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The Bird Dogs: Pointing for the Prostate Cancer Cure

For years, Frank Sojonky hid his battle with prostate cancer from the world. But by 2004 he could hide it no longer, as the disease metastasized and began to spread. So when he learned from his oncologist, Dr. Peter Venner, that a chair in prostate cancer research was needed in Alberta, he made his personal goal to raise the funds to do it. That is how the Bird Dogs started and thanks to them and the Alberta Cancer Foundation, Dr. John Lewis and the Alberta Prostate Cancer Research Initiative are making important discoveries to improve the lives of those with prostate cancer.

Watch a video about the Bird Dogs.

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15th Annual Personalized Medicine Conference Posted on Nov 9 19 at 5:14pm
Evaluating the measurement properties of EPIC-26 Posted on Nov 6 19 at 12:19pm
APCaRI 2019 Fall Symposium Posted on Oct 22 19 at 12:28pm

Dr. Nawaid Usmani and team receive funding for their PRIME study!

The PRIME Study – Prevention and Intervention for MEtabolic syndrome:

Androgen deprivation therapy (ADT), and newer manipulations of androgen receptor signaling have improved outcomes for advanced prostate cancer (PCa) patients.  The toxicities of ADT are many, including an increased risk of developing metabolic syndrome (MS; defined as at least 3 of: hyperglycemia; abdominal obesity; hypertriglyceridemia; reduced HDL cholesterol; and/or hypertension). MS is associated with an increased risk of diabetes, cardiovascular disease mortality, stroke mortality, and all-cause mortality.  The prevalence of MS in men receiving ADT is at least 50% and contributes to decreased quality of life and increased non-cancer-related mortality.  Metformin holds promise as a countermeasure to MS development, and also has been shown to suppress PCa growth in pre-clinical models.

We hypothesize that the addition of metformin to ADT will reduce the rates of MS in men with advanced PCa, diminishing important toxicities of a therapy universally used in advanced disease.

We propose a double-blind, randomized phase III study of metformin or placebo in men with PCa starting intermittent ADT. The primary endpoint is the difference in MS rates at 1 year.  Other aims include evaluation of the influence of metformin on: individual MS components at additional time points; mean serum insulin levels and measures of insulin resistance; weight and quality of life.

A finding that metformin reduces MS incidence and/or has other benefits would change practice, as it would provide a practical and inexpensive strategy to reduce toxicity of an intervention employed in most men with advanced PCa.

- Catalina Vasquez