Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine
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Lurie Cancer Center Receives Prostate Cancer SPORE from the NCI


The Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University was awarded a five-year, $9.2 million grant renewal from the National Cancer Institute (NCI) for its continued leadership of a Specialized Programs of Research Excellence (SPORE) in Prostate Cancer.

Led by co-principal investigators Sarki Abdulkadir, MD, PhD, and Maha Hussain, MD, the multi-center consortium provides an integrated scientific environment that leverages the expertise and resources of its investigators to conduct highly translational research projects. First funded in 2001, Lurie Cancer Center’s Prostate Cancer SPORE is one of only eight in the country, and the only one in Illinois.

The Prostate Cancer SPORE brings together basic scientists, clinicians, pathologists, biostatisticians, bioinformaticians, and patient advocates to advance collaborative research projects that will be carried out by investigators at the Lurie Cancer Center, University of Chicago Comprehensive Cancer Center and NorthShore University HealthSystem. In addition, the interdisciplinary teams will design and conduct innovative clinical trials aimed at improving outcomes and overall quality of life for patients with prostate cancer. Robin Leikin, PhD, research assistant professor, is scientific administrator of the grant.

The SPOREs are a cornerstone of the NCI’s efforts to promote collaborative, translational cancer research. The projects supported by the grant will focus on two urgent issues in prostate cancer today, led by co-investigators from the Lurie Cancer Center and Northwestern Medicine with complementary basic and clinical science expertise:

  • Targeting the MYC Pathway in Prostate Cancer (Sarki Abdulkadir, MD, PhD, vice chair for Research and John T. Grayhack, MD, Professor of Urological Research at the Feinberg School of Medicine / Maha Hussain, MD, deputy director of the Lurie Cancer Center and Genevieve E. Teuton Professor of Medicine)

  • Redirecting the Sensitivity of Metastatic Castration-Resistant Prostate Cancer to Immunotherapy (Jennifer Wu, PhD, Mary and Patrick Scanlan Professor of Urology and Microbiology-Immunology / Jeffrey Sosman, MD, professor of Medicine in the Division of Hematology and Oncology)

“Our Prostate Cancer SPORE will drive important translational breakthroughs and have a major impact on prostate cancer treatment across Chicago and nationwide,” said Leonidas Platanias, MD, PhD, director of the Lurie Cancer Center and the Jesse, Sara, Andrew, Abigail, Benjamin and Elizabeth Lurie Professor of Oncology. “I want to thank Drs. Abdulkadir and Hussain for their leadership and efforts to transform scientific discoveries into new therapies for our patients.”