The Battles We Fight 

Why are we here? Our whole reason for being is to save lives from prostate cancer, to preserve quality of life, and one day, to prevent this disease altogether. As you can see, from all of the research we've covered in this issue of Discovery, we're doing our utmost to beat this disease every day, using all of the weapons we can think of. What you may not be able to see is that it's always a challenge, and sometimes even a struggle, to maintain our great momentum - because in addition to fighting prostate cancer, we are fighting cuts in funding.

At the Brady, long recognized by U.S.News & World Report and others as the country's finest urological institute, our world-class physicians and scientists are battling prostate cancer in the clinic, the operating room, and the laboratory. For decades, we have advanced the field of prostate cancer research despite decreases in federal support. Even current grants from the National Institutes of Health, the National Cancer Institute, and the Department of Defense, are being funded at much lower levels than originally anticipated.

At the Brady, we're doing our utmost to beat prostate cancer every day, using all of the weapons we canthink of. The challenge is that, in addition to fighting prostate cancer, we're also fighting cuts in funding.

Such uncertainty can have serious consequences. Recently, one scientist, on the verge of tackling a novel treatment for advanced prostate cancer using gene therapy, was forced to hire his research fellow for six months as opposed to a full year - when, in fact, he needed three years to complete thework. Fortunately, this scientist didn't have to make some of the choices he was dreading, and he didn't lose his essential staff. His dreams and program were rescued by the kindness of a generous donor.

The fact is, working for a cure for prostate cancer is an expensive endeavor. We cannot do it without you. Our new chairman, Dr. Alan Partin, in the great tradition started by Dr. Patrick Walsh, is forging ahead boldly with new drives to help us achieve important objectives. Among themost vital of these are:

  • Finding the genes. We are dedicated to unraveling the genetic puzzle that causes prostate cancer, and using this information to develop novel ways to cure and prevent the disease in the sons and grandsons of our patients.
  • Improving diagnosis. For the last decade,we have led the fight for early diagnosis, and worked to refine PSA. But many cancers are still missed, and many men stil lundergo biopsies they don't need. We are committed to research that will make diagnosis more accurate - finding more reliable biomarkers for prostate cancer.
  • Learning from our patients. We are grateful stewards of a tremendous asset - the data archive of the 15,000 men who have been treated for prostate cancer at the Brady. Our scientists have discovered so much from the demographic information, pathological records, and follow-up data of these patients, but there is much more to learn from this unparalleled resource.
  • Recruiting and keeping the best and brightest faculty. This is the only way we will continue to lead the world inground breaking prostate cancer research.
  • Bringing our scattered scientists and faculty under one roof. Our faculty is spreadout, sprinkled among three buildings on a sprawling campus - which makes seamless collaboration more challenging than it should be.

In this difficult battle against a powerful enemy, we cannot afford to miss any opportunity. With your help, we will remain in steadfast pursuit of our goal of defeating prostate cancer. For more information on how you can help win this war by making a gift to the Brady Urological Institute, please call (410) 516-6160.

WANT TO LEARN MORE? To find earlier issues of Discovery and Prostate Cancer Update- and much more - checkout our website: http://urology.jhu.edu


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