Prostate Cancer Foundation

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Prostate Cancer Foundation
Founded 1993 in Santa Monica, CA
Founder Michael Milken
Headquarters 1250 Fourth Street
Santa Monica, CA 90401
Key people
Michael Milken (Chairman)
Dr. Jonathan Simons (President and CEO)
Dr. Howard R. Soule (Chief Science Officer)
Slogan Accelerating the world's most promising research

The Prostate Cancer Foundation (PCF), formerly known as CaP CURE, is the world’s largest philanthropic source of support for prostate cancer research.[1] PCF was founded in 1993 in order to discover better treatments and a cure for prostate cancer.[2] As of 2012, PCF has raised more than $500 million for research and funded more than 1,600 research projects at nearly 200 institutions in 17 countries. In the past 2 years, 5 new drugs that extend the lives of men with metastatic prostate cancer have been approved by the FDA. PCF initiated and supported academic treatment science that fast-forwarded every one of these approvals.

Dr. Jonathan Simons, a physician-scientist, medical oncologist, and leader in prostate cancer research, is currently President, Chief Executive Officer, and David H. Koch Chair of the Foundation.[3]


The Prostate Cancer Foundation was founded in 1993 by Michael Milken following his personal battle with prostate cancer. After being diagnosed with prostate cancer, Milken traveled to many different specialists in the field. Citing a major lack of funding for prostate cancer research and roadblocks that existed within the grant application process, Milken created the PCF to spur both private and government support in the field of research. In 2011, PCF established the Coalition to Cure Prostate Cancer in Canada and expanded global research efforts into China, partnering with the Chinese Urological Association and funding its first two Young Investigators in China.


Through the Prostate Cancer Foundation's unique funding structure, PCF funding has been a major part of some of the most significant discoveries in the field of prostate cancer research. These discoveries and advancements include:

  • supported research of 97 drugs in Phase I or II trials, and 3 more PCF-supported therapeutics are rapidly working their way through Phase III clinical trials:
  • identification of 27+ varieties (genotypes) of prostate cancer
  • support of clinical trials through the Prostate Cancer Clinical Trials Consortium at 13 centers in the U.S., enrolling more than 3,200 patients; today supporting 38 active trials
  • development of genetic testing of men at highest risk of prostate cancer
  • research into stopping the production or function of growth factors that help cancer cells grow
  • research concerning anti-angiogenesis
  • determination of the structure of the prostate cell androgen receptor, which is responsible for the growth of both normal and cancerous prostate cells;
  • identification of prostate cell surface markers that can be targeted to destroy cancer cells
  • development of analytical methods that identify the proteins in blood or the prostate that correlate to treatment effect or behavior of the cancer cell, a method known as proteomic pattern recognition.

Research and Grants[edit]

The Prostate Cancer Foundation has significantly streamlined the grant making process in order to make research funding more readily available. The PCF’s grant giving model “is to stimulate research by drastically cutting the wait time for grant money, to flood the field with fast cash, to fund therapy-driven ideas rather than basic science, to hold researchers accountable for results and to demand collaboration across disciplines and among institutions, private industry, and academia.”

PCF Research Enterprise Strategy[edit]

All Prostate Cancer Foundation grant recipients must share their work within one year of receiving their grant, an innovative requirement for the industry. Many scientists initially balked at the idea of presenting their work, sometimes even before publishing, but the lack of grant-giving sources made the Prostate Cancer Foundation’s grants popular. After the first year and the development of genetic testing of men at highest risk of prostate cancer, the number of requests for grants soared and prestige for PCF grants grew as well. Today, many other foundations have copied their grant giving model after the PCF’s model. This unique stipulation, forcing the sharing of data, has encouraged scientific cooperation and accelerated discovery.

To accelerate prostate cancer research and reduce red tape, the PCF employs a "fast-track" awards process designed to maximize the time researchers spend searching for better treatments and a cure for prostate cancer. The PCF follows a venture capital model of philanthropic investing, providing initial funding for high-impact, early-stage research projects that offer great hope for new treatments or better understanding of the disease. When these early investments demonstrate promising results, other institutional funders, such as the National Cancer Institute or biopharmaceutical companies, step in to provide the major funding needed to complete the work and bring a new drug or treatment to market.[8]

Grants and Awards[edit]

The Prostate Cancer Foundation scientific strategic plan incorporates the concept that longer term funding of milestone-driven research is needed in the field with the potential to reduce death and suffering from prostate cancer. The following awards are offered to help to reach this goal: Challenge, Young Investigator, and Creativity Awards.[9]

Challenge Awards[edit]

Challenge Awards are typically awarded to multi-year, large-scale research projects consisting of teams of at least three highly experienced investigators capable of providing unique scientific expertise to the solution of a significant problem in prostate cancer research.[10]

Young Investigator Awards[edit]

Young Investigator Awards focus on developing younger teams of investigators to undertake the next generation of prostate cancer research.[11] PCF currently funds 94 Young Investigators in 7 countries around the world. In the first part of 2012, PCF announced the first two YIs in China and four new YIs in Canada.

Creativity Awards[edit]

Creativity Awards allow for the development of creative science which conforms to PCF funding principles but is short-term and designed to allow development of otherwise unfundable but good ideas.[12]

Global Expansion[edit]

PCF has expanded its global research network and partnerships through two important steps: the establishment of the Coalition to Cure Prostate Cancer (CCPC) in Canada and the launch of PCF China. The Canadian entity will monitor national research progress at Canadian cancer centers and universities. The PCF China initiative will identify, fund and promote innovative research projects benefiting men around the world. In March 2012, we presented our first two Young Investigator awards to Chinese scientists at the inaugural China Prostate Cancer Symposium in Beijing. Moving forward, PCF will work with established Chinese institutions such as the Chinese Urological Association to expand cancer research and encourage sustainable collaborations.

PCF’s emphasis on global collaboration and our support of public-private partnerships continue to accelerate discovery and expand access to patient information, leading to highly personalized treatment plans.


The Prostate Cancer Foundation uses partnerships with many other organizations and celebrities to raise funds for prostate cancer research and to help spread awareness to the public.

Sports Programs[edit]

Home Run Challenge[edit]

A partnership between PCF and the MLB.

The PCF Home Run Challenge is a partnership with Major League Baseball that helps baseball fans join the fight against prostate cancer by raising money for research through monetary pledges based upon each home run hit in 60 selected games, culminating on Father's Day. The program is supported by many Major League teams, players, managers and their coaching staffs, and umpires. The participants include the following managers: Dusty Baker, Mike Scioscia, and prostate cancer survivor Joe Torre; and players: Nomar Garciaparra, Jason Giambi, Torii Hunter, and Albert Pujols.[13] Since its creation in 1997, the PCF Home Run Challenge has raised over $31 million for prostate cancer research.[14]

Athletes for a Cure[edit]

Athletes for a Cure is a fundraising and awareness program of the Prostate Cancer Foundation. The organization assists athletes in their quest to raise money for better treatments and a cure for prostate cancer. The organization is centered around events that can take place "Any Time, Any Place, Any Where," but also features many "special events" of which Athletes for a Cure is a partner, including many triathlons and races.

Golf Programs[edit]

Arnie's Army Battles Prostate Cancer is a series of one-day events built around a closest-to-the-pin contest on a par-3 hole. Arnie's Army began in 2002 and has sponsored over 1,300 events and raised more than $1.5 million in the fight again prostate cancer.[15] Arnold Palmer is a prostate cancer survivor and the honorary golf chairman of the Prostate Cancer Foundation.

Other Programs[edit]

Safeway Awareness Campaign[edit]

The Safeway Prostate Cancer Awareness and Fundraising Campaign began in the year 2000 and since then has raised over $68 million for prostate cancer research. Each June, the company's U.S. and Canadian stores give customers the chance to make donations at the checkstand when shopping at their local Safeway, Dominick's, Randalls, Tom Thumb, Vons, Pavilions or Carrs stores.


Movember is a program that takes place during the month of November where men across the world grow moustaches, all while raising awareness and money for the fight against cancer. The donations in the US from the event are split evenly between the Prostate Cancer Foundation and the Livestrong Foundation. Movember was started in Australia in 1999.[16] From 2009 to 2011 Movember donated at total of $17.57 million to the Prostate Cancer Foundation and the Livestrong Foundation.[17]

Scientific Retreat[edit]

Each year, the Prostate Cancer Foundation hosts a scientific retreat where teams of scientists and their institutions can share the results of their studies funded by the PFC. The 15th Annual Prostate Cancer Foundation Scientific Retreat was held in October 2008 in Lake Tahoe and was attended by more than 200 scientific leaders from academia, governmental agencies and the biopharmaceutical industry.


  1. ^ [1], Charity Navigator. Retrieved 2012-06-13.
  2. ^ [2], Prostate Cancer Foundation, About Us. 2012-06-13.
  3. ^ [3], Prostate Cancer Foundation, Leadership Team. Retrieved 2012-06-13.
  4. ^ [4], Prostate Cancer Foundation, Xtandi Receives FDA Approval for Prostate Cancer Patients. Retrieved 2012-08-31.
  5. ^ [5], Prostate Cancer Foundation, Food and Drug Administration Approves Abiraterone for Treatment of Men with Advanced Prostate Cancer. Retrieved 2012-08-31.
  6. ^ [6], Prostate Cancer Foundation, FDA Expands Approval for Denosumab. Retrieved 2012-08-31.
  7. ^ [7], Prostate Cancer Foundation, FDA Approves Drug Found to Prolong Lives of Melanoma Patients. Retrieved 2012-08-31.
  8. ^ [8], Prostate Cancer Foundation, Research & Grants. Retrieved 2012-06-13.
  9. ^ [9], Prostate Cancer Foundation, Research Strategy. Retrieved 2012-06-13.
  10. ^ [10], Prostate Cancer Foundation, Challenge Awards. Retrieved 2012-06-13.
  11. ^ [11], Prostate Cancer Foundation, Young Investigator Awards. Retrieved 2012-06-13.
  12. ^ [12], Prostate Cancer Foundation, Creativity Awards. Retrieved 2012-06-13.
  13. ^ [13], Prostate Cancer Foundation, Teams and Players. Retrieved 2012-06-13
  14. ^ [14],, MLB's blue reminder on Father's Day. Retrieved 2009-07-21.
  15. ^ [15], Prostate Cancer Foundation, Arnie's Army Battles Prostate Cancer. Retrieved 2012-06-13.
  16. ^ Movember, Wikipedia,Movember
  17. ^ [16],,,, Annual Reports. Retrieved 2012-11-29.

External links[edit]

See also[edit]

  • Charlie Wilson (singer) (Wilson was successfully treated for prostate cancer and is the organization's national spokesman)