Yesterday afternoon I participated in a conference call, which included representatives from most of the major prostate cancer organizations in the United States. Alvin Chin and John Willey who serve as consumer advocates for the Department of Defense Congressionally Directed Medical Research programs (DOD CDMRP) prompted the call. Alvin and John serve specifically on the programmatic review committee that is charged with setting priorities and reviewing the work of the individual peer evaluation committees, (you can learn more about the DOD CDMRP program by searching this blog or by going to their web page.

John and Alvin were charged with making a presentation to summarized the over arching goals held by the prostate cancer community. They quickly realized that the prostate cancer community is split and not organized. Each of the community and national groups work in a vacuum, rarely supporting each other and almost never providing enthusiastic support the other’s programs. It has been clear to many of us that not only is there a lack of support, but there often exists a level of jealously among the different groups. The prostate cancer community, their advocates and educators seem often unable to drop petty issues and concerns and decide to work instead for the betterment of us all.

The goal of the conference call was to start a process of greater cooperation between the groups toward our shared goals. I hope that the individual groups will be able to drop their squabbles and petty competition and move a head to accomplishing what is best for our community.

Skip Lockwood from Project Zero took the lead in organizing this first call. It was decided