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From the Spring 2016 Quest

On March 21, Dr. William Catalona received a 2016 Castle Connolly National Physician of the Year Award for Clinical Excellence at the historic Pierre Hotel in New York City.

Each year, Castle Connolly Medical Ltd. recognizes both physicians and leaders in health care whose dedication, talents and skills have improved the lives of people throughout the world. Dr. Catalona is among three outstanding, currently active physicians to receive awards for Clinical Excellence. Three other annual awards recognize lifetime contributions of two physicians and the contributions of a lay person for their leadership in support of a health-related cause or issue.

The selection process for the award is rigorous. Dr. Patrick C. Walsh of Johns Hopkins, a previous recipient of this award, nominated Dr. Catalona, whose credentials were reviewed by the Castle Connolly Medical Advisory Board.

At the ceremony, Dr. Catalona was presented with Imaginatio, a sculpture by Lladró that symbolizes the hope and comfort those honored with the awards have brought to the world through their efforts.

Dr. Catalona’s acceptance speech was recorded for future national distribution. The inspirational stories of Dr. Catalona and the other awardees in healthcare will soon reach new audiences around the nation.

Visit the URF website, www.drcatalona.com, to access the video introducing Dr. Catalona at the awards ceremony.

Dr. Catalona’s Career Highlights

Dr. Catalona’s discovery of PSA testing has transformed the field of prostate cancer and reduced the development of metastatic disease and death from prostate cancer in the United States by 50%. That has resulted in an estimated reduction in more than 300,000 prostate cancer deaths in the U.S. over the last 25 years. He also performed many of the early studies that defined the operational characteristics of PSA testing and directed the pivotal studies that led to FDA approval of the total PSA, free PSA and pro PSA assays as aids to the early detection of prostate cancer.

Currently, Dr. Catalona is active in the research arena of targeted screening, which has implications for incorporating genetic risk variants into screening algorithms to identify men at high risk for prostate cancer. His research group provided clinically annotated DNA samples for the replication phase of the original study by DeCODE Genetics, Inc. that discovered the first prostate cancer risk allele on chromosome 8q24 and subsequently discovered more than 10 other prostate cancer risk alleles. He has led the NCI- Prostate Special Project of Research Excellence (SPORE) Genetic Working Group studies of germline markers of aggressive disease and participated in the International Consortium of Prostate Cancer Genetics (ICPCG) studies of familial prostate cancer cases.

These studies have identified genetic variants associated with prostate cancer susceptibility and aggressiveness and have pointed the way to future studies that may have practical applications for targeted screening and active surveillance versus immediate treatment.

Dr. Catalona specializes in prostate cancer surgery and is recognized as an expert in performing nerve-sparing radical prostatectomy. He has performed more than 7,000 of these operations on patients from around the world.

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