This October 13-15, the 13th Annual Meeting of the National Alliance of State Prostate Cancer Coalitions (NASPCC) met in Washington, DC on Capitol Hill. State prostate cancer organizations, including state coalitions, associations, foundations, and consortia were represented by at least one leader. Invited guests and sponsors also attended.
The first panel on advanced prostate cancer covered new treatments for advanced prostate cancer and appropriate clinical trials. After a detailed Q & A session, a second panel on genomics and genomic testing met. The presentations included information on markers.
Then Dr. James Gulley, lead Prostate Cancer Researcher at Building 10 of NIH spoke about immunotherapy. Dr. Gulley will return at next year’s meeting.
In the third panel of the day, the prostate cancer coalitions of Georgia, Arkansas, New Mexico, South Carolina, and California presented. Mr. Tom Kirk, an invited member of the Executive
Committee of NASPCC and Vice President of the California Prostate Cancer Coalition, moderated the panel. The five state leaders discussed awareness and education programs in their states and expressed a willingness to help other state coalitions as needed.
At lunch, Dr. Michael Zaragoza, President of the Delaware Prostate Cancer Coalition, talked about the current proposed United States Preventive Services Task Force guidelines for PSA testing.
The group later heard Dr. Ashley Ross, a Urologist/Oncologist from Dallas and formerly of Johns Hopkins, discuss important advances in diagnosis and treatment. Dr. Ross’s discussion included genomic testing, early and advanced prostate cancer, and the 2017 results of clinical trials.
Attendees also heard from Mark D. Vieth, Coordinator for the Defense Health Research Consortium (DHRC), who spoke about the urgent need to keep the Congressional Directed Medical Research Program (CDMRP) in place. NASPCC is a signatory of the letter asking that the CDMRP remain in place, and NASPCC joined the DHRC by vote after this year’s Annual Meeting.
The group then heard from panelists who discussed new products and advances benefiting patients with prostate cancer. These included CyberKnife and hydrogel spacer for men undergoing radiation therapy for prostate cancer. A company offering free genetic testing at various centers in the US also spoke.
The group elected its 2017-2018 officers: Merel Nissenberg of California, President; Johnny Payne of South Carolina, Vice-President; Donald Lynam of Kentucky, Treasurer; and Jan Marfyak of New Mexico, Secretary. LaTanya Patton of Missouri is again Director-at-Large. These five officers comprise the Executive Committee, along with Tom Kirk as Invited Member.
The 2017-2018 Board of Directors are the officers named above along with Robert Johnson (Wyoming), Alvin Chin (Virginia), Paul Kradel (West Virginia), Mary Anderson (North Carolina), Dave Hulbert (Minnesota), Ira Baxter (Tennessee), Michael Zaragoza, M.D. (Delaware), and Sanford Jeames (Texas).
Saturday evening NASPCC held a cocktail awards reception. Robert Johnson of Wyoming gave a talk entitled “Why We Are Here,” and then Dave Hulbert of Minnesota talked about his journey as an advanced prostate cancer patient. The group presented two awards: the Georgia Prostate Cancer Coalition won Most Outstanding State Prostate Cancer Coalition of 2017, and Kathy Meade of Virginia received a service award. Guests included the Chief Counsel for Senator Roy Blunt (Missouri) and the Executive Director of the Vietnam Veterans of America. Merel Nissenberg received a surprise crystal award of appreciation.
On the last morning of the meeting, Tom Kirk gave a detailed discussion on “The New Workplan” adopted by the Board on July 18. Andrew Chesler of CancerCare also spoke about a number of emotional and physical issues facing prostate cancer patients and caregivers, which was very helpful in addressing a topic often overlooked at prostate cancer meetings.
The meeting concluded with an open discussion on participating state prostate cancer organizations, co-branding issues, and goals. The group is especially grateful to Tiffany Razzo, who served as staff during the meeting. Next year, the group will meet October 12-14.