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BIDMC scientists receive Challenge Awards from Prostate Cancer Foundation
Date:8/9/2011

221.10.254.64

BOSTON Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) researchers Martin Sanda, MD, and Steven Balk MD, PhD, have been awarded Challenge Awards of $1 million each from the Prostate Cancer Foundation (PCF) to lead two cross-disciplinary teams of investigators in their pursuit of new treatments for patients with advanced prostate cancer. The PCF Challenge Awards will support a total of 10 scientific projects nationwide; BIDMC is the only institution to receive funding for two projects.

Said PCF executive vice president and chief science officer Howard Soule, PhD, "With reductions in federal funding for prostate cancer research, it's imperative for the PCF to seek the most promising research ideas and fund them with the goal of changing clinical practice and improving outcomes for patients with advanced prostate cancer."

The research team assembled by Sanda, Director of the Prostate Cancer Program at BIDMC and Associate Professor of Surgery/Urology at Harvard Medical School, is combining nanotechnology and cancer immunology expertise in developing a vaccine to treat prostate cancer by boosting patients' immune systems.

"Recent progress has shown that cancer vaccines extend survival for men with prostate cancer and this type of treatment has now been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration," explains Sanda. "However, this first-generation prostate cancer vaccine is exceedingly expensive, and the cumbersome processing of individual patient cells limits availability. Our strategy, which makes use of biodegradable nanoparticles to directly deliver prostate-cancer proteins to the body's requisite immune cells, will stimulate the immune system to directly attack prostate-cancer cells and, therefore, has the potential to be less expensive and more easily disseminated."

Sanda's Prostate Cancer Nanoparticle Vaccine Consortium is co-led by M. Simon Arredouani, PhD, of BIDMC's Dep
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Contact: Bonnie Prescott
bprescot@bidmc.harvard.edu
617-667-7306
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert

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