Community Urologist Makes Mark in Research: An Interview with Neal D. Shore, MD
Published Online: Friday, December 20, 2013
Neal D. Shore, MD
Based in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, Shore is medical director of Carolina Urologic Research Center (CURC) and a partner with Atlantic Urology Clinics, a large group of four merged practices. CURC consists of five investigator urologists and eight full-time research coordinators, and has participated in more than 250 clinical trials of urologic therapies—many of them genitourinary cancer treatments—during the past 15 years.
“What I’ve chosen to do is maintain a very robust and dedicated research site, and I’m proud of the fact that it is relatively unique,” Shore said. “While it was extremely uncommon years ago, over time there have been other independent community-based practices in urology that have become interested in clinical trial development, because there was a significant unmet need for accrual. I’ve spoken frequently on the issue, and have worked with many sites to try and help them establish what we’ve established. It helps us get answers to unmet therapeutic questions and understand whether therapies are effective, as well as offering services within communities to patients who are not responding to traditional, approved therapies.”
Improving the Outlook for PatientsShore has been instrumental in the development of seven practice-changing drugs for the treatment of prostate cancer approved by the FDA since 2004, including chemotherapies docetaxel and cabazitaxel and the antiandrogen agent abiraterone.
He was an author of the phase III studies of the antiandrogen enzalutamide, immunotherapy sipuleucel-T, osteoclast inhibitor denosumab, and GnRH receptor antagonist degarelix, and is currently participating in phase III trials of other therapies for prostate cancer.
Although Shore wasn’t involved in the phase III trials of the recently approved radiopharmaceutical radium- 223, he was active with the Early Access Program, and is proud that, upon the drug’s approval, his site was the first in the world to administer the drug to a patient.
“None of these are ‘me-too’ drugs; they’re first in class when it comes to their mechanisms of action,” he pointed out. “Having had the opportunity to participate in the clinical trials and then the publications, and the opportunity to talk about it to my colleagues, has been extremely gratifying for me.”
Shore and his colleagues are also involved in ongoing phase III trials of potential treatments for metastatic renal cancer, including immunotherapies and tyrosine kinase inhibitors. Their research group has participated, as well, in trials of intravesical therapies for bladder cancer, with the goal of helping patients to avoid cystectomy.
Finally, Shore regularly publishes papers that offer overviews of, and guidance about, urologic issues. His topics have included “Treatment Patterns In Patients With Prostate Cancer And Bone Metastasis Among US Community-Based Urology Group Practices,” “Role of Testosterone In Managing Advanced Prostate Cancer,” and “Talking To Patients About Risk.”
“Probably the most unifying theme of what I’ve done in my research efforts, in addition to encouraging and promoting clinical trial research and participation, has been encouraging urologists to become enthusiastic and accepting of the new therapeutics in advanced prostate cancer, specifically castration- resistant prostate cancer, and helping them to better understand the administration of these therapies without being worried that it’s beyond their comfort zone,” Shore said. “There are many other fields that haven’t had these incredible advancements, and some have called this an embarrassment of riches. That’s why I so enjoy writing about these different therapies, presenting information about them, and discussing how and when to use them.”
Building a CareerAt the start of his career, Shore was serving as a chief resident at the New York Hospital-Cornell Medical Center and was interested in staying on an academic track. However, he changed directions when his father died suddenly.
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