Congress approves Defense spending bill containing $1,6 million for pioneering research to improve prostate cancer imaging

Boston 21 December 2009The United States Congress has approved $1,6 million for funding of the groundbreaking research programme, initiated by AdMeTech Foundation, a non-profit organisation, aimed at developing novel imaging technologies for early prostate cancer detection, which in turn is critical for saving lives and designing customized patient care, including the most effective and the least invasive approach. With support from Reps. Michael Capuano (D-MA), Elijah Cummings (D-MD), Diane Watson (D-CA), and Senator John Kerry (D-MA), United States Congress approved this legislation and cleared it for President Obama's signature.


Dr. Leonard Marks, Professor of Urology at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), stated: "I am delighted to see growing congressional support for AdMeTech Foundation, which has been providing international leadership in the advancement of prostate imaging for over a decade. If we could see prostate cancer - its location, extent and aggressiveness - we would redefine patient care."

Dr. Martin Pomper, Professor of Radiology at Johns Hopkins, who has been funded by the AdMeTech's programme for his pioneering research in molecular imaging of prostate cancer, expressed his excitement: "AdMeTech Foundation helped consolidate the focus of my research on prostate cancer and provided support at nearly every step of the way, from developing several key ideas to providing funding for their implementation."

He added: "Support from the AdMeTech Foundation has enabled us not only to bring one imaging agent to the clinic, but has also allowed us to keep open our laboratory pipeline of new agents for molecular imaging, which may help identify earlier stages of prostate cancer."

Dr. Pomper's work has recently been published in peer-reviewed medical literature and resulted in the development of one of the most promising experimental imaging tools available today for early detection of prostate cancer. Further funding will make it possible for him to investigate the ability of these novel imaging agents, which visualize specific molecular markers of prostate cancer, to differentiate aggressive from harmless disease strains, to eliminate unnecessary procedures and to guide treatment.

AdMeTech Foundation's research programme had facilitated advancement of prostate imaging through assisting Dr. Pomper, Dr. Marks and other investigators in establishing multi-disciplinary, multi-institutional, international collaborations in radiology, urology, pathology, as well as medical, molecular and radiation oncology.

Dr. Marks stated: "Congressional support will make it possible to help answer important questions about diagnosis and treatment of prostate cancer. Funding to study imaging modalities in a clinical setting is sorely needed at present. As surgeons recommending clinical care, we critically need a reliable tool for imaging of prostate cancer, when it is still contained to the organ and can be cured or managed in the least invasive way. At my institution, we are exploring the role of prostate imaging in Active Surveillance, which is one of the most important and under-utilized approaches to management of early, localized, non-aggressive prostate cancer today. Active Surveillance with imaging may replace unnecessary, traumatic and costly treatment for many patients."

The funding, contained in the Fiscal Year 2010 Department of Defense Appropriations Bill, will support cutting-edge research on imaging for prostate cancer at leading medical institutions, such as Johns Hopkins University and UCLA. "Our Nation faces a prostate cancer crisis. This epidemic strikes as many as 1 in 6 American men. While prostate cancer is curable when detected early, it remains the second most lethal cancer in men. While this disease is even more common than breast cancer, which affects 1 in 8 women, men do not have accurate diagnostic tools similar to life-saving mammograms. We are deeply grateful to members of Congress who have assured our ability to continue the research initiative to create and test accurate imaging tools for improved early diagnosis and treatment of prostate cancer", stated Dr. Faina Shtern, CEO and founder of the AdMeTech Foundation.

AdMeTech is a non-profit foundation based in Boston with a mission to end prostate cancer as a patient care crisis and socio-economic problem. The foundation is focused on developing accurate and affordable diagnostic tools for early detection and treatment of prostate cancer through groundbreaking programmes in research, education, and public awareness in order to arm physicians with diagnostic tools for men, similar to those women currently have for breast cancer; end the era of blind prostate cancer care and create the future of image-guided, minimally invasive, and precisely targeted diagnosis and treatment, which can be performed in outpatient clinics with minimal patient discomfort, complications, and cost.

AdMeTech's research programme is funded by the Department of Defense's Telemedicine and Advanced Technologies Research Center.

Source: AdMeTech Foundation

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