Metastatic Treatment Resistant Prostate Cancer Dream Team - Stand Up to Cancer

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SU2C–Prostate Cancer Foundation Prostate Dream Team:
Targeting Adaptive Pathways in Metastatic Castration-Resistant Prostate Cancer

Grant Term: January 2013−December 2016

Prostate cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer among men in North America. The SU2C–Prostate Cancer Foundation (PCF) Prostate Dream Team hypothesizes that treatment for one type of the disease, metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer, becomes ineffective when certain cellular pathways are activated. The team is working to find ways to shut down these pathways and preserve the effectiveness of the treatment, thus improving outcomes for patients.


Prostate cancer, the most commonly diagnosed cancer among men in North America, is generally treated with hormonal therapy. If the cancer spreads to other sites in the body and no longer responds to hormonal therapy, it is called metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer (mCRPC). It is treated with drugs such as abiraterone acetate and enzalutamide, which target androgen function, and docetaxel and cabazitaxel, which target microtubule dynamics.

The chemotherapies currently used to treat this cancer have significant side effects. Further, nearly all patients with mCRPC develop resistance to these treatments, resulting in significant pain, suffering, and death. The goal of the SU2C–PCF Prostate Dream Team is to improve the outcomes for men with mCRPC who are no longer responsive to treatment by understanding the causes of resistance and developing treatments to overcome them.

The team has explored the idea that resistance is a result of the prostate cancer cells using common cellular responses, called adaptive pathways, to elude current therapies. The team members believe that by identifying these pathways and inhibiting them, they will be able to overcome treatment resistance and profoundly improve survival and quality of life for patients.


The top scientists and researchers on the SU2C–PCF Prostate Dream Team come from a variety of backgrounds and disciplines, which leads them to great insights upon collaboration. Learn more about the SU2C–PCF Prostate Dream Team.

Dream Team Members

Eric J. Small, MD
University of California, San Francisco Comprehensive Cancer Center

Owen Witte, MD
University of California, Los Angeles

Tomasz M. Beer, MD
Oregon Health & Science University Knight Cancer Institute
Principal Investigator

Christopher P. Evans, MD
University of California, Davis
Principal Investigator

Martin E. Gleave, MD
University of British Columbia
Principal Investigator

Hsing-Jien Kung, PhD
University of California, Davis
Principal Investigator

Joshua M. Stuart, PhD
University of California, Santa Cruz
Principal Investigator

Roy Doumani, JD, MBA
University of California, Los Angeles

Art Kern
American Media Inc., Yahoo! Board Member

Kelly McNeill
University of California, San Francisco
Project Manager

“We are incredibly excited about this project. Despite an unprecedented increase in the number of drugs that have been approved for the treatment of advanced prostate cancer, our patients still develop resistance to these agents, and still die from progressive disease. This project will help identify the causes of resistance in an individual patient, and help us tailor therapy for that patient.”

Eric J. Small, MD
University of California, San Francisco Comprehensive Cancer Center


Stand Up To Cancer’s research projects are designed to foster collaborative, swift translational research. The hallmarks of these efforts include rigorous application and selection procedures, sufficient funding to allow scientists to focus on the objectives of the grant, and reviews by senior scientists every six months. These reviews help the investigators capitalize on the latest findings, address potential roadblocks, and collaboratively evolve as the science requires. Please click below to see summaries of research results so far for the SU2C–PCF Prostate Dream Team.



A Basal Stem Cell Signature Identifies Aggressive Prostate Cancer Phenotypes
Smith BA, Stuart JM, Witte ON, et al. (2015)
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 112(47):E6544-E6552.


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