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Fred Hutchinson receives $12.7 million to lead prostate-cancer consortium

The National Cancer Institute, a branch of the National Institutes of Health, has awarded $12.7 million to the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center to lead a multi-center, five-year investigation into the genetic mechanisms of prostate-cancer progression. Understanding how and why prostate cancer can turn deadly is key to developing therapies that may effectively treat men with recurrent or advanced prostate cancer, for which there is no cure.

Known as the Pacific Northwest Prostate Cancer Research SPORE (short for Specialized Program of Research Excellence), the initiative will involve more than 50 investigators in Seattle and Vancouver, B.C.

Participating institutions in Seattle are Fred Hutchinson, the University of Washington and the Institute for Systems Biology. Vancouver partners are the University of British Columbia and its affiliate, The Prostate Centre at Vancouver General Hospital.

The strong history of collaboration among these institutions - themselves all major contributors to prostate-cancer research - was key to getting the grant, said principal investigator Paul Lange, M.D., professor and chair of urology at the UW School of Medicine and an affiliate investigator in Fred Hutchinson's Public Health Sciences Division.

"This highly competitive award exemplifies the high caliber of prostate-cancer research among the major medical-research institutions in the Pacific Northwest and the significant ongoing collaborations among researchers from each of the participating institutions," Lange said.

During the past decade, for example, a working group of Seattle prostate-cancer investigators has met regularly to collaborate on projects focused on understanding the hereditary and lifestyle factors behind prostate cancer and developing innovative technologies to unravel the genetic mechanisms of the disease. Fruits of their labor include mapping the region of a gene associated with inherited prostate cancer and primary brain cancer,
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Contact: Kristen Woodward
kwoodwar@fhcrc.org
206-667-5095
Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
27-Sep-2002


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