A Celebration of Collaboration – Joining forces with Sanford-Burnham to develop better tests – $60,000 Postdoctoral Grant!!


On May 10, the International Prostate Cancer Foundation awarded Ranjan Perera, Ph.D., scientific director of analytical genomics and bioinformatics at the Sanford-Burnham Lake Nona campus, $60,000 to fund a postdoctoral fellow in Dr. Perera’s lab.


Sanford-Burnham can really make an impact in the field,” said our founder Dr. Vipul Patel, as he acknowledged Dr. Perera’s work to identify molecular markers for prostate cancer. With a shared goal to develop better diagnoses and treatments, this postdoc grant is only the first step in a long and mutually beneficial partnership between us here at the International Prostate Cancer Foundation and the great minds at Sanford-Burnham.

In Sanford-Burnham Lake Nona labs, Dr. Perera and his team are currently working on early prognostic markers for prostate cancer. The goal is to be able to diagnose prostate cancer earlier, through a simple blood test instead of an invasive biopsy. “This research is urgently needed as professionals from all aspects of the field have been calling for these molecular markers. Not just for prostate cancer, but other malignant tumors as well,” explained Perera.


As Dr. Patel pointed out during the ceremony, “We at Florida Hospital have operated on thousands of prostate cancer patients with various states of disease. We have a large database and a diverse pool of patient samples while Sanford-Burnham has deep basic medical research expertise.” When clinicians and medical researchers work together new therapies and diagnostic tools can be developed more rapidly.

We encourage you to read more about Dr. Perera’s research here & visit Sanford & Burnham’s blog for their full take on the event.

For full coverage and ceremony photos visit the International Prostate Cancer Foundation on Facebook.


Memories from Moscow: Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS) Names Dr.Patel Honorary Member

Yet another testament to his ever-reaching efforts, our chairman Dr. Vipul Patel now joins the ranks of historical scholars Bernoulli, Pavlov and Watson… to name few.

On June 13, 2012 he was inducted as an Honorary Member into the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS) as he continues to gain the recognition of the global scientific community. Founded by Peter the Great, the RAS works with goals parallel to those of Dr. Patel as they focus on providing comprehensive assistance to scientific research and development while strengthening links between science and education.

Election to membership is strongly based upon scientific contributions and such membership is attributed with high prestige. With a select 500 foreign members inducted from inception (1724) until now, the addition of Dr. Vipul Patel is one to be held in high regard.

Many of the RAS foreign members are Nobel Prize Laureates such as Ivan Pavlov (1904) and Lev Landau in Physics (1962), James Watson in Medicine (1962), and Ernest Rutherford the Father of Nuclear Physics (1908). Benjamin Franklin was also the first American to be inducted into RAS. As Director of the Global Robotics Institute and Director of Urology Oncology at Florida Hospital Celebration Health, Patel promises to be a prominent figure in such company.

Vipul Patel has been credited with changing the landscape of prostate cancer care. To date, he has completed over 5,500 robotic prostatectomies. In 2008, he and his team formed and trained the Russian robotic surgery team, performing the first robotic prostatectomy in Russia. Further accomplishments include publishing sentinel papers on the management and outcome of prostate cancer, founding the Society of Robotic Surgeons, and creating the non-profit initiative known as the International Prostate Cancer Foundation. Vipul Patel places great emphasis on the education of surgeons and patients globally. With the International Prostate Cancer Foundation he focuses on three goals: Education, Screening and Research. His mission is to create enough momentum focused on men’s health to result in eradication of the disease.

Dr. Monica Reed, Administrator of Florida Hospital Celebration Health expresses the following: “Dr. Patel has been a valuable example to all of us and has continued to inspire us with his dedication to the field. Central Floridians are so fortunate to have such a skilled surgeon in this community.”

Thankful for the recognition, Patel affirms that the honor of being inducted into the Russian Academy of Sciences is a direct reflection of his mission and future endeavors.

RAS Members of Mention
Daniel Bernoulli – Bernoulli’s Equation
Ivan Pavlov – Conditional Reflex
James Watson – Discovered DNA Strucure
Michael DeBakey – Heart Surgery Pioneer

The Mountain Within

“Prostate cancer doesn’t care how fit you are, how high you climb or how much you serve your country….. I am living proof that early detection saves lives.” – Karim Mella

In October of last year IPCF chairman Dr. Patel performed surgery on his 5000th patient, our very own Karim. A striking testimonial and profound spirit, we are thrilled to feature him as our “Face for PSA Testing.” Strongly believing that his survival hinged on early detection, he has generously accepted this role. We express sincere gratitude for the time that he has so willingly volunteered, his impact is cannot be measured!

May 21st 2011, Karim Mella ascends Mount Everest unaware of the underlying shock soon to come. A diagnosis that would make even this most recent feat almost insignificant. For a man not easily intimidated, the words ‘You have prostate cancer’ proved to strike a brutal mental blow.

A marvelous man in his endeavors, Karim Mella is a life that could have been a great loss if not saved through the results of PSA testing. His accomplishments as a physically fit 44-year-old father and husband would leave most anyone certain that his health warranted little concern for decline.

Since age 11 Karim has been climbing the mountains of the Dominican Republic. Serving as a sergeant in the military he has visited and explored 22 countries including South America, Africa, Alaska, Argentina and Peru. All of this leading to his most impressive feat yet, conquering Mount Everest. After climbing Everest in May of 2011 Mella felt invisible he says, unknowingly however, cancer WILL follow you to the top of the world.

Karim showed no symptoms of prostate cancer upon his return check-up. Luckily you may say, his PSA test results returned with high numbers indicating a possible complication with the prostate. Under the recommendations of Dr. Patel this lead to a cancerous biopsy and finally a frightening diagnosis, ‘You have Prostate Cancer’.

Concerned about the outlook for his future Karim confided in Patel for reassurance. With confidence Dr. Patel explained that key factors were acting in Karim’s favor: “Not only have we diagnosed at an early age, but also at an early grade within the early stages of progression.”

After his surgery in October of 2011 Karim exhibits little hesitation as he jumps right back into life…literally (watch the video)! Completing a Half-Ironman in May 2012 he continues to prepare for the New York City Ironman in August of this year. Also he has organized a trip to the Dominican Republic where he will lead 50 low-income children on an expedition into the beautiful mountains in which he begun his journey.

“Cancer does not discriminate. Awareness is our most powerful weapon.”

These are the words of Karim Mella as he advocates the use of PSA testing in the early detection, diagnosis, and treatment of prostate diseases. He thanks Celebration Health and Dr. Patel his words being, “I could not have asked for any better.”

Follow Karim’s lead by joining his signature on our petition demanding that the USPSTF withdraw recommendations against PSA testing.

PSA Petition soon to reach 5,000 signatures….. Let’s shoot for 10,000! CREATE ACTION!!

We want to first thank our community for all of your continued efforts, support, and interest as you follow the ongoing developments surrounding this cause. Through our combined initiatives we have made considerable accomplishments and enthusiastically update you on the status of our progress.

As so many of you have signed and shared our petition, urging the USPSTF to recant their negative decision toward PSA testing, please take pride as we announce successfully reaching upwards of 4,400 signatures! Progressing at this rate we have high hopes of reaching 5,000 by this months end, if not sooner. Keeping with an aggressive approach this only motivates us further as we push toward the 10,000 signature mark! It is with confidence that we ask our community to maintain their persistence, spreading the word and calling upon their peers to sign our petition. Reaching 10,000 will be monumental in receiving national coverage and recognition. With this, key decision makers including congress, the media and the global community will be all but forced to take notice and take ACTION! Together we can CHANGE.

A Letter from Dr. Vipul Patel

The International Prostate Cancer Foundation is the culmination of the inspirational ideas of my friends, patients, and colleagues. As a prostate cancer physician and urologic oncologist I am faced daily with the challenge of educating and treating men with prostate cancer. I have now treated over 4,000 men with prostate cancer and now yearly I see over 1500 men with various urologic cancers. These men come from all over the world with varied questions seeking advice and treatment. This has allowed me to see the global impact of the disease and the drastic variations in diagnostic practices, stages at detection and levels of available treatment. Due to the inconsistency in education and treatment of the disease worldwide I have teamed up with my patients and colleagues to join the fight against this common yet elusive foe, and I am hopeful that you will join me to eradicate prostate cancer on a global level. I hope you will join me in this endeavor and consider an investment and commitment to the Foundation at a level of personal significance.