Roswell Park Receives $2.5 Million Grant for Follow-up Study on Diet and Prostate Cancer

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Buffalo, NY - Roswell Park Cancer Institute (RPCI) today announced the awarding of a $2.5 million National Cancer Institute grant to study the relationship between dietary changes and the advancement of prostate cancer. James Mohler, MD, Senior Vice President for Translational Research, Chair of Urologic Oncology and a co-leader of the Prostate Program, and James Marshall, PhD, Senior Vice President for Cancer Prevention and Population Sciences, are co-investigators of the five-year study.

The Men's Eating and Living (MEAL) study will look at an expected total of 460 men, half of which will be actively coached, while the other half will serve as control subjects. All subjects will be under active surveillance by their doctors for monitoring of lower-risk, localized prostate cancer. Active surveillance refers to a treatment program utilizing frequent PSA tests and other non-invasive procedures, while reserving intervention with surgery, radiation, or other therapies until the patient chooses treatment or shows evidence of disease progression.

The MEAL study is a continuation of a pilot program completed recently. The pilot study was conducted at four clinical sites for the Cancer and Leukemia Group B (CALGB), which is a cooperative network of research sites and hospitals of which Roswell Park Cancer Institute is a member. The pilot study found men who were actively coached over the telephone about making dietary changes actually did make the suggested modifications, while those who received only written instructions did not. The full MEAL study will also be conducted through CALGB and will open to new enrollment in Spring 2010.

The study aims to show if men change their diet from the high-fat, meat-intensive diet common in America to one emphasizing increased vegetable intake, particularly cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, Brussels sprouts and cabbage, it might be possible to alter the course of their disease. The investigators hypothesize this diet will enable some patients to delay or avoid more invasive methods of treatment such as surgery and radiation therapy.

“This study will help both cancer patients and their doctors understand whether or not dietary changes have any value in the course of treatment,” said Dr. Marshall. Since the patients in this trial will have cancer at what is believed to be its earliest stages, the impact of this intervention will have implications for treatment as well as for management of prostate cancer.

Other participating centers in the CALGB study include University of California at San Diego, Southeast Medical Oncology Consortium, Ohio State University, Memorial Sloan-Kettering, Yale University, University of California at San Francisco, Washington University, Johns Hopkins University, the Arthur Smith Institute of Long Island Jewish Hospital, and University of Pittsburgh.

For more information about the Prostate Club for Men, visit http://www.prostateclub.com/. To learn more about the Western New York chapter of Women Against Prostate Cancer, call 1-877-ASK-RPCI (1-877-725-7724). The mission of Roswell Park Cancer Institute (RPCI) is to understand, prevent and cure cancer. RPCI, founded in 1898, was one of the first cancer centers in the country to be named a National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer center and remains the only facility with this designation in Upstate New York. The Institute is a member of the prestigious National Comprehensive Cancer Network, an alliance of the nation's leading cancer centers; maintains affiliate sites; and is a partner in national and international collaborative programs. For more information, visit RPCI's website at http://www.roswellpark.org, call 1-877-ASK-RPCI (1-877-275-7724) or email askrpci@roswellpark.org.

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Media Contact: 

Annie Deck-Miller, Senior Media Relations Manager
716-845-8593; annie.deck-miller@roswellpark.org