2023 Career Enhancement Program

                                 Awarded Projects

CEP Mission

By training junior faculty to succeed in clinical and translational prostate cancer research, the SPORE will develop leaders of the field in prostate cancer risk, prevention, pathogenesis, prognosis, and treatment. With the innovation of these early stage investigators, the SPORE will establish new approaches to treating prostate cancer, which will result in improved patient survival and quality of life.

The Career Enhancement Program provides seed funding for innovative translational research pilot projects that address key challenge areas in prostate cancer research.  By funding research from its inception, we are able to develop the careers of early stage investigators committed to prostate cancer.

Tim McClure, MD

Mcclure, Timothy

The Evaluation of Prostate Specific Membrane Antigen Positron Emission Tomography-Computed Tomography in Active Surveillance for Prostate CancEr (ESCAPE)


We hypothesize that PSMA PET-CT in AS patients will improve the diagnostic accuracy of prostate MRI such that a negative PSMA PET-CT will obviate the need for a surveillance prostate biopsy.

Specific Aims:

  1. Define the negative predictive value of PSMA PET-CT in detecting csPCa.

  2. Predict the detection of csPCa with machine learning models using SUV scores from PSMA PET-CT and radiomic features extracted from mpMRI.

  3. Determine the molecular features of localized prostate cancer identified on PSMA PET-CT .

Sarah Cheal, PhD

CEACAM5-directed ImmunoPET of Neuroendocrine Prostate Cancer

Project Goal:

Our overarching hypothesis is that an anti-CEACAM5 radiotracer for immunoPET imaging will be effective in detection of CEACAM5 expression and will be able to serve as a quantitative in vivo assessment of inter- and perhaps intra-tumoral heterogeneity in patients with prostate cancer (and probably also applicable to other cancers). This approach may serve as a biomarker to describe tumor biology and optimize patient selection for CEACAM5-targeted therapy

Specific Aims:

  1. Using a humanized monoclonal IgG antibody that selectively binds human CEACAM5, we will synthesize zirconium-89 (89Zr)-radiolabeled IgG and evaluate its stability, affinity, specificity, and immunoreactivity in vitro.

  2. Demonstrate use of CEACAM5-directed immunoPET for non-invasive detection of CEACAM5 in NEPC models.