The Support and Momentum of the Prostate Cancer Foundation on Prostate Cancer Research and Treatment - Edwin Posadas

January 25, 2023

Alicia Morgans and Edwin Posadas are joined in conversation at the 29th Annual Prostate Cancer Foundation (PCF) Retreat to discuss the influence PCF has had on the community and his research career. Dr. Posadas reflects on the honor of being named a PCF Young Investigator in 2010 and believes that being a part of the PCF allows young researchers to collaborate and innovate together to find solutions for prostate cancer. Drs. Morgans and Posadas also discuss their shared belief that the PCF Retreat provides an environment of support and safety for presenting new research and the chance to discuss ideas with highly-regarded professionals.


Edwin Posadas, MD, Associate Professor of Medicine, Medical Director, Urologic Oncology Program, Co-Director, Experimental Therapeutics Program, Cedars-Sinai, Los Angeles, CA

Alicia Morgans, MD, MPH, Genitourinary Medical Oncologist, Medical Director of Survivorship Program at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, Massachusetts

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Alicia Morgans: Hi, I'm so excited to be here with Dr. Edwin Posadas. Thank you so much for talking with me today about the influence PCF has had in the community and the influence it specifically has had on you.

Edwin Posadas: Thanks, Alicia. Very happy to be here today with you also, and happy to be at the PCF Annual Retreat.

Alicia Morgans: Wonderful. Well, it's nice to be back in person. Everybody has this energy, real excitement to be here. Tell me a little bit about what PCF has meant to you and how you've really felt part of that community over the last few years of your career.

Edwin Posadas: Gosh, that's a great question and I have to agree with you. So one of the nicest things was walking into the hall and as you're waiting for registration, all these old friends come up to greet you and it's a real testament to the community and the family. It's even really more than a community. It's really a family that the Prostate Cancer Foundation has built up. And I'm very honored that to look back in 2010, I was named a Prostate Cancer Foundation Young Investigator. And at that time it felt like an honor, but I had really no idea how large an impact that would have on my career. And so it's something I've actually told a lot of our young folks at Cedars-Sinai where I now run our prostate cancer efforts to really look at and think about not just for the dollar amount, it's really to belong to a community that is active, vibrant, and collaborative.

So just as the meeting has been starting, I think there was a sense of a family, not just the registration desk, but even as you watch the presenters talk, there's a great confidence that folks have with sharing data here. It truly is a safe space, and this is something that is hard to appreciate for folks that aren't in a competitive scientific environment where there's a lot of concern that ideas could get stolen; rather here, folks can really share the latest and the greatest, what they're thinking, what they're feeling, even what their gut says in a sense. And we have a lot of great instinct. They're both in the laboratory, in the clinic, folks at data mine, folks that think about populations and even non biologists who now come to this meeting to really think orthogonally about how different skills can kind of come together and really, really manifest new solutions, innovative solutions to the problem of prostate cancer.

I'm happy, I'm thrilled and excited. I'm honored to be a part of that. I'm proud to represent our center here at PCF because I think some of the best centers across the country, actually I should refrain that it's across the globe now, are represented here in Carlsbad. And we bring a lot of flavor to the room, to the discussions that really only happens at a meeting like this. All the meetings we go to in the field are important, but the PCF really shines a very focused and bright light on the problem of prostate cancer and gets everyone to bring their best to this meeting and then from this meeting back to their respective centers with an energy that drives collaboration even beyond this weekend.

Alicia Morgans: I could not agree with you more. I love the idea of family. And the other thing that what you spoke about brought to mind is of the ultimate lab meeting where you are presenting data that you have not yet published, and that's what happening here at this annual retreat. And you can have people commenting on it who may have won a Nobel Prize or have won other national or international awards and have a deep and rich history in the field. But you may also have a junior person who's a Young Investigator who is also just interested in the same thing, each of them getting up to the microphone and adding something different-

Edwin Posadas: Yes.

Alicia Morgans:... than someone from the other side of the world may add something else entirely. So what an opportunity and an experience.

Edwin Posadas: I think actually to that note, you may have the next person who's going to win a Nobel Prize asking that question, or the young person sitting in the audience who 10, 15 years from now will win a Nobel Prize. I mean, Jim Allison used to sit in this meeting well before he won his Nobel Prize to contribute to the field of immunotherapy in prostate cancer back when there were a handful of folks that said maybe this will work. And it's beautiful to see how their belief, the community of the Prostate Cancer Foundation and the opportunity to share their ideas in a large and diverse forum really helped that idea to come along. So I mean, this is really an exciting meeting group to be able to be a part of. In fact, it's opened up so many opportunities for me personally. So in addition to the intellectual things, me being part of the Prostate Cancer Foundation allowed me to develop relationships that actually got me into the chance to come to Cedars-Sinai to help lead our prostate cancer efforts there.

And in addition to that, it's given me the opportunity to work in cooperative groups like the NRG Cooperative Group, where Felix Feng is our committee chair, and I sit in a room full of radiation oncologists as a medical oncologist now, and we think across different disciplines, it's become emblematic of that transdisciplinary energy at the PCF where different groups now that were once focused on one discipline, one thing, that they are thinking laterally, thinking collaboratively to bring the best of everyone together from different fields of care, different fields of research to really advance what we do for in prostate cancer to help patients.

Alicia Morgans: It is a great thing and that energy is certainly palpable. Any final thoughts about Prostate Cancer Foundation and what you look for into the future as you look forward?

Edwin Posadas: I'm excited that Chuck Ryan has taken over as the new president and CEO of the PCF. He's someone that many of us have had as a friend and peer through our career development. He was a Young Investigator once. And so it's interesting and exciting to see in a sense the change of the guards where Jonathan Simons, who is a great friend and leader who did tremendous with the PCF, is now passing the scepter on to someone young. And I think Chuck has a lot of ideas that are going to manifest now that he was raised in the environment of the PCF. And Jonathan helped to get the ball rolling at first, but when Chuck said and there was some momentum, I think he will take what has started and even further amplify it. And with the relationships that he's built in our community, I see this actually taking PCF to a next level. So I'm really excited to see where all this goes.

Alicia Morgans: Well, it's not just a community to your point, it is a family, and I sincerely appreciate the time that you have dedicated to prostate cancer research dedicated to the PCF and the time that you've taken today. Thank you.

Edwin Posadas: That's really kind of you to say. Alicia, thank you.