PHEN Celebrates Ten Years!

February 6, 2013

This year PHEN is celebrating its Ten Year Anniversary! We have been on an exciting and productive journey during our first decade while paving a road for the future.

Secretary of State, John Kerry, alongside Congressman Gregory Meeks, stand in support of the fight against Prostate Cancer. Rev. Dr. Carroll A. Baltimore, speaks in favor of raising awareness for Prostate Cancer and the racial disparity among African American men.

Over Ten Years of outstanding work in the Fight Against Prostate Cancer

I was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2000 and founded PHEN in 2003 to increase awareness and knowledge about prostate cancer within Black America which suffers an alarming 140% higher death rate than for all other men. There is a widespread void of knowledge and actions needed to address this deadly crisis.

PHEN’S first ten years has been dedicated to mobilizing a series of national initiatives aimed at filling this void. These initiatives are achieving impressive results and PHEN is now widely recognized as a leader in prostate cancer patient education and advocacy efforts. We celebrate PHEN’s accomplishments with a great sense of progress and excitement, and with a strong foundation of enduring and proven initiatives on which to enhance and expand our efforts for the work that still lies ahead.

PHEN Milestones and Initiatives (Click to Read) 

My sincerest appreciations to the many that supported PHEN, making our first decade possible and successful. Throughout 2013 PHEN will celebrate its ten year anniversary with ACTIONS as we continue executing our initiatives, collectively known as the “Rally Against Prostate Cancer.”
I invite you to celebrate with us by joining our rally and continuing your support of PHEN to help shape a future for all men absent prostate cancer.

Yours truly,

Thomas A. Farrington

Wishing Secretary of State @JohnKerry ,

February 5, 2013

Wishing Secretary of State @JohnKerry , #prostatecancer survivor, a successful run this year. Thank you for your support throughout the years!

Today is the last Monday of January 2013

January 28, 2013

Today is the last Monday of January 2013! Time flies. Don’t let time pass you by before knowing what you can about #Prostate Cancer

Giving Thanks at Christmas

December 10, 2012
Thomas A. Farrington, PHEN President and Founder

Thomas A. Farrington, PHEN President and Founder

The Christmas Season is a joyous time for giving thanks for our many blessings. As I reflect over this year and my twelve years as a prostate cancer survivor there is so much that I am personally thankful for. The progress that PHEN has made is certainly high on my list.

PHEN will celebrate its ten year anniversary in 2013. When founding this organization, based strictly on my passion to lessen the impact of prostate cancer on the men most at risk for the disease, I had no business plan for longevity, only a hope and desire for PHEN to make a difference. Today, I find it a remarkable blessing that we have been on this journey for a decade – succeeding in our mission by touching the lives of many men and their families.

To all of the survivors, supporters, partners and friends who have been on this journey with us – We wish you a Merry Christmas and Happy Holiday Season!

Thank you,

Tom Farrington

Prostate Cancer Clinical Trials – A New Day for Patients

November 8, 2012

Today prostate cancer patients with advanced disease have three relative new treatments available that improve overall survival. Provenge, Zytiga and Xtandi have all been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) over the past two years. These treatments represent significant progress for patients who for years had only chemotherapy to rely upon following hormone therapy. But the good news does not stop here.
Thomas A. Farrington, at PHEN's 2012 Summit
There are an increasing number of clinical trials using these “FDA approved” treatments. Importantly, these clinical trials are not experimental and seeking to prove the effectiveness and safety for these treatments. Effectiveness and safety were determined for each as part of the FDA approval process. Instead many of these trials are studies to better understand the treatments’ level of effectiveness relative to parameters such as stages of disease, genetic factors, in combination with other treatments, etc.

In most instances men participating in these trials are able to receive treatment with these expensive drugs for no cost and no increased risk. Clinical trials using these new treatments represent a new day for prostate cancer patients, especially for those that cannot afford these treatments.

It is important for African American men, who are at a higher risk for needing treatment for advanced disease, to participate in these trials to help better understand how these treatments can impact on eliminating the prostate cancer epidemic that we now suffer. Also, in some cases these trials will remove the access barrier that some men face.

PHEN will continue to highlight and focus on important clinical trials to insure that the men most impacted by prostate cancer are knowledgeable and have the opportunity to participate in this exciting new day for patients.

Remember, knowledge is the best defense against prostate cancer.

A Transformative Year

October 9, 2012
Thomas A. Farrington, at PHEN's 2012 Summit

Thomas A. Farrington, at PHEN’s 2012 Summit

2012 will undoubtedly be noted as a transformative year for prostate cancer. The controversial U. S. Preventive Services Task Force’s (USPSTF) recommendation against PSA screening captured headlines in the United States and around the world; The FDA approved Enzalutamide, another exciting new treatment for advanced prostate cancer; Major advancements have been made towards developing new diagnostics to help distinguish between cancers that should be treated and those that may be monitored; The U. S. Senate passed a resolution recognizing the occurrence of prostate cancer among African Americans to be of epidemic proportions. These are just a few of the major developments taking place in 2012.

What role can these transformative events play towards eliminating the African American epidemic as cited by the Senate? This was the focus of PHEN’s Eight Annual African American Prostate Cancer Disparity Summit hosted in Washington, DC, on September 20th and 21st. I have continually outlined my position against the USPSTF’s action which I consider a major impediment to progress. We addressed this issue at our summit and we will continue to do so aggressively.

New diagnostics was a bright spot at the summit with three outstanding presentations made in this area. Just two days prior to the summit Genomic Health made a major announcement regarding its evolving diagnostic test. Genomic’s senior director, Dr. Jeffrey Lawrence’s presentation at the summit will be featured during PHEN’s monthly webcast on October 10th. In addition, all three of the presentations will become available online via PHEN TV in the very near future.

As we march towards the end of 2012 I am truly excited for a brighter overall future for prostate cancer patients. PHEN’s primary mission is to ascertain that this future includes lifting the devastating epidemic from the African American population as recognized by the United States Senate. I am pleased that our “eight annual summit” was another important beacon helping to guide us towards realizing our mission. We will share the summit with our national audience over the coming weeks and months via our monthly webcasts and PHEN TV.

Opportunities for Early Access to New Treatments

June 27, 2012

Rapid advances in the development of treatments for advanced prostate cancer are creating some unique opportunities for access to these treatments at no cost to patients under “Early/Expanded Access Programs.”

PHEN President, Thomas A. Farrington

These opportunities become available when phase 3 clinical trial results are proven effective and the trials are halted. However, there is still a Food and Drug Administration (FDA) process that companies must complete before these proven treatments can be “marketed” to the public. This process takes many months before it is completed.

I serve as a member of a committee called “The Early/Expanded Access Program for Prostate Cancer Patients.” This committee advocates for early access to those treatments that have completed the phase 3 clinical trial and awaits final FDA approval. This is information about the committee and its purpose.

We are pleased and excited that Astellas/Medivation has made MDV3100 (Enzalutamide), and Bayer has made Radium-223 Chloride (Alpharadin) available under the early access program. Both these treatments are for “advanced prostate cancer patients.” Information about each is included in the June Treatments and Clinical Trials e-newsletter.

These early access program opportunities are especially appealing to those patients that have urgent needs, and also for patients who may have difficulties in affording these treatments once they receive final FDA approval. I urge advanced prostate cancer patients to review the information on each of the treatments to determine if there could be a personal benefit.

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