Prostate cancer program at UCLAs Jonsson Cancer Center designated a site of research excellence

The prostate cancer program at UCLAs Jonsson Cancer Center and the Department of Urology have been designated by the National Cancer Institute as a site of research excellence, making it one of a few institutions nationwide tapped to improve prevention, detection and treatment of a disease that will kill 30,000 American men this year.

The designation as a Specialized Program of Research Excellence (SPORE) comes with a five-year, $11.5 million grant to further expand UCLAs renowned prostate cancer program, pulling in researchers and clinicians from a variety of disciplines to work together to uncover the mysteries of prostate cancer.

The SPORE is the second for UCLAs Jonsson Cancer Center. In April 2001, the lung cancer program was designated a center of research excellence, receiving a $13.9 million grant from the National Cancer Institute.

This prostate cancer SPORE gives us the resources and the opportunity to pull together multiple investigators to work toward the goal of improving the way we diagnose and treat prostate cancer, said Dr. Jean deKernion, chairman of the UCLA Department of Urology and the Clark Urology Center and director of the new prostate cancer SPORE. Weve been building an outstanding prostate cancer program for the last five to seven years, and that program will provide an excellent foundation for this center of research excellence.

The SPORE will focus on two major areas, deKernion said. Researchers will seek to identify new molecular targets for therapies attempting to fix whats broken in the prostate cancer cell and investigate nutritional strategies to prevent the disease and impede tumor growth.

We believe nutrition will play a critical role in the future in preventing prostate cancer, said Dr. William Aronson, an associate clinical professor of urology, a Jonsson Cancer Center researcher and one of the investigators heading up the nutrition study.

Nutrition also may play a role, either alone

Contact: Kim Irwin
University of California - Los Angeles

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