The Birthday That Changed My Life – Forever
The Significance of February 24th
I am honored to be headed to Capitol Hill on February 24th for the 3rd consecutive year. Our advocacy group, ZERO, will be on The Hill meeting with members of Congress and the Senate, championing for increased funding for the prostate cancer research program (PCRP) – to $110 million in 2019. This would represent the third consecutive year of a $10 million funding increase; preceded by 10 years of no increases. Pictured with fellow prostate cancer survivor, U.S. Congressman Roger Williams. The PCRP produces results. In recent years, the FDA has approved three treatments for advanced prostate cancer.
As a Peer Reviewer for the PCRP, I evaluated research applications submitted to the PCRP, collaborating with prominent doctors and scientists to determine how the $100 million appropriated by congress would be spent (2018). Researchers applying propose to conduct innovative research focused on the elimination of death from prostate cancer and enhancing the well-being of patients experiencing the impact of prostate cancer. The PCRP supports ground breaking high-risk, high gain research while encouraging out-of-the-box thinking. This methodology complements the National institutes of Health (NIH) – in fact the NIH does not have the ability to do programmatic, disease-specific reviews of proposals.
The advocacy work we (ZERO Cancer) do and the PCRP peer review go hand-in-hand. It is vital to protect and grow federal funding in order to ensure researchers have resources to develop new treatments and early detection methods.
February 24th is personally significant. February 24th is my birthday. It was on February 24, 2015 when I heard the three words you never want to hear from your doctor – “you have cancer.” What a birthday present!
February 24, 2019 marks four years since my cancer diagnosis. To help me commemorate my “cancerversary,” I’d be most grateful if you would consider making a donation to ZERO – www.zerocancer.org/tomhulsey. ZERO’s mission is to end prostate cancer by advancing research, improving the lives of men and families, and inspiring action.
Increasingly cancer is being defined and targeted genetically and not, as has been traditional, by tissue of origin; an understanding of tumors beyond their cellular appearance allows us to link them with the appropriate molecular therapeutic. This is a key to draw industry investment and to get the best science across that “last mile” to the patient. It is an example of “precision medicine” in action. See my January blog, THE DAWN OF A NEW AGE IN CANCER TREATMENT .
Going forward; therapies must be more affordable. Generics can be important in improving affordability, but Pharma has many strategies to fight this loss of income. The story of the year is possibly abiraterone going generic. More non-Androgen receptor (AR) targeted therapies are needed.
About the blogger @TomHulsey
After Tom beat cancer and achieved his post-surgery goals, he turned his focus to education and advocacy. He is a Board Member at ZERO The End of Prostate Cancer, Patient & Caregiver Advocate Board Member at Cancer University, volunteered at the Baylor Scott & White Cancer Health & Wellness Center and is a Reviewer and Mentor for the DoD’s (Department of Defense) Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs.
Tom is the author of THE WINNING MINDSET THAT SAVED MY LIFE . 100% of the net proceeds from book sales will be donated to cancer research and education. The book has achieved a 5 star rating on Amazon.