Consumer Involvement Banner
Ken Christensen, Raul Blasini, and Jerry Deans

Photos and text used with permission of
Ken Christensen, Raul Blasini, and Jerry Deans.

Together, we are strong!

One benefit of great adversity is that it brings diverse people together to conquer the opposition. In this spirit, the Department of Defense Prostate Cancer Research Program (PCRP) brings together scientists and consumers to peer review research proposals. The participants at the September 2008 PCRP peer review sessions experienced the solidarity of working together to defeat prostate cancer. Consumer reviewers Jerry Deans, Ken Christensen, and Raul Blasini showed great enthusiasm about their experiences. Regarding his experience on the peer review panel, Jerry Deans (photo-far right) of Us TOO Prostate Cancer Support Group in Richmond, VA said, "This was an extraordinary experience for me. It renewed my hope that a cure for this disease is on the way. I was also very proud to represent survivors in this process."

The PCRP peer review process convenes a panel of leading scientists and consumer reviewers to evaluate research proposals on scientific merit and potential impact on the disease. Consumer reviewers voice the urgent needs of the community and review the relevance of research proposals for patients, survivors, and families dealing with prostate cancer diagnosis. From Us TOO in West Allis, WI, Ken Christensen's (photo-far left) thoughts about the scientists and research expressed hope and excitement: "A fantastic experience with so many wonderful people doing good work. It is indeed reassuring to see how carefully, thoughtfully, and smoothly everything is done to reach the goal ... toward a cure for prostate cancer."

Reaching out to all communities affected by the disease is one of the main goals of the PCRP. Raul Blasini (photo-middle) from the Arkansas Prostate Cancer Foundation found new hope for the Hispanic community he represented as a consumer reviewer. Raul Blasini noted, "Being ... a prostate cancer survivor for over 12 years, it was an honor to be selected by the CDMRP to be a consumer reviewer. When my cancer was discovered, there were only three options available for treatment at that time. Through this program, I believe the potential to find better treatments or possibly a cure for prostate cancer in the near future is possible. It was a privilege to work together, side by side, with the professionals and other survivors reviewing the prostate cancer proposals and being able to express our opinions ... on such important scientific research."

Jerry Deans, Ken Christensen, and Raul Blasini demonstrate that together, we are strong!