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About Brian McCloskey

Join the quest to find the best treatment options for Brian McCloskey as part of the Prostate Cancer Lab

This patient-focused research effort is bringing together researchers, patients, scientists, bioinformaticians, and medical professionals to explore what is driving Brian McCloskey’s prostate cancer and the best testing & treatment options to stop it.

To participate, click the button to apply. You will then be invited to the weekly chats and online discussion forum.

Brian McCloskey is a 56-year-old San Diego-based healthcare and tech. marketing executive, a husband and father of 3, a surfer, and a patient advocate. Professionally, Brian has spent 25 years building data-driven solutions to personalize consumer experiences. That background became pivotal in how he approached his cancer diagnosis in Aug. 2016.

Quickly understanding how important his role as patient was in optimizing his treatment, Brian got involved in many efforts to advance the care of cancer patients. His first initiative was the development of a personalized medicine blue-sky concept, The Olson Cell (links to a Google Slide file), which he presented at the 2018 UCSD Health Industry/Academia Translational Oncology Symposium. That effort opened the door to a diverse cancer-fighting community that has helped him throughout his journey. Since then, he has worked closely with genomics companies to better understand his disease, advised companies on patient experience design for new applications that address complex cancer needs, and most recently initiated a project with a Boston-based company to identify FDA-approved drugs that can be repurposed to treat prostate cancer patients, A New AI Tool Identifies Generic Drugs with Anticancer Potential.

Also, Brian provides patient advisory and motivational speeches to industry and academia such as at the 16th Annual Meeting for the National Alliance of State Prostate Cancer Coalitions. Here’s more on Brian’s cancer journey from UCSD Health, Mission: Search and Destroy Prostate Cancer, the December, 2021 issue of Prostatepedia, and a summary for this hackathon, Cancer Hackathon 2021-Brian McCloskey Summary.

    1. Aggressive Disease: Despite five years and eight rounds of treatment for his prostate cancer, Brian still has therapeutic options that fall within the Standard of Care. However, Brian’s cancer is particularly aggressive and while his biomarkers were improving after chemotherapy this year, he is now seeing them regress.


      ** Last PSA jumped 50% from prior reading (6 weeks earlier)
      ** In 2020, Brian’s condition changed from No Evidence of Disease state to the development of 6 lesions in his peritoneal cavity within 6 months.


    2. Complex Cancer

      ** Poor Prognosis: Brian is a polymetastatic cancer patient. With a history of multiple lesions that develop quickly, his prognosis is poor.
      ** Breakthroughs Require Time: Complex cancers require N of 1 solutions. Healthcare approaches are not designed for N of 1 cases – They require deep insight and that necessitates time – a commodity healthcare systems don’t have. Brian wants a disruptive and safe approach that addresses his specific cancer

    3. Conveyor belt of Death: The aggressive nature of his disease means that standard of care options don’t offer durable responses. It’s a matter of time before Brian succumbs to the disease unless he finds breakthrough treatments.

    4. “Standard of Failure” Treatment Risks: Standard of Care treatments carry accretive deleterious effects on Brian’s health. For example, prolonged use of strong androgen deprivation therapy increases his risk of bone fractures, diabetes, dementia, coronary heart disease, and acute myocardial infarction (heart attacks). Brian has seen eight lines of treatment.

Brian needs the Lab to build a battle plan that identifies not only his next line of testing & treatment (potentially a curative “homerun”), but also options for successive treatments that will offer a more durable, collective response (“singles”).

The Lab will:

  • Provide cutting-edge and comprehensive diagnostic insights into his cancer drivers
  • Provide ranked treatment options for the next 3 sets of treatments
  • Follow Brian through his journey and continually assess his cancer drivers
  • Adjust or build new treatment options that address his evolving precise disease state and account for new and developing treatment options.

Project Management:
Brian will make his extensive inventory of medical data available to a crowd of participants for analysis and insights. Based on this information, the team may make requests for additional, actionable testing/diagnostics as appropriate.

Weekly video chats will update participants on progress and specific questions that will help channel the research. An online discussion forum (via Slack) will enable asynchronous review of progress and opportunities for comments. A recorded version of the weekly updates will be posted shortly after for those who are unable to attend. Insights and recommendations will funnel into a global virtual “molecular tumor board” of leading prostate cancer research oncologists and other experts.

Continuous Feedback Loop: From the point of launch, the team should provide the first treatment recommendation within 2 months. After administration of the treatment, Brian will provide the team with weekly updates on his treatment. These updates will include all available response metrics and side effects. This information will be used to assess next treatment options and the cycle will continue.

We are engaging many people, representing multiple disciplines across institutions globally and bending the healthcare system to address the unique needs of one patient.

If you participate you should expect a culture of open participation, open data, and open results.

You will be welcome to join weekly  calls of 60 minutes on Wednesday at 9am PST and an online discussion forum via Discord.

For people who are unable to attend the weekly meetings, there will be notes distributed by email, video recordings, and video summaries.

If you have analytical tools, you are encouraged to apply them and share your analysis. If you have specialist knowledge, you may participate in smaller discussions or may be asked to be on the molecular tumor board.

Prostate cancer patients, pathologists, scientists, researchers, medical professionals, bioinformaticians, oncologists and advocates with intermediate to advanced experience who would like to help Brian are welcome to participate.

By participating in the Prostate Cancer Lab, you will have the opportunity to contribute to a cure for Brian and the other cancer patients who have hit a wall, network with top influencers in the digital health and innovation community, and participate in cutting edge data analysis and therapy recommendations.

Contact Brad Power at for process, administration or organization questions

Contact Brian McCloskey at