Within a few miles of Johns Hopkins are thousands of men who have the highest risk of dying from aggressive prostate cancer in the world.
They’re at highest risk for many reasons, ranging from genetic – being of African descent – and environmental causes to disparities in health care, including a lack of early detection.
This can’t go on, and changing it is going to take a whole community. But thanks to the help of a prostate cancer survivor, Fred Schaufeld, and his wife, Karen, change is starting to happen on many levels.
Allaf, Lotan, Lansey and Brawley: The Schaufeld Program combines biomedical research, community partnership, and education.
Schaufeld understands being at high risk for prostate cancer. It runs in his family, too: his father died of it, and so did his grandfather. Like many men with inherited risk, Schaufeld’s cancer developed early. He was diagnosed in his 50s, and was successfully treated with radical prostatectomy at Johns Hopkins by surgeon Mohamad Allaf, M.D.
Now he and his wife are giving back generously, with a $5 million commitment from the Fredrick D. and Karen G. Schaufeld Family Foundation to help the population of Black men in Baltimore and Washington, D.C. Their gift has established the Schaufeld Program for Prostate Cancer in Black Men, which will address the needs of this population at many levels, and will have three main components: biomedical research, with funded projects submitted by the best and brightest scientists at Johns Hopkins; community partnership for men and their families to raise awareness of risks, including lifestyle factors (such as smoking and diet), and to improve early detection and precision treatment; and education of healthcare providers and medical students.
The Schaufeld Program is co-directed by urologist Allaf, Director of Minimally Invasive and Robotic Surgery, and pathologist and molecular biologist Tamara Lotan, M.D., who has diagnosed more than 10,000 cases of prostate cancer and whose research focuses on molecular biomarkers of the disease. The research funded by the Program will not only help Black men, but will reveal new aspects of prostate cancer’s mechanisms that could have implications for many men – and even, potentially, for treatment of other cancers, as well. Otis Brawley, M.D.
Bloomberg Distinguished Professor of Oncology and an expert on cancer disparities, serves as Chief Advisor to the Program. Dina Lansey, M.S.N., Assistant Professor of Oncology, whose career focuses on understanding barriers to cancer care and developing interventions to address them, serves as Senior Advisor.
The Program does not propose to “reinvent the wheel,” says Allaf, but rather to leverage expertise and build on a strong health promotion model already in place, designed by Brawley and colleagues involving men in Baltimore and Prince George’s County to provide evidence-based treatment and survivorship care among Black men who are already diagnosed with prostate cancer.
Nor will the Schaufeld Program be a case of Johns Hopkins swooping in and telling men what to do. Instead, the Program will work in tandem with city and church leaders, community members, local businesses and others, to reach Black men and their families. Discovery will continue to report on the Program’s progress.
Please help us do more! If you would like to support this program, please contact Elissa Kohel in the Brady Development Office at firstname.lastname@example.org 410-955-8434