Tulane and New Orleans VA researcher receives funding for prostate cancer breakthrough

Patients battling prostate cancer may one day be less likely to face life-threatening side effects, thanks to research being conducted at the New Orleans Veterans Medical Center and Tulane University School of Medicine.

Franck Mauvais-Jarvis, MD, PhD, professor of medicine and the Price-Goldsmith Professor of Nutrition, has been selected for the VA Office of Research and Development’s Senior Clinician Scientist Investigator Award. The award was given in support of his work to prevent prostate cancer patients from developing type 2 diabetes due to their lower testosterone levels.

Mauvais-Jarvis’s work focuses on older men and those who are undergoing treatment for prostate cancer, who together represent a large percentage of patients at VA. Both groups have increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes because of the drop in testosterone that happens naturally with age but can also be accelerated by prostate cancer treatment. Mauvais-Jarvis seeks to capitalize on the positive effects of increased testosterone, such as muscle and bone preservation, without negative effects including prostate cancer.

“Dr. Mauvais-Jarvis’s groundbreaking research has great potential to improve the lives of our patients,” said VA Medical Center Director Fernando Rivera. “The Senior Clinician Scientist Investigator Award confirms the significance of his work and secures its future.”

The Senior Clinician Scientist Investigator Award increases funding for further research, which is now funded at $150,000 per year for eight years, for a total of $1.2 million. According to VA, awardees are selected based on grant score, outstanding scholarly activity, and strong contribution to VA research and clinical teams.