PCF Young Investigator Awards, worth $225,000 each, are made to exceptional early career scientists who will pioneer and transform new biotechnologies into saving lives of prostate cancer patients.
Mr Sooriakumaran is a Senior Clinical Researcher in Robotic Surgery & Urology at the Nuffield Department of Surgical Sciences and is mentored by Head of Department Professor Freddie Hamdy.
His successful project proposal ‘Improving Quality of Care for Men with Skeletal Metastases from Prostate Cancer: Defining the Burden-of-Treatment and its Management, and Developing Models to Predict Quality-of-Life’ demonstrates potential for high impact research that will improve the lives of all men with prostate cancer in the near future.
As life expectancy rises, greater numbers of older men with skeletal metastases from prostate cancer suffer higher treatment burdens. The current standard-of-care, androgen deprivation therapy (ADT), causes morbidity and might pose significant damage to bone and mental health. Better definition of burden-of-treatment from ADT will enable appropriate multi-disciplinary management and directly improve quality of care.
Mr Sooriakumaran is exploring an approach to the management of advanced, metastatic prostate cancer without compromising quality-of-life. He will launch a three-year observational study of 200 men with mCRPC to assess a model considering severity of bone lesions, age, anxiety and depression symptoms, co-morbidities, and treatment choices. Testing this model may lead to a predictive tool to guide clinicians in selecting personalized treatment.
Commenting on his success, Mr Sooriakumaran said: 'I am humbled to be the first British urologist to win this prestigious award. It will enable patient-focused research into metastatic prostate cancer and improve treatment stratification. The award will also further my clinical research career in prostate cancer, and I am incredibly grateful to PCF for their support.'
19 awardees were selected this year from a pool of 107 applicants from 65 institutions in nine countries. To date, PCF has provided funding to 172 young investigators, representing a total investment of over $36.5 million.