Headed by Dr. Charles “Snuffy” Myers, AIDP’s Charlottesville,
Virginia team prides itself on its Southern Charm. By partnering with health
professionals in local communities in the United States and abroad, we’re
able to successfully treat prostate cancer patients across the globe.
Dr. Charles “Snuffy” Myers
Medical oncologist and prostate cancer survivor, Dr Charles "Snuffy" Myers
was a key player in creating AZT, Suranim, and Phenylacetate while working at
the National Institute of Health. With over 250 research papers published, Myers
is one of the leading developers of today's prostate cancer canon on both the
research and treatment side of the test tube. Former Cancer Director at the University
of Virginia, Myers opened the American Institute for Diseases of the Prostate
in 2002 to provide men with the kind of comprehensive care that saved his own
Dr Charles (Snuffy) MyersDr Myers was graduated near the top of his class from
the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine in 1969. While at Penn, he
worked in the laboratory of Peter Nowell, the scientist who discovered the genetic
basis (the Philadelphia Chromosome) for one of the common forms of leukemia.
He also completed his internship and part of a residency in internal medicine
at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania between 1969 and 1971.
In 1971 he began training in medical oncology at the National Cancer Institute
with Vincent DeVita. This was an exciting time to join NCI because DeVita had
just demonstrated that widespread metastatic Hodgkin's disease could be cured
by aggressive use of chemotherapy. During the three years Myers trained there,
DaVita demonstrated that chemotherapy cures other types of lymphoma. Additionally,
modern chemotherapy was developed for ovarian and breast cancer at NIH during
that time. At the end of his fellowship, the first board certification examinations
in Medical Oncology were given, signaling the birth of this specialty.
Dr. Myers decided to focus his research on the process of cancer drug discovery
and development. He was particularly interested in using a process called Clinical
Pharmacology to devise ways to make cancer drugs safer and more effective. In
1974, Myers joined the staff of the newly formed Clinical Pharmacology Branch
at NCI. By 1984, he had become Chief of the Clinical Pharmacology Branch and
remained in that position for ten years. During his years in the Clinical Pharmacology
Branch, Dr. Myers made a number of contributions to cancer research.
In the late 1970s, Myers became increasingly interested in ovarian cancer. This
particular cancer is unusual in that it often remains confined to the peritoneal
cavity, rather than spreading to other parts of the body. This had led a number
of investigators to administer cancer drugs directly into the peritoneal cavity
in an attempt to attain the highest drug concentrations. Despite the superficial
appeal of this approach, the results were not impressive. Myers addressed this
issue in a series of 14 papers. He established the science and technology needed
for effectively administering cancer drugs to the peritoneal cavity. This work
provided the basis for this area of research and spawned an entire field of clinical
The cancer drug Doxorubicin is widely used in the treatment of breast and other
cancers. Unfortunately, it causes irreversible heart damage that often proves
fatal. Myers demonstrated that this toxicity resulted from oxidative damage to
the heart muscle. In short, Doxorubicin damages the heart because it binds to
iron. The resulting drug-iron complex converts hydrogen peroxide into chemicals
that destroy the heart muscle.
His work led to the discovery of an antidote, Desreoxain that is now FDA- approved
for the prevention of Doxorubicin-induced heart damage.
In the early 1980s, a new fatal disease emerged that was characterized by a complete
failure of the immune system. It quickly became evident that many of the patients
with this disease were homosexual men and that the disease appeared to be spread
by sexual contact or blood transfusions. The cause proved to be a new group of
viruses called Human Immunodeficiency Virus, or HIV. Sam Broder, a close friend
and skilled immunologist, decided to mount an effort to discover drugs that kill
or arrest the spread of the virus. He recruited Myers as the lead pharmacologist.
In quick succession, the team identified two drugs that slow or arrest the growth
of HIV – suramin and AZT. Of these two, only AZT eventually proved of sufficient
value to warrant FDA approval as treatment for HIV infection.
During the HIV clinical trials, Dr. Myers became well acquainted with suramin
and its interesting properties as an anticancer agent. This interest focused
on a process called cell cycle regulation.
All cells are able to grow or remain stagnant, depending on the needs of the
body. For example, if you remove half of someone's liver, the remaining liver
tissue will rapidly grow until the liver reaches the correct size and then stop.
Thus, a key characteristic of normal tissues is strict control of cell growth.
Cancer cells differ because their growth is not controlled: once cancer cells
start growing, they stop only when they die or the patient dies.
In the early 1980s, it became apparent that growth of normal tissues was controlled
by the production of small proteins called growth factors. Some cancers occur
because a growth factor is produced erratically. This was initially demonstrated
in a study that revealed that the simian sarcoma virus caused sarcomas, a cancer
of scar tissue, by triggering over production of a growth factor called platelet-derived
growth factor (PDGF). Suramin was shown to block PDGF and cause simian sarcoma
virus infected cells to return to normal behavior.
Dr. Myers was aware that suramin also blocked another growth factor, fibroblast
growth factor or FGF. When it was reported that FGF overproduction was characteristic
of prostate cancer, Myers decided to investigate whether suramin was active against
The first patient was a young policeman from New Orleans who had failed hormonal
therapy under the care of Dr. Labrie, the discoverer of flutamide (Eulexin).
When Myers first saw this gentleman, his prostate cancer had spread to many of
the lymph nodes throughout his body. Amazingly, during the first course of suramin,
most of his prostate cancer disappeared!
Myers went on to document that about one third of men with hormone-resistant
prostate cancer respond to suramin. Suramin is now in the latter stages of drug
development and may soon receive FDA-approval as treatment for prostate cancer.
Encouraged by the results obtained with suramin, Myers initiated a discovery
program for drugs effective against prostate cancer. This group, formed at NCI,
continues to discover a number of additional drugs with promise in the treatment
of prostate and other cancers. These drugs include phenylacetate, phenylbutyrate
In 1994, Myers accepted a position as Director of the Cancer Center at the University
of Virginia. At that time, the Cancer Center was a Basic Science Center. In the
five years after his arrival, the Center doubled its funding from NCI and is
now an approved Clinical Center. During this same time, UVA became one of the
leading centers for prostate cancer research.
Myers’s major activities revolved around prostate cancer treatment and
research. His laboratory research was focused on why a diet high in animal fat
appears to foster progression in prostate cancer. His research group demonstrated
that a fatty acid, arachidonic acid, common in meat, dairy products, and egg
yolks promotes the survival and growth of human prostate cancer cells. They showed
that arachidonic acid is converted to a hormone, 5-HETE, which appears to foster
the spread of prostate cancer.
Dr. Myers has long been popular among prostate cancer patients as a speaker because
of his ability to explain science and medicine in easy-to-understand language.
For some years his other responsibilities limited the number of speaking engagements
he could accept. In an attempt to address this problem, Myers and his wife, Rose,
started a newsletter called Prostate Forum in the summer of 1996.
Dr. Myers left the University of Virginia on Feb. 15, 2002 to establish the American
Institute for Diseases of the Prostate in Charlottesville, VA. The Institute
focuses on providing comprehensive management of prostate cancer. Dr. Myers tailors
treatment according to the needs of each patient, based on his knowledge of the
disease and his own experience as a patient.
He began to see patients on Feb. 18, 2002.
Dana L. Overstreet, RN, MSN, FNP-C
Nurse Practitioner email@example.com
434-964-0212 ext. 6
Dana is a Family Nurse Practitioner who joined Dr. Myers at
AIDP in August 2010. Dana graduated from the University of
Virginia School of Nursing in 1993 with her Bachelor of Science
in Nursing and she received her Master1s of Science in Nursing
and Family Nurse Practitioner in August of 1999 from UVa.
Dana worked at the University of Virginia as a Registered
Nurse from 1994 until 2002. Her experience includes solid
organ transplantation, medical intensive care unit and critical
care service line including the emergency room, medical, surgical,
pediatric, neurological and cardiothoracic intensive care
units, recovery room, bone marrow transplant unit and the
Dana then joined the Department of Urology at the University
of Virginia in February 2002 to practice as a Nurse Practitioner
for the next nine years. While in the Department of Urology
she evaluated, diagnosed and managed urologic patients1 health
care independently and in collaboration with the attending
physicians. Dana also coordinated and facilitated group Shared
Medical Appointments with attending surgeon. She has expertise
in managing neurogenic bladder, urinary incontinence, erectile
dysfunction, interstitial cystitis, BPH, male pelvic pain
syndrome and kidney stones. Dana provided patient education
on medication management, dietary changes, behavioral changes
and corrective surgeries for complicated and specific urologic
conditions. In addition, she performed and documented comprehensive
history and physical examination on adult preoperative urologic
patients and provided anesthesia screenings prior to surgery.
Dana has expertise in pelvic floor muscle rehabilitation and
videourodynamic testing and prescribed and taught individual
treatment therapies for patients. While in the Urology Department
she was the lead author on several scholarly articles and
book chapter on bladder cancer treatment as well as coauthor
on other published articles in professional journals.
Now having partnered with Dr. Myers as his Nurse Practitioner,
Dana hopes to extend his expert knowledge on prostate cancer
management, nutrition, exercise, pharmacology and meticulous
medical management to more patients. Dana is available to
consult with on specific urologic complications as well and
prescribe treatment planning.
Dana has two wonderful children Jack and Alexa and a black
golden doodle named Jet. She enjoys watching her children
play sports and hiking the local mountains with Jet.
Medical Assistant firstname.lastname@example.org
434-964-0212, ext. 1
Maxine has nine years of medical assistant and medical technician
experience. She came to AIDP from a local assisted living
facility. She is currently attending the local community college
to obtain her nursing degree. She is enthusiastic and energetic
about working with patients.
434-964-0212 ext. 4
Pam currently supports several areas including AIDP, Rivanna
Health Publications, and the Foundation for Cancer Research
and Education. She came to AIDP with experience from
the University of Virginia Cancer Center. She actively
volunteers her time with the American Cancer Society and recently
was Chair of the “Bark for Life” event.
Prior Authorization Coordinator email@example.com
434-964-0212 ext. 2
Amy is the newest team member of the AIDP staff, joining
us in September of 2014.
Chief Operating Officer / Practice Manager firstname.lastname@example.org
434-964-0212 ext. 7
Michelle joined AIDP after a varied career path as an Environmental
Consultant, a Commercial Airline Pilot, and an Owner and Operator
of two businesses in the Charlottesville area. Michelle first
began supporting AIDP, Rivanna Health Publications, and the
Foundation for Cancer Research and Education as a Bookkeeper
in the Fall of 2008 after the birth of her second son. She
is now the Operations Manager supervising staff and is always
searching for new ways to improve ways we can provide optimal
patient care. When Michelle is away from the office she enjoys
hiking, camping, reading, knitting, and chasing her two young