Meet Oliver Sartor, M.D.
Dr. Oliver Sartor is the C.E. and Bernadine Laborde Professor of Cancer Research in the Departments of Medicine and Urology at Tulane University School of Medicine. He also serves as assistant dean for oncology. He is a world-renowned prostate cancer expert and one of the few medical oncologists in the world to focus on prostate cancer. Combining basic, translational and clinical prostate cancer research and ensuring state-of- the-art clinical treatment have been the major areas of focus throughout his career.
Funds raised through the One Man Shoot will be used to support Dr. Sartor’s ongoing research initiatives and Tulane’s Prostate Cancer Research Program.
TULANE’S PROSTATE CANCER PROGRAM IS UNPARALLELED
Dr. Sartor is the leader of Tulane’s Prostate Cancer Research Program, a world-class team of cancer professionals performing cutting-edge basic and clinical research and running the largest treatment center for prostate cancer patients in Louisiana. Currently about 1,300 patients from 26 states and 7 foreign countries are under Dr. Sartor’s care. Some of these patients require routine occasional follow-up and some have advanced disease requiring very active management.
THE COMPLETE SPECTRUM OF PROSTATE CANCER RESEARCH AND CARE
Tulane Cancer Center provides cancer prevention, diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation with an emphasis on convenience for our patients and their families and with a team approach to comprehensive prostate cancer care. Our program spans the full spectrum of prostate cancer care – from basic and clinical research to cancer screening and prevention to early detection and diagnosis to the latest treatment options and rehabilitation. Working along-side Dr. Sartor, Tulane’s Prostate Cancer Team includes other world-class clinicians, plus laboratory scientists who study cancer at the molecular level. The ultimate goal is to explore new avenues in the hopes of better understanding cancer and how to cure it.
CLINICAL TRIALS LEAD TO NEW TREATMENT OPTIONS
Dr. Sartor and his team are involved in a wide variety of clinical trials covering both translational issues and advanced treatments. They currently have about 24 protocols open and accruing patients at Tulane. In some of these trials he holds a national leadership position. The VISION trial, an international randomized phase III clinical trial for selected patients with metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer (mCRPC), is one of these. Dr. Sartor was co-principal investigator on the trial sponsored by Novartis, along with Bernd Krause, MD, of Germany’s Rostock University Medical Center, and he was the lead author on the New England Journal of Medicine publication that reported on the trial, published June 23, 2021. This was covered in The NY Times, given the significance of the findings.
The trial demonstrated that 177Lu-PSMA-617 — an engineered radioactive molecule that binds to the cell surface of prostate cancer cells — extends survival in mCRPC patients. The VISION trial is the first trial in prostate cancer using this approach to demonstrate improvements in survival, which is widely regarded as the most important demonstration of efficacy in patients being treated for cancer. This practice-changing trial is unequivocally important because it demonstrates an improvement in overall survival for patients who have very few alternative treatment options. Furthermore, the therapy is exceptionally well tolerated with a low incidence of significant side effects. Dr. Sartor anticipates approval of this new agent by regulatory agencies across the world, including the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, over the next year.
Next steps following this proof of principle trial, according to Dr. Sartor, are to test the agent in less heavily pre-treated patients, including those diagnosed with metastatic prostate cancer who have had no prior hormonal treatments. “This is an important new therapy. I envision that it will be used earlier in the stages of disease and new clinical trials are working on that issue right now,” said Dr. Sartor.
PUBLICATION IN PRESTIGIOUS MEDICAL JOURNALS & INVITED LECTURES
Between July 1, 2020, and June 30, 2021, Dr. Sartor published 36 articles or editorials in peer-reviewed medical journals. Over the past 30 years, he has given hundreds of invited lectures and presentations on prostate cancer at meetings in 33 countries.
LOUISIANA CANCER RESEARCH CONSORTIUM PROVIDES COLLABORATIVE OPPORTUNITIES HERE AT HOME
The Louisiana Cancer Research Consortium (LCRC) is a cancer research partnership created by the Louisiana State Legislature in 2002. It provides a structure under which the best and brightest minds at the State’s leading research institutions come together and collaborate to better understand cancer. Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center and Tulane University School of Medicine were the original two partners. In 2007, Xavier University of Louisiana was added as a partner, and Ochsner Health System joined in 2009. Through the LCRC, Dr. Sartor and his team collaborate with fellow scientists at LSU, Xavier, Ochsner and beyond. These increased opportunities for collaboration and synergy are what the LCRC is all about and ultimately aids in speeding the progress of research.
My deepest thanks to all those who have made the One Man Shoot Sporting Clays Fundraiser the incredibly successful and impactful event it is -- the planning committee members, shooters, sponsors, in-kind donors, and volunteers. My team and I feel a great responsibility to leverage the funds raised by investing them in research that has the greatest potential to make inroads against this disease. Each dollar is pivotal to our team’s progress as we continue to pursue a deeper understanding of prostate cancer and how to make improvements in our care. It is through research that our knowledge of how to detect and treat this disease will become better defined. Our progress in recent years has been palpable, though our goals are not yet reached. Your support makes this journey possible, and I am deeply grateful.”
---Oliver Sartor, MD