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Prostate Cancer Foundation Launches First Competition for Stupski Prize in Prostate Cancer Computational Oncology
Date:12/15/2015

SANTA MONICA, Calif., Dec. 15, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Prostate Cancer Foundation (PCF) is proud to announce the launch of the Stupski Prize Challenge 1 today at 1pm EST. An image analysis data science challenge with a focus on large-scale cancer genomics, this crowdsourced competition aims to rapidly advance precision medicine for advanced prostate cancer patients and extend solutions to other cancers. The competition will award over $25,000 in prize money.

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"We could not be more excited for the launch of the Stupski Prize Challenge 1 which further elevates the position of math, science and engineering in medicine," said Jonathan W. Simons, MD, president and chief executive officer of PCF. "By opening this competition to the global community of problem solvers, our odds for finding cures for genomically complex diseases like prostate cancer have never been greater."

Stupski Prize Challenge 1 will be open to the public for 16 days, closing on December 31, 2015. Prospective participants may find more information about the Challenge and register for free on Topcoder, which is hosting the competition.

The goal of Challenge 1 is to help bridge the gap between molecular "big data" and individual prostate cancer patients. One common feature of prostate tumor cells is the loss or gain of specific pieces of DNA.  The fraction of genome altered (FGA) is a measure of how the DNA of the tumor cells has changed. In the clinic, FGA can be used as a predictor of survival and can indicate which therapies are most likely to be successful in a patient.

Currently, physicians use an expensive, 2-week long genetic test to determine the FGA of prostate cancer tissue. However, many scientists believe that it is possible to determine FGA from features present in prostate tissue biopsy images. Predicting the genetic characteristics of a tumor using high resolution images of biopsies could potentially obviate the need for expensive, time-intensive genetic tests.

In order to test this hypothesis, participants will be given a test set of prostate biopsy images and asked to predict the FGA. Winners will be determined based on their scored performance as determined by a scoring metric based on the mean squared error of their predicted FGAs.

The Stupski Prize Challenge 1 marks the first competitive Stupski Prize in Computational Oncology awarded this year. The inaugural prize was presented in April to PCF Young Investigator Nikolaus Schultz, PhD, Associate Member in Computational Oncology at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, in recognition of his work developing the cBioPortal for Cancer Genomics. Dr. Schultz is chairman for the Stupski Prize Committee.

This first-in-field initiative is named in memory of visionary philanthropist Lawrence J. Stupski, the former president and chief operating officer of Charles Schwab Corporation. To celebrate his legacy, the Stupski Foundation has provided funds for the Stupski Prize.

About the Prostate Cancer Foundation

The Prostate Cancer Foundation (PCF) is the world's leading philanthropic organization funding and accelerating prostate cancer research. Founded in 1993, PCF has raised more than $634 million and provided funding to more than 2,000 research programs at nearly 200 cancer centers and universities. The PCF global research enterprise now extends to 19 countries. PCF advocates for greater awareness of prostate cancer and more efficient investment of governmental research funds for transformational cancer research. Its efforts have helped produce a 20-fold increase in government funding for prostate cancer.

About Appirio/Topcoder

Appirio is a global cloud consultancy that helps customers achieve results in weeks, not years by harnessing the power of the world's top talent. Topcoder's 900,000+ member community and crowdsourcing platform, combined with the company's business and technical expertise, have helped 800+ enterprises confidently use technology to increase innovation and transform business. Founded in 2006, Appirio is a trusted partner to companies such as Apria, Coca-Cola, eBay, Facebook, Japan Post Network, L'Oreal, NetApp, The Four Seasons and Virgin America.

CONTACT:
Alexandra Schwertfeger
Prostate Cancer Foundation
310-570-4692
aschwertfeger@pcf.org

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SOURCE Prostate Cancer Foundation
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