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By Citizen Reporter


Movember makes its mark

One of the most significant issues with prostate cancer is the inability to test a man to determine if he has an aggressive or a low-risk type of cancer. As a result too many men are dying and far too many are wrongly treated.

As a global organisation (with formal campaigns in 21 countries), Movember has developed a unique perspective into the cancer research world. It found that prostate cancer researchers often work on similar projects, unaware of or unable to work with researchers in other countries.

Historically Principal Investigators are rewarded and recognised by individual achievement, with cancer funding structures creating significant disincentives to share knowledge freely and collaborate. These funding structures have had the effect of slowing down scientific advancement and translational outcomes that matter to men diagnosed and living with prostate cancer.

In stark contrast, Movember’s Global Action Plan creates a dynamic and collaborative style of working that breaks down barriers and rewards an open-source approach to research. The hope is that this fresh approach will motivate and empower the entire research community from current leaders to young investigators to embrace a new way of working to achieve scientific advancement in prostate and testicular cancer research.

Adam Garone, Movember CEO and co-founder says: “We found that prostate cancer researchers within a country and globally weren’t working together. Often they didn’t know each other existed. This didn’t make sense to us. Now we are connecting the best minds, bringing them together on specific challenges, funding them to work together and providing them with tools to collaborate.”

In 2010, Movember took action to close the gap that existed between researchers and accelerate breakthroughs by launching the Global Action Plan (Gap). This initiative brings researchers from across the globe together to work and collaborate on specific projects. Now, three years into this ambitious project, Gap has created an unprecedented level of collaboration with hundreds of researchers from across the globe participating.

The first of the Gap projects addresses one of the most urgent issues associated with prostate cancer: better tests to determine if a man has an aggressive or a low-risk cancer.

In pursuit of a solution, Movember has assembled a team of over 150 expert researchers from across 15 countries, who are working together to examine biomarkers – from blood, urine and tissue – with the aim of developing higher quality tests to measure the aggressiveness of the disease within individual patients. Ultimately, once this is determined, patients will receive personalised and effective treatments.

Movember’s Executive Director of Programmes, Paul Villanti, says: “As a global funder of prostate and testicular cancer research, Movember is uniquely placed to implement new ways of accelerating research outcomes that benefit men diagnosed and living with prostate or testicular cancer. Unleashing prostate and testicular cancer researchers worldwide and enabling them to work together to solve critical challenges, represents a revolutionary approach to achieving faster outcomes for men.

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