LONG BRANCH, NJ - Prostate cancer advocate Robert Sherman  recently participated in the evaluation of research applications submitted to the Prostate Cancer Research Program (PCRP) sponsored by the Department of Defense. Robert  was nominated for participation in the program by US-TOO a national prostate cancer consumer education group.  Robert  is the leader of the US-TOO prostate cancer support group that meets at Monmouth Medical Center in Long Branch. As a consumer reviewer, he was a full voting member, along with prominent scientists, at meetings to help determine how the $80 million appropriated by Congress for Fiscal Year 2011 (FY11) will be spent on future prostate cancer research.

Consumer reviewers are asked to represent the collective view of prostate cancer survivors and patients, family members, and persons at risk for the disease when they prepare comments on the impact of the research on issues such as disease prevention, screening, diagnosis, treatment, and quality of life after treatment. Commenting on his role as a consumer reviewer, Robert said that as one who does research every day to keep myself and men in our Prostate cancer support group up to date , this was an amazing experience”

Consumer advocates and scientists have worked together in this unique partnership to evaluate the scientific merit of prostate cancer research applications since 1997. To date, more than 340 consumer reviewers have served on prostate cancer panels alongside scientists in the review process. Colonel Jeffrey C. Leggit, M.D., Director of the Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs, expressed his appreciation for the perspectives of the consumer advocates in the scientific review sessions.  "The Consumer Reviewers on each panel are instrumental in helping the scientists understand the patient's perspective and provided valuable insight into the potential impact of the proposed project.  They bring with them a sense of urgency and remind all of the human element involved in medical research."

Thousands of prostate cancer research applications will be reviewed for 2011 fiscal year funds. Scientists applying propose to conduct innovative prostate cancer research aimed at the elimination of prostate cancer. The PCRP fills important gaps not addressed by other funding agencies by supporting groundbreaking, high-risk, high-gain research while encouraging out-of-the-box thinking.

More information about the Department of Defense Prostate Cancer Research Program is available at the Website: http://cdmrp.army.mil.