The Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs (CDMRP) Prostate Cancer Research Program (PCRP) partners with consumers – men who have been diagnosed with prostate cancer – at both the peer and programmatic review stages of the grant application review process to ensure that PCRP funding will make an impact on men currently living with prostate cancer, and for future generations. The PCRP review panels include consumers from non-profit organizations such as ZERO, US Too International, Malecare, and others across the nation that work directly with the prostate cancer community to educate and empower patients and their families. Throughout the 22-year history of the PCRP, over 450 consumers have participated in both peer and programmatic review, providing the voice of the prostate cancer communities they represent during the grant review process. These individuals assist the PCRP in funding the most innovative and high-impact research that will support the program’s mission to eliminate death from prostate cancer and enhance the well-being of Service members, Veterans, and all men experiencing the impact of the disease. In addition to grant review, those consumers who serve as members of the Programmatic Panel help shape the vision, mission, goals, and funding opportunities offered by the PCRP each year. The FY18 Programmatic Panel consumer members are pictured below.

Virgil Simons, The Prostate Net
Virgil Simmons
Virgil Simons

“My perspective on my now 15-year involvement with the PCRP starts with a saying from the Black church: ‘Everybody wants to go to heaven, but nobody wants to die!’

As a cancer patient, my first and immediate concern from the diagnosis was, ‘I'm going to die.’ I lacked hope, lost the focus on life, and was filled with despair until deciding that I would fight for my life.

That fight continued with becoming first, a peer research reviewer, and understanding the hope that research gave to all of us, and then, as part of the Programmatic Panel, being a part of implementing change that could bring the reality of a heaven without cancer closer to our grasp. My life has been enhanced immeasurably in being involved with the PCRP.”

Joel Nowak, Cancer ABCs, Inc.
Joel Nowak, Cancer ABCs, Inc.
Joel Nowak

“The DoD PCRP brings patient advocates, researchers, and clinicians together as a team to find ways to conquer prostate cancer. This triad makes great strides to move closer to our ultimate goal, ending prostate cancer.”

William Spurgeon, Alta Bates Summit Medical Center
William Spurgeon
William Spurgeon

" 'Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement.' This quote from Helen Keller summarizes the spirit of the PCRP for me. Its work gives prostate cancer survivors hope that their fight is winnable. As a consumer reviewer, I am grateful to be a part of this optimistic medical research program and maintain an enduring faith that it will achieve the cure that prostate cancer patients yearn for, not just for themselves but for their sons and all future generations."

Westley Sholes, California Prostate Cancer Coalition
Westley Sholes
Westley Sholes

In honor of Men’s Health Month, the PCRP encourages men to be proactive in regular health screening to aid in prevention and detection of prostate cancer as early as possible. You can show your support for Men’s Health Month by wearing blue on the 15th of June – the Friday before Father’s Day.

Last updated Thursday, May 26, 2022