About the Prostate Cancer Lab PATIENTS

“Searching for an integrated short list of options in a treatment strategy I can bring to a conversation with my oncologist.”

These advanced prostate cancer patients have committed to go through a battery of tests to gather data about their disease, feed that into treatment matching services to identify treatment options, and engage in an open, public conversation with a diverse crowd of experts to guide them to their best treatment strategy. If you would like to join them, please contact Brian McCloskey, brian.j.mccloskey [at] gmail dot com

Brian
Brian McCloskey
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.
    • 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.

       

    • 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

    • 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.

    • “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.

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Rick Stanton
Rick Stanton
Professionally: Rick Stanton is a 66-year-old southern California based family man with a passion to help cancer patients in need. He believes an integrated understanding of patient state, genomic state, immune state and trajectory will help inform clinical therapy decisions.

He is an engineer / data scientist with experience in complex physical and biological signaling systems. He has experience in genomics, transcriptomics, cellular pathway signaling, and immune signaling. 17 years Amgen, 5 years JCVI / Human Longevity, 3 years ThermoFisher Scientific. Technologies: AI, machine/deep learning, AWS hosted secure web applications, scientific programming.

Personally: family man, loves life, dogs, hockey, skiing, music in general, and guitar specifically.
Aggressive Metastatic Prostate Cancer primarily driven by unfavorable CDK12 mutation leading to short duration of control by therapies outlined by NCCN guidelines. Currently on chemo (docetaxel)

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Mike Yancey
Mike Yancey

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Mike Yancey's cancer journey to date:

Annual physical exams always showed PSA numbers to be well within the acceptable range. 2019 June PSA was 1.2, and then 2020 September my PSA had increased to 2.3. Only other symptoms in early 2021 was burning when I urinated. Was referred to Cole Davis, Urologist on May 20, 2021. Prescribed Tamulosin (Floxmax) and Finasteride. Saw urologist again June 1 when significant amount of blood was passed while urinating. Scoped to my bladder and commented that he saw some irritation in bladder but nothing that appeared to cause concern about cancer.

2021 Mid-June, developed fevers and intense body aches. Mis-diagnosed by a rural hospital in northeast Oklahoma where I live with Lyme disease on June 21 and given two weeks of Doxycycline. Was bedridden with intense pain and fever. Returned to hospital on July 5, 2021 and was given two more weeks of doxycycline. July 6, 2021 pain had intensified to a point that I could not stand and was transported to a major hospital in Tulsa OK and was admitted followed by numerous tests over several days.

2021 July 16, PSA was at 47, and following a bone marrow biopsy and bone biopsy was diagnosed as Stage IV prostate cancer that had innumerable bone metastases (no prostate tumor specific biopsy has been done to date). Was referred to a general medical oncologist that treats all cancers where I had a bone scan and began 10 radiation treatments to the pelvis and right femur to address pain beginning August 3, 2021, received my first Lupron shot on August 5, and began 1st of 6 Taxotere chemo treatments, administered every 3 weeks on August 12, 2021. Responded well to these treatments with PSA nadir of 0.07 on November 29, 2021, also the day of receipt of my last chemo treatment. My local Tulsa OK oncologist who treats all cancers was supportive and encouraged my pursuit of finding a GU oncologist at a major cancer center who would have the latest treatment options.

Pursued a second opinion at MD Anderson, Houston, on February 8, 2022, but no additional tests were done, other than a genetic test which returned negative. Discussion only addressed possible treatments that could be pursued upon becoming CRPC. I pursued discussion about the PEACE 1 study that showed benefits of taking Abiraterone while still hormone sensitive, and the response was that we could do that. So began Abiraterone April 13, 2022. Inquired about somatic testing but was told that was not necessary until I became CRPC.

My PSA had risen from the 0.07 nadir in November 2021 to 0.12 on March 3, 2022, and then to 0.43 on May 11, 2022 and was told by my local oncologist as well as the oncologist at MD Anderson that these increases were not significant. My desire was for a more aggressive and creative approach to treatment which resulted in a referral to Houston Methodist GU Oncologist Elini Efstathiou on May 24, 2022 and by that time my PSA had risen to 0.6 and my alkaline phosphatase had gone from a nadir of 159 on March 3, 2022 to 232 on May 24, 2022. Had a Pylarify PSMA-PET scan and prostate specific MRI done with the result showing active cancer and new bone metastases. My cancer is one that does not produce a lot of PSA but does express PSMA, so currently pursuing scheduling to begin treatment with Provicto which was FDA approved in March. Oncologist has acquired my bone biopsy taken July 14, 2021 in order to see if somatic testing is possible. 

My cancer journey continues.

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Ken Anderson
Ken Anderson

Personal Interests
Love family, the outdoors, hiking and fishing. Have always had an interest in the southwest (Arizona) and recently fallen back in love with the Pacific Northwest.

Hiking Mt Townsend was difficult, such activities 3,090 ft of elevation gain in 4.25 miles provides some fuel for your immune system - it must!

Future

Interested in finding the best direction to treat this disease and in living my best life.  At times obsessed with our lack of interest in treating the whole body.  Too often we only treat the disease and miss the part about mental health.

At 56 diagnosed with stage IV prostate cancer. Gleason 9 (4+5), bone mets, back pain and PSA at 516. Started Lupron in March 2017, six rounds of docetaxel in April, psa dropped to 1.1 in May. Radiated my prostate in August of 2017. By June of 2018 lowest psa was 0.4 but by the end of Dec I had become castrate resistance with a psa of 1. Started Provenge on the 29th of July 2019 and another 27 cycles of Docetaxel starting in Jan of 2021 with my psa hovering around 20 for all of that year plus a little. Many standard of care options have been tried and now in my 5th year with a new treatment plan using PSMA targeted Lu-177-617 or Pluvicto. At present my psa is 111 and rising - labs in a week and with any luck my psa will drop.

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Robert Ellis
Robert Ellis
Robert Ellis has over 35 years of experience working with global companies—spanning startups, mid-stage, Fortune 500 giants, and non-profits— guiding leaders to take their impact to the next level at any stage of growth. As an executive coach, he’s helped entrepreneurs and CEOs to become better leaders, think more strategically, create high-performing teams, foster future-friendly cultures, and deliver compelling presentations—including several high-profile IPO roadshows. Robert has taught leadership and coached entrepreneurs at Singularity University, and developed Level UP, the leadership curriculum for the Global Startup Program. He was one of the original coaches for the Nasdaq Milestone Maker program, helping late-early to mid-stage entrepreneurs grow their businesses to the next level. He also taught Facing Challenge, Navigating Change: Leadership and The Hero’s Journey, an 8-week course at Stanford University using Joseph Campbell’s Hero’s Journey as a framework to explore mindsets and skillsets for leading yourself and others on a heroic journey in business and in life. He’s the founder of Coaching From Essence, a training program for life and executive coaches. Though he’s never practiced, Robert studied Japanese acupuncture and was licensed in California. He has a keen interest in alternative approaches to health, including diet and supplements. Robert lives with his wife in Carmel Valley, California.
Robert was diagnosed with Stage IV prostate cancer in November 2017, with mets to his ischial tuberosities. He began a clinical trial (Lupron, focal radiation, and pembrolizumab) at UCSF in February 2018 and responded well. His PSA was fractional a year later when the trial ended, and all treatments ceased. He relapsed after a few months and resumed ADT. In 2021, he became castrate-resistant. He underwent Provenge, had radiation to his left ischial tuberosity, and began Orgovyx. Pain in his right ischial tuberosity and rising PSA were the catalysts for beginning chemotherapy in September 2021 (combination of docetaxel and carboplatin). He's been responding well, but know that it’s only a matter of time before he becomes chemo resistant.

Robert Ellis' oncology journey to date:

  • 2017, Nov Stage IV with bone mets to ischial tuberosities, PSA
  • 2018, Jan PSA 48.589—Began ADT
  • 2018, Feb Began clinical trial including ADT (Lupron), plus focal radiation and pembrolizumab
  • 2019, Feb PSA 0.385, trial ends, all treatment ends
  • 2019, May PSA 0.384
  • 2019, July PSA 17.873, resume ADT (Lupron)
  • 2019, Sept PSA 28.73, began Care Oncology protocol (atorvastatin, mebendazole, doxycycline, metformin)
  • 2019, Dec BRCA-2 positive
  • 2020, Mar Abiraterone, prednisone
  • 2020, Sep PSA 1.64 (nadir)
  • 2021, Feb Began Orgovyx and prednisone
  • 2021, Apr PSA 6.2, began Provenge
  • 2021, Jun PSA 12.64, began radiation to the left ischial tuberosity
  • 2021, Aug PT/CT AXUMIN, “disease progression…uptake now seen within a left external iliac chain lymph node”
  • 2021, Sep PSA 24.75, began chemo (docetaxel, carboplatin)
  • 2022, Jan PSA 4.98, levels off between 4.98 and 5.55
  • 2022, Mar PT/CT PYLARIFY BODY, “Progression of osseous metastatic disease…left external iliac chain lymph node.”
  • 2022, Apr PSA 4.46, switch from docetaxel to cabazitaxel (hoping to improve side effects)
  • 2022, Jun PSA 2.3, switch back to docetaxel
  • 2022, Jul PSA 2.64

 

Suggestions for Robert’s next therapies after chemo:

  • Pluvicto—waiting for availability
  • Olaparib—advised to wait for potential clinical trial with next gen PARP inhibitor
I’m grateful for the care team I’ve worked with on this journey, but they’re risk averse. I want a more creative approach. It’s disheartening to think I have only two realistic options in the wings (Pluvicto and Olaparib, or a next-gen PARP inhibitor). I want to experiment with different strategies with existing treatments  (e.g., BAT)  or explore more personalized medicine made possible by the plethora of new tests. I’m agnostic when it comes to approaches; I’m also very interested in alternative medicine, supplements, etc. I’m hoping to be an early adopter of more innovative treatments, and I’m excited about what’s being created here. I also want to offer my support in any way I can.