Dr. Udager receives Grant from U-M Prostate SPORE

By Elizabeth Walker | October 9 2018

UdagerThe University of Michigan SPORE in Prostate Cancer has awarded Aaron Udager, MD, PhD, with a two-year Prostate SPORE Career Enhancement Program (CEP) grant of $60,00 per year. The Department of Pathology will contribute matching funds of another $10,000 per year, bringing the total to $70,000 per year.

The U-M Prostate SPORE was established in 1995 to tap physical and intellectual resources from the university community and provide them with resources in order to decrease patient morbidity and mortality due to prostate cancer. Significant translational discoveries have been made through the program, including the identification of recurrent ETS gene fusions in prostate cancer and germline mutations in the HOXB13 gene that increase prostate cancer risk.

Dr. Udager will use his award to fund his project Integrative targeted next-generation DNA and RNA sequencing of multiclonal prostate cancer index nodules: implications for molecular biomarker assessment. The project seeks to use cutting-edge multi-region next-generation sequencing (NGS) technology to determine the impact of multiclonality on prostate cancer molecular biomarker assessment. Multiclonal tumors are tumors that are actually comprised of two tumors with distinct molecular profiles (both ERG-positive and ERG-negative) which have grown together or "collided" in the prostate. These tumors affect a subset of prostate cancer patients (less than 15%) and complicate interpretation of new molecular assays that can determine clinical management of the disease. This project aims to better understand these tumors and could lead to more individualized treatment for these patients with improved outcomes. Dr. Scott Tomlins will collaborate on the project and Dr. Arul Chinnaiyan will serve as Dr. Udager's mentor for the project.

This project was made possible in part by prior work by Dr. Tomlins and Mr. Javed Siddiqui, with funding through a Department of Defense Prostate Cancer Research Program Idea Development Award.

Dr. Udager will meet quarterly with the Prostate SPORE CEP directors, Drs. Didi Robins and Ganesh Palapattu, in order to establish project milestones.

Learn more about the work of the University of Michigan SPORE in Prostate Cancer by visiting the Translational Research Program on the National Cancer Institute's website.