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2022 ZERO-PCF VAlor Young Investigator Award

ZERO – The End of Prostate Cancer and The Prostate Cancer Foundation (PCF) announced the 2022 ZERO-PCF VAlor Young Investigator Award for innovative research into the causes of racial disparities in prostate cancer and potential strategies to reduce them.

The $225,000 ZERO-PCF VAlor Young  Investigator Award was awarded to Jun Gong, MD, of Cedars-Sinai Medical Center for his project entitled A Nationwide Study on Systemic Treatment Patterns in Black Patients with Metastatic Castration-Resistant Prostate Cancer (mCRPC).

2022 ZERO, John & Amy Phelan, and Alec & Kelly Gores – PCF VAlor Young Investigator Award

Jun Gong, MD
Cedars-Sinai Medical Center
Mentors: Stephen Freedland, MD, Edwin Posadas, MD
A Nationwide VA Study on Systemic Treatment Patterns in Black Patients with Metastatic Castration-Resistant Prostate Cancer

Description: Prostate cancer racial disparities remain a significant problem, with Black patients more than twice as likely to die from prostate cancer compared with White patients. Meanwhile, several clinical trials in metastatic castration resistant prostate cancer (mCRPC) have found that Black patients do as well or better than White patients. These clinical trials, however, have been limited by inclusion of small numbers of Black patients. Dr. Jun Gong is investigating treatment patterns and disparities in a nationwide Veterans Affairs (VA) cohort.

In this study, Dr Gong and colleagues will use data from over 10 million Veterans in the VA to generate the largest known cohort of Black patients with mCRPC to assess non-biological factors of race that can drive disparities in systemic therapy outcomes between Black and White patients.The frequency of use of standard mCRPC drugs and differences in time to initiation of first-line therapy in mCRPC will be compared by race. How differences in treatment patterns impact survival outcomes between Black and White patients with mCRPC will be investigated.

If successful, this project will determine how differences in treatment patterns contribute to racial disparities in systemic therapy outcomes using the largest nationwide VA cohort of Black and White patients with mCRPC to date. 

What this means to patients:  Disparities in prostate cancer mortality are a major problem. The contributors to these disparities are multifactorial and complex but include unequal access to health care.  Dr. Gong and team will use a large VA data cohort to investigate how differences in treatment patterns and time to treatment initiation contribute to prostate cancer disparities.  These findings will support strategies to improve access to standard and novel prostate cancer treatments while ensuring timely initiation of such treatments in Black patients, to reduce prostate cancer disparities.

Read the YIA Press Release.

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