients are encouraged to take charge of their own health and ask their doctors about how they may personally benefit from precision medicine.

There’s much more work to do but, already, the death rate is half of what it used to be 25 years ago. Many men who have metastatic prostate cancer are not going to die of it - with these new approaches, we are putting them into long remissions.

Our goal is cure. We can see it. It’s not just some vague hope or wishful thinking. This is why we have raised and pushed more than $750 million dollars into research over the last two decades. We’re not there yet, but PCF is more confident than ever that we will stop men from dying of prostate cancer.

Molecules That Hunt Down and Kill Cancer

If you could make up a sci-fi movie where cancer was the bad guy, how would you “get him?”

Maybe your scientist-hero would invent a radioactive molecule that, when injected into the body, could seek out and kill cancer.

It sounds far-fetched, but it’s real. This is just one of the many new ways that PCF is looking at the cancer problem– leveraging ideas and discoveries across all cancers, and translating those solutions back across all relevant cancers. In this case, scientists discovered that PSMA can be targeted similarly to HER2 in breast cancer.

PSMA (prostate-specific membrane antigen) is a protein that is found on the surface of prostate cancer cells. Its unique signature can be tracked by small molecules injected into the bloodstream. PSMA-PET is a relatively new imaging that uses PSMA’s signature for added scan sensitivity, to identify metastasis earlier than traditional bone scans. PCF is actively funding four PSMA-related projects with more in the works.

Researchers discovered that if you attach a radioactive isotope to the PSMA-targeting molecule (together known as a “radiopharmaceutical”), we have a particularly effective way not just of hunting down but of killing prostate cancer cells anywhere in the body (metastases).

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