The UCLA Prostate Cancer Program is committed to rapidly translating basic research from the laboratory to the clinic in order to advance care for men with prostate cancer. Prostate cancer is a disease that, when diagnosed and treated early, is highly curable - and one for which there are many different treatment options, each with its own pros and cons when it comes to efficacy and quality of life impact. UCLA is among the nation's most active centers for prostate cancer treatment, and few centers are as comprehensive as UCLA’s Prostate Cancer Program, which not only offers the full spectrum of treatment options, but also integrates research with clinical care.
The UCLA Prostate Cancer Program, in partnership with the Institute for Urologic Oncology (IUO) and the Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center, is conducting pioneering basic research, cutting-edge translational research and offering newly-designed clinical trials for prostate cancer by internationally regarded researchers. Examples of our research include:
Basic science research conducted by Robert Reiter, MD, Director of the UCLA Prostate Cancer Program, led to the discovery of Prostate Stem Cell Antigen (PSCA), a gene found more extensively in cancerous prostate cells than in normal prostate cells. Dr. Reiter's research is now focusing on the development of PSCA monoclonal antibodies to prevent tumors from growing or spreading to other parts of the body, and shows great promise in the treatment of advanced prostate cancer.
UCLA Urology Chair, Mark S. Litwin, MD, MPH, focuses his academic work on quality, outcomes, cost-efficiency, and access for patients with urological diseases, particularly prostate cancer. This research touches every aspect of the challenges we face in the new era of health care reform. Dr. Litwin is the principal architect of the national movement toward patient-centered outcomes in urology. He also led the inaugural effort to define an infrastructure for assessing quality of care, a model now used by policy makers and investigators across the country. He developed and validated quality-of-care indicators for prostate cancer that have been adopted by the federal government. Dr. Litwin is director of IMPACT, a statewide prostate cancer treatment program serving low-income, uninsured men in California, which is funded by the California Department of Public Health.
Christopher Saigal, MD, MPH, UCLA urologist, conducts research into ways to improve medical decision making for men with prostate cancer. Collaborating with researchers from social sciences, he has tested unique software approaches to help patients incorporate their goals and values into complex decisions regarding prostate cancer treatment. He has also led large data analyses evaluating the quality, cost and technology trends related to prostate cancer care.
Andrew Goldstein, PhD, conducts research that is at the intersection of prostate cancer, stem cell biology and metabolism. His lab is doing research to understand the molecular triggers that cause a normal prostate cell to turn into a prostate cancer cell. The laboratory uses in vitro models of prostate glands in a dish, as well as in vivo models where benign human prostate cells can be converted into distinct stages of malignancy in response to oncogene expression. Recently, Dr. Goldstein’s group has uncovered a role for prostatic inflammation in the expansion of luminal epithelial progenitor cells that can serve as target cells for transformation. Current work is investigating metabolic regulators of prostate progenitor cells and cancer initiation.
As a result of UCLA’s commitment to translational research, The UCLA Prostate Cancer Program is the only program in Southern California and one of only two programs in the western U.S. to be designated a Specialized Program of Research Excellence (SPORE) by the National Cancer Institute. With this distinction and funding, UCLA is able to enhance our program's ability to consistently integrate laboratory and clinical researchers in a joint effort to improve detection, treatment and prevention of prostate cancer.