Stopping Cancer Early – The Best Possible Investment


The Canary Prostate Cancer Team Wins Department of Defense (DoD) Prostate Cancer Research Program’s Biomarker Development Award

April 30, 2014


Daniel Lin, M.D.

The Canary Prostate Cancer team, under the leadership of Dr. Dan Lin (University of Washington) and Dr. Jesse McKenney (Cleveland Clinic), received notice that they are the winning team for the Department of Defense (DoD) Prostate Cancer Research Program’s Biomarker Development Award. The award requested $2.5M over a 3-year period, to begin later this year. Competition for the award was intense, culminating in a panel interview of finalists in Washington, DC, with only one winning team selected.


The Canary team’s Prostate Active Surveillance Study (PASS) was a critical resource for this award. PASS is a multi-center clinical trial that has enrolled over 1,000 men with early-stage prostate cancer who elect to have their cancer actively monitored, donating specimens as they are being followed for 5 years. PASS is addressing the overtreament problem in prostate cancer, in which the majority of men with low-risk prostate cancer receive treatment with associated side-effects, even when their cancer would not have been life-threatening if left untreated. PASS is aiding in developing the tools to tell the difference between aggressive and indolent (not aggressive) prostate cancer to guide treatment decisions.


The overall goal of the DoD grant is to validate biomarker panels for the prediction of prostate cancer aggressiveness and bring the biomarkers into clinical use in the near term. This will give patients and physicians better decision making tools which should reduce overtreatment and identify men who may benefit from early treatment. The grant will allow the Canary team to do independent research as part of collaborations with the companies that are developing the biomarkers and to integrate the results. The collaborating companies are Genomic Health Inc., OPKO Diagnostics, and Gen-Probe/Hologic.