Moffitt Cancer Center Recognizes Prostate Cancer Awareness Month

September 16, 2009

Tampa, FL – September is Prostate Cancer Awareness Month. Among U.S. men, prostate cancer is one of the most common types of cancer and the second leading cause of cancer death. Moffitt Cancer Center offers novel treatments, clinical trials and hope for prevention for those suffering from the disease or at risk for it.              

Physician experts in prostate cancer include:

            *Julio M. Pow-Sang, MD, Program Leader

            *Stephen G. Patterson, MD

            *Philippe E. Spiess, MD

Scientists who study health disparities related to prostate cancer include:

            *Nagi B. Kumar, PhD, RD, FADA

            *Brian M. Rivers, PhD, MPH

Prostate cancer does discriminate among men. African-Americans develop prostate cancer at an earlier age and compared to other racial groups are twice as likely to die from the disease. Moffitt is launching a phase II clinical trial designed to test a substance that may be used to reduce a man’s risk of developing prostate cancer. This study is funded by a $6 million Moffitt and University of South Florida National Center on Minority and Health Disparities Center of Excellence award.

“We’re taking this substance (isoflavones) that is found in soy and flaxseed and giving it to black men who may respond better because of their biological profile,” said Moffitt’s Nagi Kumar, Ph.D., the lead investigator on the trial. “The goal is to find these people at higher risk and target intervention for them.”

Moffitt is recruiting men for the prevention trial. Here’s the information on eligibility:

  • African-American and white men between the ages of 30 and 80 with a diagnosis of localized prostate cancer
  • No prior or current therapy for prostate cancer or history of cancer except non-melanoma skin cancer
  • Prostatectomy scheduled between four and six weeks after registration for the trial

While minority participation in clinical trials is traditionally low, Kumar is encouraging black men in particular to help scientists relieve the burden of prostate cancer in their communities.

“This is an important, first-of-its-kind trial and although it may not help him personally since he already has prostate cancer, it may help his sons and other black men,” said Kumar. For more information about the trial, call Theresa Crocker, Moffitt’s research project manager, at (813) 745-6046.

Treating prostate cancer has gotten a lot more sophisticated. At Moffitt, robots are now working right alongside surgeons helping them perform minimally invasive procedures on prostate patients. Dr. Julio Pow-Sang, the program leader for genitourinary oncology at Moffitt, is a leader in the use of this technology. The tiny incisions lead to faster recovery for patients with minimal pain and discomfort.

Pow-Sang and other doctors at Moffitt are educating the public about prevention, diagnosis and treatment for prostate cancer at several events this month:

  •  Prostate Cancer: What You Know Might Save Your Life

            Saturday, Sept.19

            9 a.m. – 12 p.m.

           Stabile Research Building – Ferman Family Conference Room

           Moffitt Cancer Center

  • Prostate Cancer Discussion

            Monday, Sept. 21

            1 – 2 p.m.

            New Tampa YMCA

            16221 Compton Drive

            Tampa, FL 33602


Both events are free and open to the public.

About H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center & Research Institute

Located in Tampa, Florida, Moffitt Cancer Center  is an NCI Comprehensive Cancer Center - a designation that recognizes Moffitt’s excellence in research and contributions to clinical trials, prevention and cancer control. Moffitt currently has 15 affiliates in Florida, one in Georgia and two in Puerto Rico. Additionally, Moffitt is a member of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network, a prestigious alliance of the country’s leading cancer centers, and is listed in U.S. News & World Report as one of “America’s Best Hospitals” for cancer. Moffitt’s sole mission is to contribute to the prevention and cure of cancer.