Nov. 16, 2001
Volume XXXIV, No. 46


In Memoriam

Of Note


Book donation, award place spotlight on Prostate Cancer awareness

Portrait of Dr. Thompson THOMPSON

The Texas Department of Health (TDH) recently recognized internationally known prostate cancer expert Dr. Ian Thompson for his exemplary efforts to promote prevention and awareness of the disease. Dr. Thompson is professor of surgery and head of urology at the Health Science Center.

Dr. Thompson chaired the TDH Prostate Cancer Advisory Committee from 1996 to 2000. He received a plaque at the San Antonio Central Library, where he presented 20 signed copies of his most recent book, geared to answering the questions of men with prostate cancer, for distribution to the Central Library and its 19 branches. The book is titled Prostate Cancer: All You Need to Know to Take An Active Part in Your Treatment.

Several survivors of the disease were present at the Central Library to show their support for continued research and prevention efforts. "Dr. Thompson is a giant in his field, and San Antonio is fortunate to have him," said Dennis Thomson, prostate cancer survivor and an adjunct member of the TDH advisory committee. "He served with distinction on this statewide panel."

Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in U.S. men. An estimated 198,100 cases were expected to be diagnosed in 2001, and 31,500 men were expected to die because of the disease.

Dr. Thompson and Health Science Center colleagues have announced the start of two major prostate cancer prevention trials this year. The SABOR trial, short for San Antonio Center of Biomarkers of Risk for Prostate Cancer, kicked off March 9 with the announcement that the Health Science Center would enroll 10,000 men of all ethnicities. More than a thousand men have shown an interest in participating. SABOR investigators are looking for molecular signatures that indicate a man's likelihood of developing prostate cancer and of having it spread.

"Our ultimate goal is twofold," Dr. Thompson said. "We want to identify men who are at risk of prostate cancer as well as those who have a very low risk — men who might never have to be screened. Second, for men who are at risk of developing prostate cancer, we want to find new methods to prevent the disease. Ultimately, we'd like to put ourselves out of business by preventing the disease entirely."

The second study, called the Selenium and Vitamin E Cancer Prevention Trial (SELECT), is recruiting 500 men from South Texas and 32,400 overall. SELECT investigators seek to learn if these two dietary supplements can protect against prostate cancer. Both SABOR and SELECT are conducted in conjunction with the National Cancer Institute (NCI). Dr. Thompson is the national co-investigator for the SELECT study.

"Ian is one of the very valuable assets to the NCI and the nation, and his team is playing a major role in our early detection network," said Dr. Sudhir Srivastava, chief of the Cancer Biomarkers Research Group in the NCI Division of Cancer Prevention.

"I speak as a prostate cancer survivor and a patient of Dr. Thompson," said Roosevelt Davis, chairman of dental laboratory technology at the Health Science Center. "My personal situation and his dedication have motivated me to take an active role in various prostate cancer awareness programs. As a research investigator and surgeon, Dr. Thompson is committed to going the distance, to fighting until this disease is eradicated."

Men interested in these studies may inquire about eligibility by calling ext. 7-0214.