A key guiding principle of the Barbara and Maurice Deane Prostate Health and Research Center at Mount Sinai is to support cutting-edge research to increase the understanding of prostate cancer and lead to the development of innovative therapies.
An important aspect of this endeavor is translational research ---scientific research performed in the laboratory that can have direct impact on the practice of clinical medicine. One example: the exploration of gene therapy, in an ongoing collaboration with the Department of Gene and Cell Medicine has resulted in clinical trials using cytotoxic and cytokines to treat patients with advanced prostate cancer.
Simon J. Hall, MD, Director of the Barbara and Maurice Deane Prostate Health and Research Center served as a lead investigator for one of the newest treatments approved for late-stage prostate cancer, Provenge ®. Provenge® is a vaccine that uses a patient’s dendritic cells to generate an immune response that fights cancer.
Support to promote further institutional interest involves the Prostate Working Group, which is made up of clinicians and basic scientists within Mount Sinai who are involved in various aspects of prostate research. Monthly discussions and seminars attract investigators from outside the institution as well. The Working Group has established a prospective tissue bank, which harvests and stores prostate and blood samples for future research purposes.
Cooperation with industry and cooperative research groups ensures that a broad range of new diagnostic tests and therapies are available to patients. In order for large clinical trials to be implemented successfully, the Deane Center has allocated significant resources and infrastructure to provide for education of patients and their families during the clinical trial process. Patients are supported by a team of professionals, including a data manager, study coordinator, and a physician assistant.