Prostate Cancer

Our prostate program is an NIH-recognized and funded consortium of cohesive investigators and clinicians. We see patients at UW Medicine and the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance and offer cancer screenings, personalized treatment strategies and cutting-edge clinical trials.

We are unique in the Pacific Northwest in having deep clinical and translational sciences expertise in the prevention, detection, and treatment of early and late-stage prostate cancer. The team is composed of multiple medical oncologists, pathologists, radiation oncologists and surgeons that specialize only in prostate cancer treatment. These clinician-scientists set national guidelines and promote the early testing of the newest treatments. 

Risk Assessment and Prostate Cancer Prevention: We have made major advances in the identification of genomic loci that contribute to the risk of developing aggressive (versus indolent) prostate cancer and in understanding the environmental factors (diet, metabolism, exposures) that contribute to developing aggressive disease. 

Development of Prostate Cancer Models and Resources for Drug Discovery: We have established the world’s largest series of prostate cancer avatars (xenografts) that reflect the in vivo biology of advanced prostate cancer. These are widely used internally and by collaborating academic and industry partners for evaluating the effectiveness of new therapeutics. We have also established the longest-running rapid autopsy program for collecting biospecimens of advanced prostate cancer and continue to share these with hundreds of investigators around the world.

STTR prostate cancer researchers are brought together by several interdisciplinary teams to find better ways to prevent, detect and cure this disease. 

Institute for Prostate Cancer Research: A collaborative effort of Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and UW Medicine whose mission is to understand the causes of prostate cancer and its progression, develop new prevention strategies, devise innovative diagnostics and improve survival and quality of life.

Pacific Northwest Prostate Cancer SPORE: A collaboration lead by the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Institute, in partnership with the University of Washington, the University of British Columbia and its affiliate, the Vancouver Prostate Centre, and the Oregon Health and Science University Knight Cancer Institute, the SPORE focuses diverse teams towards the goal of reducing the morbidity and mortality associated with prostate cancer.

SU2C Dream Team Project: The “Precision Therapy for Advanced Prostate Cancer” Dream Team consists of a multi-disciplinary group of experts that includes laboratory and clinical researchers, young investigators and senior scientists who have not worked together in the past, as well as patient advocates.

The Prostate Active Surveillance Study (PASS): This study involves partnership from 10 sites around the country to identify and validate biomarkers that predict aggressive prostate cancer. PASS is funded by The Canary Foundation and coordinated by the National Cancer Institute’s Early Detection Research Network (EDRN).


Dr. Peter Nelson
STTR Prostate Cancer Deputy Director

Dr. Nelson is an oncologist specializing in therapies for early- and late-stage prostate cancer, pathology, and genome sciences. The focus of current work in the Nelson lab involves efforts to uncover how prostate cancer forms. The goal is to create tools to diagnose the onset of prostate cancer, develop prognostic strategies, and help develop more effective therapies for treating this disease.

Learn more at the Nelson Lab