updated 11/18/2010 4:15:22 AM ET 2010-11-18T09:15:22

LOS ANGELES, Nov. 17, 2010 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Movember, the popular men's health charity initiative working in nine countries, today announced the launch of its Global Action Plan (GAP) to advance research aimed at ending death and suffering from prostate cancer. Working with a team of leading prostate cancer experts from around the world, the GAP has been designed to accelerate key research outcomes.

Movember's GAP will support one large, international research initiative each year that engages the most innovative prostate cancer researchers in the world, from both Movember and non-Movember participating countries, to collaborate on tackling some of the key challenges in developing better tests and treatment options for men affected by prostate cancer.

In the U.S., more than 2.5 million men and their families are affected by prostate cancer and an estimated 32,000 American men will die this year from this deadly disease.

Movember's vision is to have an everlasting impact on the state of men's health. The GAP is an important step towards achieving this by identifying and funding ground breaking research projects. The GAP will complement existing programs funded by Movember's beneficiary partners around the world. The key to this initiative is not just funding collaborative global research, but also sharing data freely with the entire prostate cancer community and beyond.

 "We firmly believe that Movember's GAP will accelerate key outcomes in prostate cancer research globally," commented Paul Villanti, Chairman of Movember. "With our international reach we are uniquely placed to support this initiative and accelerate significant achievements that will impact the quality of men's health around the world."

Movember's close ties with beneficiary partners around the world provides a unique opportunity to achieve research breakthroughs faster by bringing together, as a team, prostate cancer experts from around the world.

Movember has appointed a Global Scientific Committee (GSC) to oversee the initiative. The Committee will be supported by an expert Research Advisory Committee, established to oversee each research program, and a dedicated Movember program manager.

The GSC represents the very best prostate cancer experts from around the world, all of whom will advise Movember on priority international research initiatives in line with GAP's goals. Jonathan Simons, president and CEO of the Prostate Cancer Foundation, Movember's beneficiary in the U.S., is a member of the GSC. Biographies of all GSC members can be found at http://us.movemberfoundation.com/global-action-plan/ .

"I am honored to be working with Movember as part of the GAP science committee," said Simons. "Within just a few years, Movember—with the commitment of its Mo Bros and Mo Sistas around the world--has grown an international support system to support crucial research and help bring an end to this disease." 

"Prostate cancer research is often most effective when multi-disciplinary teams across different research institutions work together to address key scientific challenges," said GSC Independent Chair, Professor Colleen Nelson of the Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation, Queensland University of Technology, Australia. "This is usually done within a given center, occasionally across one country. Rarely is there an opportunity to do this on a global scale. Movember GAP provides an unprecedented opportunity to unite prostate cancer researchers across the globe to achieve breakthroughs faster."

Movember and its beneficiary partners are excited to be introducing the Movember GAP initiative. It's widely recognized that a better diagnostic tests, prognostic indicators and new treatments for prostate cancer are needed. Too many men are dying from the disease and too many men are being over-treated treated due to the limitations of current tests. GAP is aiming to accelerate significant achievements that will impact the quality of men's health globally.

Since inception, Movember has raised more than $100 million globally to change the face of men's health. In the US, Movember has raised almost $3 million to fund research supported by the Prostate Cancer Foundation.

About Movember

Movember is the world's largest charity event raising funds for cancer affecting men - specifically prostate cancer. Each November, Movember invites men across the globe to grow moustaches (or "Mos") while raising funds and awareness for men's health.  Movember aims to forever change the face of men's health, by raising awareness and funds that will reduce the number of preventable male deaths by cancer. For more information please visit www.movember.com.

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