The University of Wisconsin Carbone Cancer Center (UWCCC) has a long history of conducting innovative multidisciplinary prostate cancer research. Since the inception of the Prostate Cancer Clinical Trials Consortium (PCCTC) in 2005, the UWCCC has been a productive member of the PCCTC and a continuous partner with the Department of Defense Prostate Cancer Research Program (PCRP) in the shared mission of translating scientific discoveries to improve care for prostate cancer patients. The UWCCC is also one of the founding members of the Prostate Cancer Foundation (PCF) Clinical Trials Consortium, whose aim is to accelerate prostate cancer research with infrastructure and research support. The UWCCC is the state of Wisconsin’s only National Cancer Institute (NCI)-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center. It has a robust clinical trials infrastructure supported by a National Institutes of Health (NIH)/NCI UM1 grant for participation in the Experimental Therapeutics-Clinical Trials Network, a U10 Grant for participation in the National Clinical Trials Network, and a Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA)-funded Institute for Clinical and Translational Research (ICTR) for informatics, biostatistics, and other translational research services. The UWCCC benefits from access to the unique public/private collaborative partnership of the Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery/Morgridge Institute for Research (WID/MIR), which facilitates rapid translation of innovative interdisciplinary biomedical research. Further, the resources of the UW-Madison School of Medicine and Public Health and UW Hospital and Clinics (UWHC) Collaborative Genomics Core, and new Medicinal Chemistry Center all serve to enhance the UWCCC’s translational research capabilities. Together, these programs and initiatives form a solid foundation for drug discovery and therapy development for the UWCCC Prostate Cancer Research Program, whose members are leading efforts within the PCF, NCI, Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group-American College of Radiology Imaging Network (ECOG-ACRIN), and PCCTC. The UWCCC also has its own regional clinical research network known as the Wisconsin Oncology Network (WON), which includes 19 community oncology centers/clinics within Wisconsin and Northern Illinois, which provide access to clinical trials active at the UWCCC.
The UWCCC Prostate Cancer Research Program is comprised of nine full-time clinical research investigators and over 20 affiliated laboratories. Since 2006, the UWCCC Prostate Cancer Research Program has enrolled approximately 1000 patients onto 108 interventional prostate cancer clinical trials of which 29 were UWCCC investigator initiated. As a founding member of the PCCTC, the UWCCC has enrolled 336 patients onto 47 PCCTC trials, proposed 24 concepts, led 15 clinical trials, and participated in 35 trials led by other member institutions with an average annual accrual of 33.6 patients to PCCTC trials. Numerous novel agents have been brought to first-in-human clinical trials through our established and recognized Phase I program with many of these novel agents continued onto further investigation in prostate cancer.
The PCRP’s mission is to develop effective treatments and address mechanisms of resistance for men with high-risk or metastatic prostate cancer. The UWCCC Prostate Cancer Research Program will address the PCRP’s overarching challenges, which include: (1) Develop effective treatments and address mechanisms of resistance for men with high-risk or metastatic prostate cancer and (2) develop strategies to prevent progression to lethal prostate cancer. While the UWCCC has interest in all stated focus areas listed in the PCRP program announcement, the focus areas that will be specifically addressed are:
(1) Biomarker Development: Validation and qualification of biomarkers for early detection of clinically relevant disease or for prognosis or prediction and assessment of response to therapies.
(2) Imaging: Development of new anatomic, functional, and molecular imaging approaches for the detection and management of clinically relevant prostate cancer.
(3) Mechanisms of Resistance and Response: Understanding primary and acquired resistance to therapy.
(4) Therapy: Identification of new targets, pathways, and therapeutic modalities.
Ongoing partnership with the PCCTC is a top priority for UWCCC prostate cancer research. We have the capacity to contribute significantly and effectively to consortium priorities and fulfill the PCRP’s stated mission.