The co-authors of Invasion of the Prostate Snatchers, blog alternate posts weekly. We invite you to post your comments.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

What’s Going On at the Prostate Cancer Research Institute

In 2016, the PCRI will celebrate its 20th anniversary.  The PCRI, founded in 1996 by Dr. Stephen Strum and I, was originally funded by a generous grant from the Daniel Freeman Medical Foundation.  This initial grant was spent on hiring Harry Pinchot, aka Helpline Harry. The helpline format adopted at the PCRI was modeled after the work of Lloyd Ney, the founder of PAACT.  PCRI’s helpline presently has four counselors: Jonathan Levy, Silvia Cooper, Bob Each and Charles Kokaska, all who provide unbiased prostate-cancer-related information, free of charge to the public.

PCRI started doing patient-focused conferences in 2006. Since 2006 this has become an annual meeting. The conference has grown in stature through the years by attracting world-renowned prostate cancer experts who are invited to present the latest information on optimal diagnosis and therapy. DVDs of the presentations are distributed throughout the world.  Partly due to the wonderful moderating presence of Dr. Mark Moyad, the conference has grown to be the largest patient-orientated prostate cancer conference in the world.

PCRI makes its biggest impact via its online presence by providing articles and blogs authored by prostate cancer experts from every specialty. But more importantly, PCRI is presently in entering into a new phase, the development of the SHADEs of Blue organizational format, a methodology to help patients sort through the overwhelming amount of information by reducing it into a more manageable bite-sized format.  As we all know, the internet has solved the problem of getting access to information.  Now the biggest problem patients face is information overload. How does one sort through the deluge of unfiltered information?

The development of the SHADES of Blue program will address this problem of information overload by segregating prostate cancer information into five large categories. Three are for the newly-diagnosed, Low, Intermediate and High-Risk, and two are for men with either relapsed disease or metastatic, hormone-resistant disease. The SHADES program is a big undertaking for a small organization like the PCRI, especially considering that we have expanded our conference schedule by now doing two conferences annually with the addition of the Mid-Year Update in March.

Looking to the immediate future, I never been more excited by the PCRI’s potential for making a positive impact in the lives of men with prostate cancer.   If my suspicious are correct, PCRI’s visibility is truly on the verge of taking a big jump.

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