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Ontario-led Team Receives $4.7M from Movember to Develop Dx to Guide Prostate Cancer Treatment

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – A research team led by scientists at the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research have received a C$5 million (US$4.7 million) grant from the Movember Foundation to develop diagnostic molecular markers that physicians could use to make treatment decisions for their prostate cancer patients.

Called PRONTO, the project was funded by a Movember Team Grant that was awarded by Prostate Cancer Canada, PCC said on Tuesday.

The effort will be led by Principal Investigator John Bartlett at OICR, in Toronto, but will involve 14 co-investigators at institutions in several other provinces.

"PCC's team of international reviewers identified the team research project that is poised to have the greatest impact in prostate cancer diagnosis, treatment, or prevention," PCC President and CEO Rocco Rossi said in a statement.

The PRONTO team wants to develop a diagnostic tool to address a serious issue facing doctors who treat prostate cancer; that PSA screening identifies many cases that pose no real threat over a man's lifetime and that many men are undergoing unnecessary radical prostatectomies and other treatments. The researchers plan to develop molecular diagnostic tests to better predict which men are likely to develop aggressive cancer and to develop personalized treatments for early cancers.

The multidisciplinary PRONTO research team includes pathologists, surgeons, oncologists, biostatisticians, and computational biologists. They plan to validate their test in a large group of men who were previously diagnosed with prostate cancer to confirm its accuracy and to accelerate it toward clinical use.