The main purpose of the Developmental Research Program (DRP) of the Pacific Northwest (PNW) Prostate Cancer SPORE is to support innovative translational prostate cancer (PC) research pilot projects aimed at reducing the morbidity and mortality due to PC and at improving the survival and quality of life of PC patients. During the initial funding of the DRP, substantial progress has been made in the development and implementation of this unique and successful research program. During the first four years of the DRP, 46 pilot project proposals were submitted and 19 projects were funded (total of $798,100.00 direct funding). Ten publications and 7 grants have resulted to date from the DRP. For this continuation grant, the DRP program will continue to provide a mechanism to quickly respond to new translational research opportunities that may develop within the SPORE environments of participating institutions: Vancouver General Hospital (VGH) Prostate Centre in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada;the University of Washington (UW), the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center (FHCRC), and the Institute for Systems Biology (ISB) in Seattle, WA;and, Oregon Health Sciences University (OHSU) in Portland, OR. Support provided by the DRP will continue to allow innovative pilot projects to be initiated, with the expectation that the projects will mature sufficiently so that they can successfully compete for additional funding from sources either within or outside the SPORE grant. This program also attracts more senior investigators with diverse scientific expertise and new investigators into translational PC research.
The specific aims for the DRP are: 1) Solicit innovative, translational prostate cancer research study proposals for pilot funding on an annual basis; 2) Convene a panel of experts to provide rigorous scientific review of pilot study proposals following NIH guidelines for selection of the most promising research projects; 3) Provide pilot study funding for 1-2 years for the most innovative investigator-initiated ideas for research in all areas of prostate cancer research (including etiology, prevention, diagnosis, biological mechanisms, genetics, and treatment) with a special emphasis on projects that address issues relevant to advancing knowledge of disease aggressiveness or metastasis;and, 4) Allow the SPORE leadership to target funds to specific areas that are especially likely to advance the translational research goals of the PNW prostate cancer SPORE.
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