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Medical Experts Call for Obama Administration, Congress to Boost Funding for Prostate Cancer Imaging Research

New Tools Would Transform Diagnostics, Treatment; Save Lives, Health Dollars

BETHESDA, Md., Jan. 14 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A group of more than 40 leaders of academia, industry, philanthropy and advocacy called today for the Obama Administration, Congress, the National Institutes of Health and the Department of Defense to increase federal funding for research into imaging technologies for less invasive and more accurate diagnosis of prostate cancer.

Meeting this week in Bethesda, Md, at a conference convened by the AdMeTech Foundation, the medical experts discussed strategies for speeding development of imaging technologies for prostate cancer modeled after life-saving mammograms for women. Advanced prostate imaging -- or a "man-o-gram" -- would save lives and an estimated $5 billion per year in health care costs.

"As physicians, scientists, educators and patients, we are personally concerned about the human and societal costs of prostate cancer. We firmly believe that more accurate imaging technology would lead to better patient care, including guidance for diagnosis, biopsy and minimally invasive therapy," today's consensus statement reads. "The AdMeTech Foundation conference clearly demonstrated that real and important improvements in prostate cancer care are at hand if we are resolved to increase the national investment in prostate diagnostics."

Conference participants also signed a letter to Dr. Raynard S. Kington, acting director of the National Institutes of Health, urging increased federal research funding for prostate cancer imaging diagnostics.

Today's calls for funding action adds professional weight to similar support in legislation considered in the 110th Congress (House Resolution 353), a recent letter to the Secretary of Health and Human Services and the Directors of the National Institutes of Health and National Cancer Institute by seven Senators, and the PRIME Act bills introduced by Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md, and Rep. Dan Burton, R-Ind.

"Prostate cancer is the most common major cancer in this country, and the incoming Obama administration and Congress must recognize development of accurate and affordable prostate cancer diagnostics and treatment as a national priority comparable to breast cancer," said Dr. Faina Shtern, president and CEO of AdMeTech Foundation and a daughter of a prostate cancer survivor. "Indeed, prostate cancer can be cured if detected early, and yet today it is the second most lethal cancer in men. Just as alarming, the lack of accurate diagnostics results in widespread unnecessary biopsies and treatment, causing life-altering complications to men and billions of dollars annually to national health care."

Dr. Theodore DeWeese, Chair of Radiation Oncology at Johns Hopkins University, was among the conference participants who joined to support the consensus statement: "As a physician, I firmly believe that we lack the accurate imaging tools that would help us perform better biopsies and design more optimal treatments for our patients."

The clinical experts met over the past two days as a result of the meeting between leadership of the AdMeTech Foundation, advocacy groups, and industry with Dr. Elias Zerhouni, director of NIH, in the spring of 2008. The experts unanimously agreed that prostate cancer care is in a state of crisis due to the lack of reliable imaging tools critical to guiding early detection, accurate diagnosis and the most effective and least invasive treatment.

AdMeTech is a nonprofit organization, which identifies funds and administers research and development projects to expedite the advancement of technologies that can improve early diagnosis and treatment of prostate cancer.

    Dan Page, Edelman
    Renee Edelman, Edelman

SOURCE AdMeTech Foundation
Copyright©2009 PR Newswire.
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