Today’s post will be a little admonishment of you, my loyal readers. So, please be open-minded and think about what I have to say to you.
A number of months ago I mentioned the new prostate cancer research-funding project we have embarked upon, Start A Cure (www.StartACure.com). For those of you who might have missed my announcements and my follow up many mentions, Start A Cure is what is referred to by our children and grandchildren as a crowdfunding site. The slightly tech savvy among us might know of the web pages KickStarter and Indigo, these are general crowdfunding sites for artistic projects. Start A Cure is a website devoted specifically to raising funds for prostate cancer research.
This site is vital to us all. It is the first and only direct funding web site for prostate cancer research in the universe! Many of these projects could easily have a direct affect on you and your loved one.
What if we had a way to know if a drug would have a positive effect on you before you spent the money on it and wasted your time taking a drug instead of one which would actually work for you? Drs. Emmanuel Antonarakis and Jun Luo from Johns Hopkins University have a funding request on Start A Cure called “Who Will Respond to Abiraterone (Zytiga) and enzalutamide (Xtandi)”. Given that 20% of us will not respond to either of these drugs, knowing this in advanced would be a boon. Can you see the value of this research?
Dr. Urban Emmenegger from the Odette Cancer Center has a research request for a project that would look at “Using Breast Cancer Drugs to Treat Prostate Cancer.” Breast cancer treatment is way ahead of us in treatment possibilities and many of their drugs could well work for men with prostate cancer. He proposes looking at the most promising of these drugs and evaluating the possibility of adapting them to men with prostate cancer. Can you see the value in this research?
Dr. Lily Wu from UCLA and her lab want to be able to “Probe Prostate Cancer Metastasis By Circulating Tumor Cells.” According to Dr. Wu, “Circulating tumor cells (CTCs) are cells that are shed by a solid tumor such as prostate cancer; they transit through the blood stream and are believed to seed metastasis at other vital organs. CTCs are rare and difficult to isolate from a patient’s blood. Given the deadly consequence of CTCs and the possibility of capturing living CTCs to further interrogate the disease status, achieving optimal detection and capturing of CTCs is currently a paramount priority in oncology.” Can you see the value in this research?
These are just three of the 24 possible projects that you could support. Support could be as little or as large as you wish, but we as members of the prostate cancer community all must to our part as we can afford. However, none of us can afford to do nothing.
Go to www.StartACure.com and pick out a few projects that speak to you. I guarantee there are many which will speak to your heart, so now is the time to step up and START A CURE.
Joel T. Nowak, M.A., M.S.W.