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Canary’s Prostate Active Surveillance Study (PASS) receives $6.7M NCI grant to support growth of the multi-center study!

December 2, 2019

PASS was established in 2008 with funding from the Canary Foundation, demonstrating how we invest in promising early research!

“PASS was launched with six participating centers in 2008,” said PASS Deputy Director Dr. Lisa Newcomb, a Hutch cancer prevention researcher. “With this grant, we’ll be up to 11 sites. Fred Hutch is the centralized repository — specimens are sent to the Hutch from all the sites — and we have procedures for sharing the data and the specimens among the group [members] and with other researchers.”

The grant is designed to support the infrastructure of the PASS cohort, including the collection of follow-up data, management of the database and management of the biospecimen repository.

PASS participants are all early-stage prostate cancer patients who chose active surveillance, not immediate surgery or radiation, to manage their cancer. In active surveillance, patients receive regular PSA (prostate-specific antigen) testing, biopsies and digital-rectal exams to monitor whether the cancer grows or becomes more aggressive.

According to research, more than 30% of men have slow-growing prostate cancer and won’t necessarily benefit from radical treatments that can cause debilitating side effects such as urinary incontinence and impotence. Data from patients with early-stage prostate cancers who choose active surveillance can provide key insights into who’s most at risk from their cancers, and when.

Using the cohort for risk-prediction modeling, Newcomb said, could help “determine who either harbors or will progress to a bad cancer, which cancers are aggressive and which really aren’t.”

“We want to help identify the men who can go home and not worry about their cancer. We’re looking at both ends of the spectrum — making active surveillance less active and identifying the people who will benefit from treatment early.”  – Dr. Lisa Newcomb

“We are thrilled,” said Newcomb regarding the transition from Canary Foundation support to NCI funding.

Fred Hutch has had a longstanding relationship with the Canary Foundation and has been the recipient of many grants from the foundation powering work in early detection. The fifth floor of Fred Hutch’s Arnold Building, home to its Public Health Sciences Division, is named for the foundation.

At present, participating sites for PASS include the University of California, San Francisco; Stanford University; Emory University; Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center/Harvard Medical School; University of Michigan; University of Texas Health Science Center, San Antonio; Eastern Virginia Medical School; Veterans Affairs Puget Sound Health Care System; University of Washington and University of British Columbia.

Interested in PASS? Contact Dr. Lisa Newcomb or go to https://canarypass.org/

To read the full article by Diane Mapes, a staff writer at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, please go to: https://www.fredhutch.org/en/news/center-news/2019/11/prostate-cancer-study-nci-funding-grant.html

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