E. David Crawford, MD

E. David Crawford, MD

Editor-in-Chief
Grand Rounds in Urology
Professor of Urology
University of California, San Diego

San Diego, California

Researcher-physician E. David Crawford, MD, has devoted his career in medicine to educating the public about men's health issues and finding effective techniques and procedures to address prostate cancer, the most common malignancy affecting men in the United States.

He is currently a Professor of Urology at the University of California, San Diego, and emeritus distinguished endowed Professor of Surgery, Urology, and Radiation Oncology, and Head of the Section of Urologic Oncology at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus in Aurora, Colorado. Dr. Crawford received his medical degree from the University of Cincinnati and his postgraduate training included an internship and residency in urology at the Good Samaritan Hospital in Cincinnati. He subsequently completed a genitourinary cancer fellowship at the University of California Medical Center in Los Angeles.

Dr. Crawford is an internationally recognized expert in benign prostate hypertrophy, urologic cancers, and in particular, prostate cancer. He has conducted research in the treatment of advanced bladder cancer, metastatic adenocarcinoma of the prostate, hormone-refractory prostate cancer, and other areas of urological infections and malignancies. He has authored or coauthored over 810 scientific articles, has published seven textbooks, authored over 60 book chapters, and provided more than 2,200 educational talks for patients and physicians.

In an effort to raise public awareness about prostate health, Crawford in 1989 founded the Prostate Conditions Education Council (PCEC). The non-profit organization is comprised of a consortium of leading physicians, health educators, scientists, and men's health advocates. PCEC's advocacy for free or low-cost prostate screening has affected the lives of millions of American men. He currently chairs the PCEC.

Crawford is an active member of many national and international organizations, including the American Society of Clinical Oncology, the American Urological Association (AUA), and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Within the AUA, he has been a member of the Committee to Study Urologic Research Funding and the prostate cancer clinical trials subcommittee. Crawford served on the board of governors, the scientific advisory board of the Southwest Oncology Group, and was chairman of the Genitourinary Cancer Committee for 27 years. This group is the largest clinical trials group in the world.

Crawford's involvement in the national prostate cancer arena has been widely recognized. He has received many honors and awards, including the CAP Cure Annual Award for Scientific Presentation in 1999 In 1997, he was presented with a 'Freddie Award" at the AMA International Health and Medical Film Competition for the program, ITV: The Cutting Edge Medical Report (Prostate Cancer: Understanding, Diagnosing, and Defeating), which Crawford hosted with special guest, retired General Norman Schwarzkopf.

Crawford again won a prestigious 'Freddie Award" 5 years ago... He is a member of Best Doctors of America and was named Healthcare Provider of the Year in the Denver Metro area by the Denver Business Journal.

He has been recognized as one of the Best Doctors of America for the past two decades and is recognized as one of the top 20 urologists in the country, for men, by Men’s Health Magazine. In 2018 he received the honor of being named the Distinguished Alumnus of the Year from the University of Cincinnati School of Medicine. In May of 2019, he received the Presidential citation from the American Urological Association recognizing for his “tireless role in genitourinary cancer research that has benefited countless urologic cancer patients.” He accepted the position of Editor in Chief of Grand Rounds in Urology in June of 2019. In 2021, he was the recipient of the Merle Stringer, M.D. annual award for excellence in medicine by the Florida State Medical Association.

Disclosures:

Articles by E. David Crawford, MD

Early Detection of Prostate Cancer: Navigating the Challenges in 2021

E. David Crawford, MD, Editor-in-Chief of Grand Rounds in Urology and Professor of Urology at the University of California, San Diego, discusses the challenges of early detection of prostate cancer (PCa) and recommends a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) cut-off of 1.5 ng/ml. He begins by briefly summarizing different screening guidelines, noting particularly that the United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) has raised concerns about PCa early detection, asserting that there is too much overtreatment. Dr. Crawford argues, however, that evidence shows that a reduction in PSA screening resulted in a rise in metastatic prostate cancer across the United States. Because most diagnostic testing is completed by family practice physicians who may not understand the nuances of PSA testing, Dr. Crawford recognizes that they need a simple message from urologists. He states that a PSA of >1.5 ng/ml is a good surrogate for benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), PCa, and PCa risk, and explains that patients with a PSA of 1.5 ng/ml to 4.0 ng/ml may be in a “danger zone” and require additional testing. Dr. Crawford contends that patients do not need to make an informed decision about getting a PSA test, and that PSA testing should be considered as routine as measuring a patient’s weight or cholesterol, especially since more than 70% of men will have a PSA of less than 1.5 and will not require further screening for another 5 to 10 years. He then explains that an abnormal PSA alone should not guide biopsy decisions, though, and suggests that using tests like 4Kscore and SelectMDx in conjunction with MRI can reduce unnecessary biopsies. Dr. Crawford concludes by reiterating the importance of simple messaging to move forward with effective screening and early detection of PCa.

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GUIDE – A New Initiative For a National Bio Repository

E. David Crawford, MD, Editor-in-Chief of Grand Rounds in Urology and Professor of Urology at the University of California, San Diego, and Matthew O. Leavitt, MD, Chief Executive Officer at PathNet, Inc., present the GUIDE initiative to disrupt current data and bio-specimen collection and streamline the exchange of clinical data. Dr. Crawford offers a vision for integrated data-sharing and then introduces Dr. Leavitt, who describes the process. In order to create personalized treatment plans, Dr. Leavitt reasons that individual patients’ data must be shared between institutions and contends that our current disconnected health systems present a variety of institutional, economic, and data-based barriers to this goal. He then discusses the DDx Foundation, a public non-profit which builds and supports clinical data exchanges that is governed by physicians and supported by allied industry partners. Their aim is to create a network of clinic and hospital bio-repositories that will lead to standardization of patient-informed consent, specimen handling, and data curation. Instead of owning data or specimens, DDx Foundation contractually handles the specimen-data transactions with third parties, and the value of this data is then passed back to the clinical contributors. Dr. Leavitt then walks through the process from consent to data exchange. He describes how utilizing edge computing to capture and analyze patient data at the clinical site instead of in a centralized cloud server creates a more cost-effective method of testing. Once data is collected, it is distributed to a regional tissue data hub automatically and the information is anonymized for data and specimen marketplace and de-identified for future care of the patient. Finally, through regional bio-repositories, data is then shared in a central trust where it can be accessed by researchers across the country for retrospective analysis or clinical trials. Dr. Leavitt concludes by describing the benefits for researchers, clinics, data contributors, and patients.

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Next Generation Imaging in Prostate Cancer – PYLARIFY

E. David Crawford, MD, Editor-in-Chief of Grand Rounds in Urology and Professor of Urology at the University of California, San Diego, explains how next generation imaging (NGI) can benefit prostate cancer patients and improve care, focusing on PYLARIFY PET/CT. He begins by providing some background, defining biochemical failure, noting that conventional imaging has poor sensitivity, and briefly reviewing RADAR I and III guidelines. Dr. Crawford then gives an in-depth summary of the design, patient entry criteria, and results of the CONDOR study on the clinical utility of PYLARIFY PET/CT in patients with biochemical recurrence of prostate cancer and non-informative standard of care baseline imaging. He explains that CONDOR’s primary endpoint was correct localization rate (CLR) of PYLARIFY PET/CT imaging, meaning the percentage of patients with a 1-to-1 correspondence between lesion level localization of ≥1 lesion on PYLARIFY PET/CT imaging and the composite truth standard, and notes that the results far exceeded the 20% baseline for success, with PYLARIFY imaging detecting ≥1 lesion in 59-66% of patients. Dr. Crawford also looks at the secondary endpoint of percentage of patients with a change in intended treatment management due to PYLARIFY PET/CT, observing that 64% of evaluable patients saw a change in management.

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Early Diagnosis of Prostate Cancer: A Path Forward

E. David Crawford, MD, Editor-in-Chief of Grand Rounds in Urology and Professor of Urology at the University of California, San Diego, discusses the challenges of early detection of prostate cancer (PCa), the role of markers in identifying patient risk, and the impact of early detection. He begins by acknowledging the limitations of prostate-specific antigen (PSA) testing alone and notes that the United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) has raised concerns about PCa early detection, asserting that there is too much overdiagnosis and overtreatment. Because most diagnostic testing is completed by primary care physicians (PCPs) who may not understand the nuances of PSA testing, Dr. Crawford recognizes that PCPs need a simple message from urologists. He states that a PSA of >1.5 ng/ml is a good surrogate for benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), prostatitis, and PCa risk, and explains that patients with a PSA of 1.5 ng/ml to 4.0 ng/ml may be in a “danger zone” and require additional testing. Dr. Crawford argues, however, that an abnormal PSA alone should not guide biopsy decisions. Rather, he suggests that prostate cancer markers (PCMs) for patients with elevated PSA can better risk-stratify patients and identify significant cancers, enabling many to avoid biopsy. Dr. Crawford cites the example that using SelectMDx as a risk-stratification tool for biopsy-naive men avoids unnecessary biopsies in 38 percent of patients, minimizes detection of low-grade PCa, and misses only 10 percent of high-grade PCa. Further, using mpMRI in all patients had the highest net benefit, allowing 49% of patients to avoid biopsy and missing only 4.9 percent of high-risk PCa. However, if mpMRI availability is limited or expensive, using mpMRI-only in SelectMDx-positive patients is a good alternative strategy. Dr. Crawford concludes by outlining a diagnostic process whereby doctors may refer a patient to a urologist, repeat PSA testing, and incorporate PCM to better determine the risk of significant cancer as well as the need for biopsy for their patients with an elevated PSA.

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