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Men's health partner
During the month of November each year, Movember asks men across the world to grow a moustache with the aim of raising vital funds and awareness for men’s health issues, specifically prostate cancer.
Guys taking part (Mo Bros) are helping to change the face of men’s health by effectively becoming walking, talking billboards for the 30 days of November. Through their actions and words, they raise awareness by promoting private and public conversation around the often ignored issue of men’s health. Raising awareness and funds is vital because of the facts about prostate cancer in Belgium:
One man dies every 6 hours of prostate cancer in Belgium
Prostate cancer is the most common form of cancer in men in Belgium
In Belgium 8810 men are diagnosed every year, this is the equivalent of 24 per day
1410 men die every year from prostate cancer in Belgium
Global Action Plan
Movember’s vision is to have an everlasting impact on the state of men’s health. To this end Movember has established the Movember Global Action Plan, a global prostate cancer research initiative designed to bring together leading prostate cancer researchers from around the world to accelerate research outcomes.
GAP’s team of prostate cancer researchers is guided by Movember’s Global Scientific Committee (GSC), comprised of internationally renowned prostate cancer experts from Australia (Prof Pamela Russell), Canada (Dr Rob Bristow), USA (Dr Jonathan Simons), UK (Prof Hing Leung), Netherlands (Prof Jack Schalken) and Ireland (A/Prof William Watson). The GSC is chaired by prostate cancer expert, Professor Colleen Nelson (Chair Prostate Cancer Research and Executive Director, Australian Prostate Cancer Research Centre-Queensland / Queensland University of Technology, Australia).
GAP is comprised of two elements:
1. Annual global collaborative research project
The overall goal of this project is to accelerate research outcomes through collaboration on priority scientific questions, which are identified annually by Movember’s GSC. We believe that getting the best researchers from around the world to work together on key challenges will accelerate breakthroughs that will ultimately benefit men with prostate cancer.
The first GAP project (GAP1) is an international prostate cancer biomarker initiative. GAP1 seeks to develop new tests to better predict aggressive prostate cancer and to characterise metastatic disease (“disease spread”) and treatment resistance, which ultimately helps patients and their doctors to make decisions about treatment choices.
Movember has awarded 70,000 EUR to leading Belgian prostate cancer researcher Professor Johannes V. Swinnen, who is the Chair of the Department of Oncology at the University of Leuven. This grant will fund Professor Swinnen’s research activities in Belgium which form part of GAP1. His research seeks to validate promising new tests to capture and detect unique prostate cancer markers called “exosomes” that circulate in a patient’s blood and urine. These markers have been shown to be informative of prostate cancer progression.
The investment of 70,000 EUR underlines Movember’s commitment to men’s health in Belgium and its strong prostate cancer researchers, as this is more than the campaign raised in its first year in 2011.
2. Promoveo - a prostate cancer knowledge exchange platform
Movember is creating a global, online community for prostate cancer researchers, clinicians and organizations called Promoveo. Similar to LinkedIn, but tailored specifically for the prostate cancer research community, Promoveo members can share ideas, find out what key research resources are available in other countries, post information to foster discussion, and connect with other researchers from across the globe to drive outcomes.
Stemming from Latin, Promoveo means to move forward, accomplish, advance, bring to light. Our aim is to create a forum for free information exchange about prostate cancer research that will accelerate outcomes. Imagine what possible opportunities may arise when a prostate cancer researcher in the Netherlands, for example, is able to connect with other researchers involved in the same field in Belgium, Canada, the UK, US, and Brazil to share knowledge and resources.