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It was with pleasure that I accepted to serve as editor of this timely supplement dedicated to prostate cancer. The 20 years that I have been involved in the management of prostate cancer have marked a long but rewarding journey, and the future looks great! Watching treatment options improve for patients and seeing how pivotal studies have changed the approach to prostate cancer at all stages of the disease has been extraordinary. Coming to a better understanding of screening, addressing the questions of who and when to treat, making innovations in surgical and radiation techniques, and better managing advanced disease are all contributing to tremendous improvements in patient care.
Prostate cancer research has gone “from rags to riches” in urologic oncology. Because of research and collaboration among specialties, the field has moved from having to rely only on androgen deprivation therapy for the treatment of advanced prostate cancer to being able to draw on an extensive array of options that are available now or are in clinical trials. I optimistically predict that, in the next few years, the options for patients with advanced disease will likely triple. And Canada has been, and continues to be, an extremely active participant in this exciting worldwide effort.
In speaking to and with many people around the world, I am proud that Canada is recognized and respected as a country that has paved the way for many of the therapeutic options now considered to be standards of care. It is interesting to note that the recipient of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for the discovery of androgen regulation of prostate cancer, Charles Huggins, was Canadian-born, and that the trials that led to approval of the first chemotherapeutic and bone-targeted agents in prostate cancer were led by Canadian investigators. Also of significant importance are the Canadian-led concepts of intermittent androgen deprivation therapy and active surveillance. All of those efforts have contributed to dramatically changing the way in which prostate cancer is managed around the world.
Finally, I would like to extend my gratitude to the experts who have accepted our invitation and taken the time to contribute to this supplement. They are all world leaders in the field of prostate cancer, and they provide insightful and practical approaches to the management of the disease.
The publication of this supplement was made possible through unrestricted educational grants from Amgen Canada, AstraZeneca and Novartis. I sincerely thank them for having accepted to help support this project and for their commitment to research and education in prostate cancer.