UCSF Comprehensive Cancer Center program triumphs

UCSF Comprehensive Cancer Center basic scientists and clinical researchers have received a highly coveted grant from the National Cancer Institute that they say will fuel their ongoing mission to methodically and aggressively move in on prostate cancer.

The $11.9 million five-year grant, with an additional $12 million in matching funds raised by an advocacy group led by Andy Grove, co-founder and chairman of Intel Corp., is designed to drive a cross pollination of ideas between some of the world's leading basic scientists and clinical researchers to improve prostate cancer treatment, early detection and prevention. First year funding is $2.3 million.

The so-called SPORE grant, for Specialized Program of Research Excellence, is unique, as most major basic science grants do not include funding for clinical research. The grant was awarded to UCSF in recognition of the breadth and depth of the UCSF Comprehensive Cancer Center's basic science and clinical research programs and its ability to integrate these programs for clinical advance.

"Our goal with this SPORE is to take a fresh approach to trying to solve the significant problems in prostate cancer research," says Marc A. Shuman, MD, professor of medicine and director of the new UCSF Prostate SPORE. "We intentionally sought out outstanding basic scientists who, while not already studying this disease were interested in changing a significant part of their effort to work on these problems, and would make a commitment to working closely with prostate cancer clinicians and clinical scientists.

"Scientists can do great things when they work on a project on their own, but the most successful strategy for disease-related research is the team approach, where you integrate successful people representing different specialties," says Shuman. And the outcome to such cross pollination is more than additive, he says. "There's a synergism."

The decision to apply for a prostate SPORE grew out of a prostate

Contact: Jennifer O'Brien
University of California - San Francisco

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