In 2006, we began to fund explorations into different approaches of diagnosis and treatment of prostate cancer. Our researchers collaborated with outside investigators to characterize the molecular profile of a man’s particular cancer and selected treatments based on those results. We published the first two examples of this approach.  One of the most interesting results is that they found that drugs approved for other types of cancers also are active against prostate cancer. Many of our patients responded favorably to these drugs.

We are collaborating with Caris Life Sciences and Foundation Medicine to further exploit this approach. We think this molecular approach currently offers the best chance to improve the treatment of advanced prostate cancer.

It is often assumed that prostate cancer is either limited to the prostate gland or it is widespread. This assumption has been supported by the fact that many newly diagnosed prostate cancer patients have prostate cancer cells in their blood and bone marrow. One indication that this assumption is not correct is the finding that PSA-positive prostate cancer cells cannot set down roots and grow in bone or other organs.

A better way to approach this problem is to develop better tools for finding metastatic prostate cancer very early and to treat these metastatic sites with curative intent. We worked with a series of radiologists to help improve imaging and diagnosis. Wehave worked closely with Dr. Sodee at perfecting the ProstaScint scan. When the Combidex scan became available and looked like a major improvement, we worked with Dr. Barentsz to evaluate that approach. Over the past several years, we have worked with Dr. Bravo at Sand Lake Imaging as he has perfected the Feraheme MRI. This work is now coming to fruition and he is able to detect lymph node metastases less than 5 mm (0.2 inches). The result of all of this work is that many men with PSA recurrence after surgery or radiation have cancer limited to the lymph nodes in the abdomen and pelvis and have a second chance at a cure.

The overall impact of molecular profiling and imaging has led to a dramatic drop in the death rate from prostate cancer. We are very excited to be on the cutting edge of this revolution in the treatment of prostate cancer.

Case Reports in Oncology Vol. 5, No. 1, 2012
Successful Treatment of Advanced Metastatic Prostate Cancer Following Chemotherapy Based on Molecular Profiling
Abstract | Full Text

Case Reports in Oncology Vol. 7, No.1, 2014
Metastatic Cancer of the Cowper's Gland:  A Rare Cancer Managed Successfully by Molecular Profiling