President Barack Obama recently received a Prostate Specific Antigen test to screen for prostate cancer during his yearly physical. White House physician Dr. Jeffrey C. Kuhlman’s report, which was released October 31st, said the test was performed after the President made an ‘informed patient request.’
The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recently recommended against PSA-based screening for prostate cancer earlier this month, which they said can do more harm than good. Yet the commander-in-chief felt it was important enough to ask for the test personally.
This begs the question: If the President of the United States who has the Country’s best doctors and most current information at his disposal, chooses the PSA test, why shouldn’t all men have the same choice?
Obama is fortunate to have the means and knowledge to ask his doctor for a PSA test but if the USPSTF recommends against the test, millions of other men might not be as lucky. The test is not perfect but is currently the easiest and cheapest method of detecting prostate gland abnormalities. We urge you to take action to preserve patients’ choice and save lives.
Please be sure to submit comments to the USPSTF as soon as possible before Nov. 8. Links to the USPSTF comments form, as well as pre-written letters to Congress and the media are available at the AACU PSA Test Action Center.
Bellicum Pharmaceuticals, Inc. today announced that the Company received notice of a $5.7 million company commercialization award from the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas (“CPRIT”). Bellicum was the only company recommended for funding in this second round of the commercialization award program. The award will fund personnel, manufacturing, and clinical testing of Bellicum’s CaspaCIDe™ therapy, which promises to substantially improve outcomes for late stage cancer patients.
CPRIT was established to expedite cancer research innovation and commercialization and to enhance access to evidence‐based prevention programs and services throughout the State. Company commercialization awards are a critical part of the Institute’s initiative to support the advancement of the most promising opportunities towards regulatory approval and market launch. The State has announced more than $500 million in awards and matching funds for innovative cancer research and prevention programs.
The Vanguard Urologic Institute and it’s director, Dr. Kevin Slawin, are featured in a February 28th article of HealthLeaders Media for our adoption of touch screen tablets, kiosk and patient portals in the routine care of our patients. Eighty-nine percent of physicians polled in the 2011 HealthLeaders Industry Survey say they have or will have electronic health records in place within two years, what many consider the first step in streamlining the check-in process. Since our opening in 2008, we have utilized a self-service patient check-in kiosk that integrates with existing software, captures consent signatures/HIPAA forms, and enables our patients to update personal health information.
Bellicum Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a company developing novel therapies that can be precisely controlled after delivery, today announced the appointment of four new members to its Clinical Advisory Board (CAB). The new appointments enhance the range and depth of expertise of the CAB, which provides medical and strategic guidance for the company's product development and commercialization activities that include two programs in clinical trials. The announcement coincides with the launch of the company's newly designed website, www.bellicum.com.
Dr. Kevin Slawin, who specializes in the screening, diagnosis and treatment of Prostate Cancer began using the PCA3Plus® test from Bostwick Labs that detects PCA3, a specific gene that is highly expressed in prostate cancer. No other human tissues express PCA3.
“We are pleased to be the first to provide the innovative PCA3Plus test for men at risk for prostate cancer. This test is the second generation of the hugely successful uPM3™ test, the first genetic test for prostate cancer risk available exclusively by Bostwick Laboratories since 2004. PCA3Plus uses technology that provides even greater reproducibility than uPM3,” said David G. Bostwick, M.D., M.B.A., CEO and CMO of Bostwick Labs.
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