Prostate Cancer Research

In the Pipeline and Under Study

Roswell Park maintains one of the first Clinical Research Centers in the nation that focuses specifically on the development of new cancer treatments. Clinical research trials are now available to patients with all stages of prostate cancer. 

Vitamin D Therapy

In one of the highest nationally funded programs at Roswell Park, Donald Trump, MD, President and CEO of RPCI — and a practicing medical oncologist — and his RPCI colleague Candace Johnson, PhD, Wallace Chair in Translational Research, are analyzing the potential of vitamin D for cancer prevention and treatment. Dr. Trump has significant experience with the clinical aspects of vitamin D in the treatment of solid tumors and has performed more cancer clinical trials with vitamin D than anyone else in the world.

This research has demonstrated that those with low levels of vitamin D are at a greater risk for cancer. In addition, studies have shown significant delay in cancer cell growth, delay in the progression of tumors and prolonged survival when vitamin D is incorporated into treatment.

There is a lot of evidence that if you expose cancer cells to high-dose vitamin D along with chemotherapy, it will kill cancer cells. Vitamin D and chemo are better together than alone. - Donald Trump, MD, President and CEO of RPCI

MEAL Study

The Men’s Eating and Living (MEAL) Study is a prostate cancer clinical trial study that aims to explore and understand the correlation between the dietary practices of men and prostate cancer. Research has shown that a diet high in plant products (e.g., fruits, vegetables, grains) may help decrease the risk of prostate cancer, whereas a diet high in animal products (e.g., meat, dairy) is associated with an increased risk.

James R. Marshall, PhD, Senior Vice President for Cancer Prevention and Population Sciences and a co-author of the MEAL study, says dietary change can be an important tool for prostate cancer patients on active surveillance, giving them a way to actively decrease their risk of ever needing treatment for their prostate cancer.

North Carolina-Louisiana Prostate Cancer Project (PCaP)

The North Carolina-Louisiana Prostate Cancer Project (PCaP) is the largest study ever conducted to identify the causes of racial differences in prostate cancer mortality. African American men are 50 percent more likely than Caucasian men to be diagnosed with prostate cancer, and 2 - 3 times more likely to die from the disease. Funded with a $14 million grant from the U.S. Department of Defense, the seven-year project combined the forces of 13 institutions nationwide, led by James L. Mohler, MD, Chair of Urology. To determine whether the racial differences in mortality rates are due to biological or health care differences, study volunteers are providing personal information and biological samples that may contain the clues researchers need to close this gap. More than 2,000 men were enrolled and research continues with nine additional grants funded thus far.

On the Horizon

Our researchers and scientists are committed to enhancing prevention, detection and treatment methods for this disease even further so that we may spare the many men affected each year from the stress of diagnosis, the effects of treatment and pain of metastatic cancer. Some of the research on the horizon includes:

  • Identifying serum biomarkers in the blood that are more sensitive and specific than PSA and that, either independently or in conjunction with PSA, will allow for more accurate diagnosis and management of clinically relevant prostate cancer.
  • Using circulating tumor cells (CTCs) in the blood as a predictor for cancer recurrence and survival in patients with metastatic disease so that we can tailor treatments based on either high or low risk of recurrence.
  • Evaluating the behavior of proteins called Src-family kinases (SFKs), which seem to play a major role in the reemergence of cancer after hormone therapy, to determine whether drugs that inhibit SFKs — including a new medication called KX2-391 — can curb prostate cancer cell recurrence in the lab.
  • Inhibiting the conversion of weak adrenal androgens and cholesterol into strong testicular androgens using newly approved agents (such as abiraterone) or newer approaches and agents that interfere with testosterone production in other ways.

Participate In a Clinical Trial

Clinical research studies are available to patients with all stages of prostate cancer. Search available clinical research studies for prostate cancer, or call 1-877-ASK-RPCI (1-877-275-7724).