For Response to Inquiries
Tuesday, January 13, 1998
NCI Press Office
Prostate Cancer Research at the National Cancer Institute
- The NCI budget for prostate cancer has risen over 1,300 percent from 1981 to 1998 (from $6.4 million in FY 1981 to an estimate of $84 million in FY 1998).
- NCI has established a Prostate Cancer Progress Review Group that is currently assessing NCI's prostate cancer research portfolio in the context of the emerging opportunities for research. Results of this analysis in the form of a national agenda for research are expected in the spring of 1998.
- NCI has begun the Cancer Genome Anatomy Project (CGAP), the goals of which are to build an infrastructure of resources, information, and technologies that will create an index of all genes that are expressed in tumors. CGAP will also support development of new technologies that will allow rapid analysis of gene and protein expression as well as mutation detection of these tumor genes. The tumor type with the highest representation in the early stages of the CGAP effort is prostate cancer.
- NCI is currently sponsoring 57 clinical trials in prostate cancer including 15 Phase III studies (clinical trials involving new interventions closest to approval). Ten trials in prostate cancer are underway at the National Institutes of Health Clinical Center.
- NCI is sponsoring two trials, including the Prostate Intervention Versus Observation Trial (PIVOT), in which "watchful waiting" is being compared in terms of outcome with surgical removal of the prostate and with radiation therapy. These trials are intended to determine if treatment of localized disease is effective.
- NCI's ongoing Prostate, Lung, Colorectal, and Ovarian Cancer Screening Trial (PLCO) is assessing the efficacy of prostate cancer screening. New PLCO sites are being added to enhance minority patient accrual.
- NCI's ongoing Prostate Cancer Prevention Trial involves 18,000 healthy men over the age of 55 to determine if the drug finasteride can prevent prostate cancer.
- NCI clinical studies in prostate cancer have significant African-American participation. One NCI study shows that 14.7 percent of men enrolled onto NCI sponsored prostate cancer treatment trials are black while 10.3 percent of Americans diagnosed with prostate cancer are black.
- NCI staff and the Department of Defense have collaborated in a study of treatment data and shown that equal treatment yields equal outcome within stage. This finding suggests that all NCI efforts to improve prevention, diagnosis and treatment of this disease benefit all patients equally. However, NCI staff analyzing SEER Program data have shown that there are tremendously differing patterns of care among black and white men with prostate cancer.
- NCI has established the Urologic Oncology Branch within the Division of Clinical Sciences. One of the major areas of emphasis of this branch is prostate cancer.
- NCI has established a new fellowship program in urologic oncology that will also have as a major focus NCI's commitment to reduce the burden of prostate cancer in all segments of our society.
- NCI recently conducted a large interview-based study of prostate cancer in African Americans and whites. Analysis of the results have not thus far revealed any specific factor that could explain the racial differences in risk. However, further studies are under way, including an extensive evaluation of the role of different components of the diet.
- NCI funded or co-funded 11 prostate cancer epidemiologic studies beginning in September 1995 with study durations of three to five years. Eight of the 11 studies include an assessment of risk factors among African-American men. Leads from this effort may help to clarify genetic and gene-environment interactions responsible for black-white differences in risk.
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