Improving the outlook for prostate cancer patients

Close to 1 million men are diagnosed with prostate cancer every year, an increasing majority of whom live in the industrialised nations.

Although the chances of survival are fairly high, available treatments can have severe consequences for a man’s quality of life, including impotence and incontinence. There is currently no way of predicting whether the diagnosed cancer will be fatal or not, and so most patients prefer surgery over insecurity. Every year in Germany alone, almost 70,000 men are confronted with this agonising choice.

The Korbel group at EMBL is devising approaches to distinguish between the two courses the disease may take. They have strong indications that, by sequencing the genome of the cancer tissue, they could be able to predict which of the two possible outcomes is most likely. To confirm and refine this approach, they now need to sequence the genome of a critical mass of prostate cancer tissue; in this case, 2,000 samples. The group has therefore engaged in a collaboration with the Martini-Klinik in Hamburg, which holds the largest bio-bank of prostate cancer tissues with known patient histories.

This research aims towards a major breakthrough in prostate cancer treatment – your support will greatly accelerate this project. Your gift will pay for utilising this unique and hugely valuable resource for the real benefit of millions of affected men and their families.

We ask you to join forces with us and make a real difference in the lives of these men!