Prostate Cancer

Saturday, December 8, 2018

Inflammatory bowel disease increases risk of prostate cancer

CANCER DIGEST – Dec. 8, 2018 – Men with inflammatory bowel disease have four to five times higher risk of being diagnosed with prostate cancer a 20-year study has found.

This is the first study to show such a link to prostate cancer in men with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), an umbrella term that describes chronic inflammation of the digestive tract, such as ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease. Symptoms include fever, fatigue, diarrhea, blood in the stool and unintended weight loss.

Sunday, November 4, 2018

Judge rules patent on Zytiga® invalid

CANCER DIGEST – Nov. 4, 2018 – A federal judge in New Jersey has ruled that Johnson & Johnson’s patent for the anti-prostate cancer drug abiraterone is invalid. The decision clears the way for generic versions of the drug, which are under development by a number of pharmaceutical companies. 

Saturday, October 20, 2018

The quest to determine which prostate cancers need treatment

Image courtesy University of York
CANCER DIGEST – Oct. 20, 2018 – Researchers  from the University of York in the UK and the University of British Columbia, Canada say they can now determine with 92 percent accuracy which prostate cancers are life-threatening and which can be managed.

Prostate cancers are generally categorized as slow-growing or aggressive. Slow-growing cancers that remain within the prostate can be monitored, sometimes for years before treatment is needed, while aggressive cancers need to be treated quickly. 

Saturday, September 8, 2018

Test or not to test is the question facing men with regard to prostate cancer

Illustration courtesy of SonaCare
CANCER DIGEST – Sept. 8, 2018 – An international panel of clinical experts recommends against routine testing for prostate cancer. That recommendation followed an extensive review of the available research that they say shows little evidence that such screening reduces prostate cancer deaths. Their findings are published online ahead of the Sept. 5, 2018 British Medical Journal (BMJ). 

Saturday, July 7, 2018

High-intensity ultrasound as effective as surgery but with fewer side effects for prostate cancer

Image courtesy of SonaCare
CANCER DIGEST – July 7, 2018 – Using high-energy ultrasound to eradicate prostate cancer may be as effective as surgery or radiation, but with fewer side effects, researchers say.

In a new study of the treatment called high-intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU), researchers at the Imperial College London and University College London and four other hospitals in the UK tracked 625 men with early stage prostate cancer treated with HIFU for a median of nearly

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Four dollar drug might be effective against most aggressive prostate cancers

The cell's mitochondria produce the energy that fuels the
cell. Metformin may be used to shut down mitochondria
in aggressive prostate cancer cells 
CANCER DIGEST – April 22, 2018 – New research shows how a common drug for diabetes may halt aggressive prostate cancer.

The drug metformin has long been linked with anti-cancer properties as numerous studies have shown lower rates of certain cancers among diabetic patients who take the drug, but just how the drug might work against cancer was unknown.

Saturday, March 10, 2018

UK’s National Health Service to trial mpMRI for prostate cancer

Patient being positioned for an MRI – image used under
Creative Commons share alike license from Wikipedia
CANCER DIGEST – March 10, 2018 –In an effort to improve and speed up prostate cancer diagnosis, Britain’s National Health Service has launched a trial of a "one-stop" service in three west London hospitals. The goal is to complete all the tests needed to tell a man whether or not he has prostate cancer in one day. 

Saturday, February 10, 2018

Imaging-first strategy effective for prostate cancer

CANCER DIGEST – Feb. 9, 2018 – An advanced imaging technique is a cost-effective first test for the diagnosis of prostate cancer when followed by a combination imaging-guided biopsy say researchers.

The PROMIS study published in the January 2018 European Urology was designed to compare cost and effectiveness of three diagnostic strategies: transrectal ultrasound-guided biopsy (TRUSB), template prostate mapping biopsy (TPMB), and multiparametric magnetic resonance imaging (mpMRI) for the detection of clinically significant prostate cancer. 

Saturday, January 13, 2018

New test predicts age of onset of aggressive prostate cancer

CANCER DIGEST – Jan. 13, 2018 – A new test based on genomic research combined with population research is able to predict the age of onset of aggressive prostate cancer, researchers say.

The tool is based on searches of individual genomes, the entire set of genes that make up an individual, for small variations, called single-nucleotide polymorphisms or SNPs that occur more frequently in people with a particular disease compared to people without the disease. 

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Study shows beta blockers may treat prostate cancer

Sympathetic-nerve fibers (green) are closely intertwined 
with blood vessels (white) release norepinephrine that 
stimulates vessel proliferation that fuels tumor growth.
CANCER DIGEST – Oct. 20, 2017 – Tracking down how certain nerves promote prostate cancer, researchers at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine have revealed a possible new strategy for halting prostate cancer growth.

In a 2013 Science study the researchers led by Paul Frenette, professor of medicine and cell biology at Einstein, showed that nerves of the sympathetic nervous system, the flight or fight response nerves, promote tumor growth by producing norepinephrine, a chemical that gives a sudden boost to skeletal muscle contractions and rate and force of heart muscle contractions. The researchers found that norepinephrine binds to and stimulates receptors on tumor connective-tissue cells, helping the tumor to spread.

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Imaging technique detects tumor oxygen levels in prostate cancer

CANCER DIGEST – Aug. 26, 2017 – A new imaging technique using a combination of light and sound to check the oxygen levels in prostate tumors could lead to a non-invasive way to determine how aggressive the cancer is.

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Long-term aspirin use continue to show benefits

Yin Cao, MPH, ScD
CANCER DIGEST – April 9, 2017 – The evidence supporting the benefits of low-dose daily aspirin to prevent cancer continues to grow. In a study presented at the American Association for Cancer Research meeting taking place in Washington, D.C. this week, a large long-term study of nurses shows that the overall risk of dying was 7 percent lower for women and 11 percent lower for men who had regularly taken aspirin.

The Nurses’ Health System Study began in 1976 and has followed more than 280,000 nurses since that time using repeated questionnaire and follow-up assessments since the study began. 

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Broccoli mystery solved?

Photo courtesy of Oregon State University
"Eat your broccoli." It is a maternal edict that is getting support from researchers looking into why broccoli seems to be good for us.

The compound found in abundance in broccoli is called sulforaphane, a compound known to help prevent prostate cancer, but how it does that has remained a mystery until now. Researchers at Oregon State University have found that sulforphane, suppresses the production of a particular piece of genetic material that is found at high levels in prostate cancer.
Continue reading

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Hormone therapy for prostate cancer linked to increased risk of dementia

CANCER DIGEST – Oct. 30, 2016 – A new analysis of the electronic medical records of prostate cancer patients shows a link between hormone blockade therapy and the future risk of dementia.

The researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine and the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine, looked at deidentified records from Stanford Medicine’s clinical-research data warehouse culled from nearly 10,000 patients with prostate cancer.

Friday, October 21, 2016

Swedish men chose active surveillance

CANCER DIGEST – Oct. 21, 2016 – When offered the treatment option of active surveillance, the number of Swedish men with low-risk, slow growing prostate cancer who chose that option increased by one third, a new report shows. The question is, would American men make a similar choice if offered active surveillance?

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Early radiation therapy after prostatectomy may forestall cancer spread

CANCER DIGEST – Aug. 17, 2016 – The return of PSA after surgery to remove the prostate is a disconcerting finding for any patient who has undergone such surgery. What to do about it has been controversial among oncologists; should patients undergo immediate radiation therapy or wait and see if the presence of prostate specific antigen (PSA) rises.

A new study by researchers at the Department of Radiation Oncology at the Cleveland Clinic and nine other institutions suggests that early radiation therapy in such cases reduces the chances that the PSA levels rise and the chance that the cancer will spread to another part of the body. The study was published online ahead of print in the Aug. 15, 2016 Journal of Clinical Oncology.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Mid-life PSA test predicts prostate cancer death

CANCER DIGEST – June 19, 2016 – A single PSA test in midlife can predict future prostate cancer death a study in the June 13, 2016 Jounal of Clinical Oncology concludes. 

Led by Mark Preston, MD, MPH, the Brigham and Women’s Hospital study started in 1982 followed more than 22,000 male physicians aged 40 to 59 who gave blood before being randomly assigned to groups, one taking aspirin and beta carotene the other given a placebo.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Prostate cancer cure minus the side effects

Credit: University of Michigan Health System
CANCER DIGEST – May 12, 2016 – The trade-off for eradicating prostate cancer has always been about weighing the benefits of surviving the cancer against a reduced quality of life due to the risks of incontinence and sexual dysfunction.

With the careful use of MR imaging, however, researchers say they can tip the balance in favor of survival while minimizing the risk of adverse effects on quality of life.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Highly targeted radiation cures 98.6 percent of early stage prostate cancers

This illustration shows how the Stereotatctic radiation beams
are precisely directed to the tumor, in this case a brain tumor 
CANCER DIGEST -- April 24, 2016 -- A five-year study shows that a highly targeted type of radiation therapy cured 98.6 percent of early stage prostate cancer patients who had undergone no other treatments.

Monday, August 10, 2015

Shapeshifting marker for cancer cells identified

CANCER DIGEST – Aug. 10, 2015 – In a first of its kind study researchers have identified a genetic biomarker responsible for the progression of many breast and prostate cancers. 

The newly identified biomarker is called diaphanous-related formin-3 or DIAPH3, which participates in a protein interaction that makes cells rigid. The study found that when this biomarker is lost or decreased, cells become flexible or pliable allowing them to squeeze through tissue spaces. Cancer cells with this property can invade normal tissues and adhere to other tissues in the body.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Study shows dramatic shift to prostate cancer treatments that match risk

CANCER DIGEST – July 27, 2015 – In the first study to document updated treatment trends, researchers found that from 2010 to 2013, 40 percent of men with low-risk prostate cancer opted for active surveillance, in which the disease is monitored closely with blood tests, imaging studies and biopsies. Treatment is deferred unless these tests show evidence of progression.

That is much higher than the 10 percent of low-risk prostate cancer patients who pursued active surveillance in the years from 1990 through 2009. Rates for radiation therapy for this low-risk group have also slipped since 1995. The analysis was based on an ongoing study called, Cancer of the Prostate Strategic Urologic Research Endeavor or CaPSURE Registry. The study published in the July 7, 2015 JAMA.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Study shows dramatic shift in prostate cancer treatment

CANCER DIGEST – July 8, 2015 – A new analysis of national prostate cancer treatment trends shows that there has been a big shift away from aggressive treatment to watchful waiting and active surveillance for men diagnosed with prostate cancer since the early 1990s.

Watchful waiting avoids aggressive testing and watches for any physical symptoms of progressive disease. It is generally reserved for avoiding treatment altogether for older, sicker patients who will most likely die from something else. Active surveillance uses repeated PSA testing and prostate biopsies to monitor for development of more aggressive disease in younger, healthier patients who might benefit from delaying treatment.

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Cheap, fast test improves on PSA

Dr. Qun "Treen" Huo 
CANCER DIGEST – April 5, 2015 – A test that costs less than a dollar and yields results in minutes has been shown to be more sensitive and more exact than the prostate specific antigen (PSA) test for early-stage prostate cancer.

The test detects the immune response using gold nanoparticles about 10,000 times smaller than a freckle. It was developed by a research team led by Dr. Qun “Treen” Huo, of the University of Central Florida.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Men’s midlife fitness linked to lower risk of cancer and death

CANCER DIGEST – Mar. 26, 2015 – Men who exercise and stay fit, especially in midlife, could be lowering their risk of lung cancer and colorectal cancer, but not prostate cancer, researchers say. Before you say two out of three isn’t bad, while fitness didn’t protect against getting prostate cancer fit men appear to be less likely to die of the disease.

Led by Dr. Susan Lakoski of the University of Vermont, Burlington, the researchers looked at Medicare data from 1999 to 2009 for a link between midlife cardiorespiratory fitness and cancer and survival following a cancer diagnosis at the Medicare age of 65 or older. 

Monday, March 23, 2015

Delayed radiation after prostate removal provides no benefit

CANCER DIGEST – Mar. 23, 2015 – Delaying radiation therapy after surgery to remove the prostate for men with aggressive prostate cancer adds no protective benefit and may increase the risk of gastrointestinal complications, a new study shows.

There has long been a debate among physicians about the best way to follow prostate cancer surgery with radiation therapy. Many believed that delaying the radiation therapy reduced the risk of complications including intestinal and urinary incontinence and loss of erectile function. 

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Lethal type of prostate cancer identified

CANCER DIGEST – March 17, 2015 – Researchers have identified a subtype of prostate cancer with specific genetic mutations that result in recurrent cancer, and ultimately leads to death.

The researchers at the University of Colorado Cancer Center analyzed tumor samples from publicly available databases and found that MAP3K7-CHD1 loss was a major genetic marker of cancers that

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Genetics reveals deceptively 'normal' looking prostate cells

Prostate cell – image courtesy
Cancer Research UK
CANCER DIGEST – Mar. 3, 2015 – Researchers in Britain have found that normal looking prostate cells often harbor genetic mutations that can develop into cancer. The finding may prompt new ways to treat the disease.

Prostate cancer is often made up of many small tumors with different genetic fingerprints, and it is still unclear what causes these different tumors to develop in the prostate at the same time. But this new research sheds new light on that happens.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Using a team approach improves PSA usefulness

Credit: Image courtesy of Medical
University of Vienna
CANCER DIGEST – Feb. 3, 2015 – Researchers in Austria from multiple specialties are teaming up to make the prostate specific antigen (PSA) test more precise for diagnosing and treating prostate cancer.

In a approach called the Multi-disciplinary team (MDT) urologists join with molecular specialists and pathologists to evaluate PSA tests, and the researchers at the University Department of Urology at the MedUni Vienna and the Vienna General Hospital say the results are greatly improved.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

More complete family history could better estimate prostate cancer risk

CANCER DIGEST – Jan. 10, 2015 – If you are a man over 50, your doctor may ask you more questions about prostate cancer in your grandfathers and great grandfathers before ordering a PSA test at your next physical. That’s because a new study shows a more complete family history would augment the usefulness of that test. 

Researchers at the Huntsman Cancer Institute used data from the Utah Population Database, which combines genealogic and medical information for more than 7.3 million people. The goal was to create individualized risk estimates for men based on the history of prostate cancer in their first-, second-, and third degree relatives.

Monday, January 5, 2015

Older prostate cancer patients survive longer with radiation plus hormone therapy

CANCER DIGEST – Jan. 5, 2015 – Adding radiation to hormone therapy saves more lives among older men with locally advanced prostate cancer than hormone therapy alone, a new study in the Journal of Clinical Oncology shows.

The researchers at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania examined radiation treatment and hormone therapy in the Surveillance Epidemiology and End Results (SEER) Medicare database. The researchers found that hormone therapy plus radiation reduced cancer deaths by nearly 50 percent in men aged 76 to 85 compared to men who only received hormone therapy.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Test predicts prostate cancer recurrence

YouTube courtesy Princess Margaret Cancer
University of Toronto
CANCER DIGEST – Nov. 12, 2014 – Researchers have developed a genetic test to identify which men are at highest risk for prostate cancer recurrence after treatment with surgery or radiotherapy.

The researchers developed the genetic test with two groups of patients. In the first group, the team analyzed DNA from initial diagnostic biopsies of 126 men who were treated with image-guided radiotherapy (IGRT) and followed for an average 7.8 years. 

Monday, November 10, 2014

New drug shows promise for people with BRCA1 or 2 cancers

CANCER DIGEST – Nov. 10, 2014 – People with certain cancers that stem from mutations of the BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene may soon have another treatment option to slow the cancer progression.

In an early stage clinical trial of the twice-daily drug olaparib, 26 percent of patients had their tumors shrink or disappear for up to 7 months. The phase II trial was designed to determine whether tumors responded to the drug. Whether the drug significantly increases survival will need to be tested in larger phase III studies.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Canadian Medical Association gives thumbs down to PSA test

CANCER DIGEST – Oct. 27, 2014 – About 10 percent to 20 percent of men diagnosed with prostate cancer using PSA screening won’t have cancer. Overall 40 percent to 56 percent of men will be overdiagnosed, meaning they will be considered to have more or more aggressive cancer than they actually do, leading to invasive treatment. 

Surgery can cause postoperative complications, such as infection (in 11 percent to 21 percent of men), urinary incontinence (in up to 18 percent, and erectile dysfunction in nearly a quarter of those treated along with other complications.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Researchers find missing link between vitamin D and prostate cancer

CANCER DIGEST – Oct. 23, 2014 – A new study shows that a gene known to be stimulated into action by vitamin D, is notably absent in samples of human prostate cancer driven by inflammation.

Since demonstrating that vitamin D stimulates production of GDF-15, researchers at the University of Colorado Cancer Center wondered if this gene might be a mechanism through which vitamin D works in prostate cancer. 

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Prostate cancer’s need for copper may offer new treatment approach

Donald McDonnell, PhD
CANCER DIGEST – Oct. 15, 2014 – Loading up prostate cancer tumors with copper and then treating them with a drug that acts selectively on cells crammed with the mineral may provide a new treatment approach for the prostate cancer, Duke Medicine researchers say.

In a study published in today’s journal Cancer Researchthe new approach uses two drugs already FDA-approved for other uses, and could soon be tested in human clinical trials of men with late stage prostate cancer.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Tomato-rich diet may prevent prostate cancer

CANCER DIGEST – Aug. 27, 2014 – Men who eat over 10 servings of tomatoes a week have an 18 percent lower risk of developing prostate cancer, new research suggests. 

Published in the medical journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention, the researchers led by Vanessa Er, from the School of Social and Community Medicine at the University of Bristol and Bristol Nutrition BRU sought to develop a prostate cancer 'dietary index' which consists of dietary components – selenium, calcium and foods rich in lycopene, found in such foods as tomatoes, bread and pasta, and dairy products.

Wednesday, August 26, 2014

Cost gap for robotic surgery for prostate cancer narrows

CANCER DIGEST – Aug. 26, 2014 – Widespread adoption of robot-assisted surgery to treat prostate cancer has narrowed the gap in costs compared to conventional open or laparoscopic surgery. A study comparing robotic assisted surgery with non-robotic surgery for prostate cancer showed that robotic surgeries surged from 0.7 percent of all prostatectomies to nearly 42 percent in just  seven years from 2003 to 2010. In the beginning there was debate about the cost-effectiveness of robotic-assisted surgery as outcomes were not decisively better, while the cost was much higher than conventional surgery. Over the study period, however, the cost of robotic surgery has declined and leveled off at slightly over $10,000 compared to $9,000 for non-robotic surgery. The study led by Steven Chang, MD of Harvard Medical School and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute was published today in the British Journal of Urology International.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Robot-assisted prostate surgery controls cancer for 10 years

YouTube courtesy
CANCER DIGEST – July 18, 2014 – Robot-assisted surgery to remove cancerous prostate glands is effective in controlling the disease for 10 years, according to a new study in European Urology. The Henry Ford Health System research study followed 483 consecutive men who had cancer that had not spread outside the prostate. All underwent robot-assisted radical prostectomy as their first treatment between 2001 to 2003, the earliest years of Henry Ford's robot-assisted prostate surgery program.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Study shows no survival benefit for hormone therapy

Top shows the prostate and 
nearby organs. Bottom shows 
prostate surrounding the 
urethra. (courtesy NCI)
CANCER DIGEST – July 14, 2014 – A common treatment for prostate cancer makes little difference in the 15-year survival of men diagnosed with early stage disease. The study is not the first to question the use of the treatment, called androgen deprivation therapy (ADT), or hormone blockade, in men with cancer that has not spread beyond the prostate, but it is one of the largest to date. 

Led by Grace Lu-Yao, PhD, MPH cancer epidemiologist at the Cancer Institute of New Jersey, the Rutgers University researchers analyzed information from 66,717 Medicare patients aged 66 and older diagnosed with stage T1 or T2 prostate cancer. They found that when ADT was administered as the primary treatment for cancer confined to the prostate in the first six months after diagnosis, there was no difference in overall survival or in prostate cancer survival. 

Lu-Yao noted in a press release that ADT is appropriate for advanced stage disease and for high-risk patients. “Because of the potential side effects of osteoporosis, diabetes and decreased muscle tone, clinicians must carefully consider the rationale behind ADT treatment if used as the primary therapy for older patients,” she said. The study was published today in JAMA Internal Medicine.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Vasectomy poses small increased risk of prostate cancer

CANCER DIGEST – July 10, 2014 – Men who undergo vasectomy have a small increased risk of prostate cancer, and stronger risk of a more aggressive form of the disease, results of a 24-year public health study show. The researchers from Harvard updated the results of the ongoing study of 49,405 U.S. men in the Health Professionals Follow-up Study, which began in 1986. The study appeared online July 7, 2014 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology. During that time there were 6,023 cases of prostate cancer  including 181 fatal cases. About 25 percent of the participants reported having had a vasectomy, and the results showed those men had a 10 percent higher risk of prostate cancer and about a 20 percent higher risk of the aggressive or lethal form of the disease. The effect appeared to be greatest among men who had their vasectomies at a younger age. While the increased risk should be discussed with men considering the procedure, the researchers noted that the while the relative increase in risk is significant, it translates into a relatively small increase overall risk, noting that in the study 16 in 1,000 men developed lethal prostate cancer over 24 years.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Early chemo extended survival by a year in advanced prostate cancer

YouTube courtesy Dana Farber 
CANCER DIGEST – June 1, 2014 – Men newly diagnosed with advanced prostate cancer that has spread to other parts of the body survived a year longer when treated with chemotherapy before undergoing hormone therapy, compared to men who received the chemotherapy after their cancer became resistant to hormone therapy. The Dana-Farber Cancer Institute clinical trial is the first to prolong survival in men newly diagnosed with metastatic prostate cancer according to lead investigator  Dr. Christopher Sweeney. In the study, 790 men were randomly assigned to receive standard hormone blockade therapy or chemotherapy (Taxotere®) and hormone blockade therapy. After 29 months the median overall survival in the hormone therapy only group was 44 months compared to 57.6 months for the men who received early chemotherapy plus hormone therapy. The study was presented today at the annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) in Chicago.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Better biopsy method improves prostate cancer detection

Urology Centre YouTube by
Dr. Nadar Awad, explaining
standard TRUS biopsy.
CANCER DIGEST – May 20, 2014 – Using a combination of MRI and ultrasound researchers significantly improved the detection of moderate- and high-risk prostate cancer compared to current biopsy methods. In a study of 153 men averaging nearly 66 years of age the researchers detected moderate to high-risk tumors in 47 of 65 men (72.3 percent) and low-risk tumors in 19 of 40 men (47.5 percent). They also detected cancer in 15 of 105 of the men (14.3 percent) that had been missed by conventional biopsy, 13 of which were clinically significant. Tumors detected by standard biopsy were upgraded in 23.5 percent of tumors with the targeted MRI.  The technique fuses the images obtained by MRI and ultrasound and uses MRI technology to analyze multiple parameters to differentiate between suspicious lesions and the densely packed cells that indicate a tumor. The study was published today in the June 2014, Journal of Urology.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Researchers ID key to aggressive prostate cancer

TIME – May 13, 2014 – Knowing which prostate cancers will produce aggressive, fast-growing tumors would give doctors the key to choosing the optimal treatment. Until now, that hasn’t been possible, but researchers at Columbia University, New York think they have found the answer. They report in the May journal Cancer Cell that when two known genes linked to prostate cancer are both active, or turned on, the cancer will progress rapidly. Led by Andrea Califano, director of Columbia’s Genome Center, the researchers are working to develop a test that will allow doctors to know whether a man’s prostate cancer has both genes activated.

Monday, April 28, 2014

First trial of MRI technique reduces unneeded prostate biopsies

The first study to compare conventional biopsy with targeted magnetic resonance imaging found that the MRI technique reduced the number of men who required needle biopsy, and improved the overall detection of intermediate- and high-risk prostate cancer. The results of the Australian trial were presented last week at the Euro-pean Association of Urology Annual Congress in Stockholm. The study was also published online in the journal European Urology.
Of 223 men in the study 142 (63.7 percent) had prostate cancer. Conventional needle biopsy guided by transrectal ultrasound detected 126 prostate cancers in 223 men (56.5 percent) including 47 (37.3 percent) that were found to be low-risk tumors. MRI-guided biopsy detected 99 cases of prostate cancer in 142 men (69.7 percent) with intermediate- or high-risk tumors and only 6 (6.1 percent) were later determined to be low-risk tumors, and reduced the need for biopsy by 51 percent.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Chronic prostate inflammation linked to cancer

FORBES – April 21, 2014 – Men with chronic inflammation in benign prostate tissue had nearly twice the odds of having aggressive prostate cancer than men whose biopsies had no sign of inflammation, according to a study by researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. The researchers looked 191 men with prostate cancer  and compared them to 209 men without prostate cancer. Both groups had prostate biopsies performed as part of the Prostate Cancer Prevention Trial. The study was published April 18, 2014 online ahead of print publication in the journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention.   

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Imaging technique may cut need for prostate biopsies

A prostate image generated with the
new technique. The red area
indicates the tumor.
SCIENCEDAILY – April 7, 2014 – Researchers in Amsterdam have patented a new ultrasound method that allows imaging of the prostate and the location of a tumor within the prostate if present. Ultrasound used for prenatal imaging is unable to show the difference between healthy tissue and tumor tissue. To distinguish tumor from healthy prostate, Dr. Massimo Mischi and colleagues at the Technische Universiteit, Eindhoven used the fact that tumor tissue produces large numbers of small blood vessels to allow it to grow, with a characteristic pattern. In the study, 24 patients were given a single injection of a contrast medium containing tiny bubbles, which are shown by the ultrasound scanner right down to the smallest blood vessels. Using advanced image-analysis techniques that can recognize the characteristic blood vessel pattern in tumors, and the computer then generates an image showing where the tumor is. The examination only takes one minute, and the results are available no more than a few minutes later. The researchers will present their findings at the European Assocation of Urologists Congress in Stockholm on April 14.

Improving the PSA test
LIVE SCIENCE – April 8, 2014 – Adding three blood markers for prostate cancer could significantly increase the accuracy of the PSA test, Dr. Kailash Chadha of the Roswell Park Cancer Institute in Buffalo, NY  reported at the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) meeting this week in San Diego. The study involving 46 men looked at three proteins in the blood called ctyokines, in addition to prostate specific antigen (PSA). Chadha said the added blood markers significantly increased the accuracy of detecting prostate cancer and reduces the “false positive” rate from 32 percent with the PSA alone to 9 percent. The new test will need additional larger studies to validate it.  

Combination test predicts risk of prostate cancer recurrence

EUREKALERT – April 4, 2014– A new test using a prostate tumor's genetic characteristics and oxygen content taken from biopsy samples can predict which men are at high or low risk of their prostate cancer recurring with close to 80 percent accuracy. Researchers at Princess Margaret Cancer Center at the University of Toronto, unveiled the test today at the European Society for Radiotherapy and Oncology (ESTRO33) meeting in Vienna. The test was developed from an analysis of DNA taken from the tumors of 126 surgically treated men who were considered to have an intermediate risk of recurrence. Using a genomic DNA analysis technique they looked for missing, extra or irregular sections of DNA in the tumor samples and followed the men for an average of 7.8 years. From the men who recurred they were able to identify a genetic "signature" that predicted recurrence. In another study, they tested the oxygen content of the tumors from men treated with radiation therapy. When they combined the two tests they found that men with high levels of genetic changes and low levels of oxygen had worse outcomes, with 49 percent surviving for five years without recurrence. The researchers say it will take a few more years of testing in larger groups to fully validate the test.

New prostate treatment may result in higher rates of urinary complications

UPI – Mar. 11, 2014 – A study of 4,005 Medicare patients over 66 years old comparing the cost and benefits of two highly targeted radiation therapy techniques for prostate cancer  showed that, while SBRT cost an average of $7,400 less than IMRT, those treated with  SBRT  had an increase in side effects. Most of the increase was due to more irritation of the urinary tract with SBRT. 

Monday, March 10, 2014

PSA may be useful for prostate cancer survival after all

Science Daily – Mar. 10, 2014 – Men are less likely to die of prostate cancer in areas where the PSA test is frequently used compared to areas where it is seldom used, according to a study published online today in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute. Based on two large cancer registries in Sweden, the study mirrors the results of similar study done in a large randomized European study that showed PSA testing reduced the risk of dying from prostate cancer, however it runs counter to the2012 recommendation of the US Preventive Services Task Force.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Surgery results in lower mortality for younger prostate cancer patients

MEDICINE NET – Mar. 6, 2014 – A news study in this week’s New England Journal of Medicineshowed that over a 24 year follow-up those treated with watchful waiting were more likely to die of prostate cancer than those treated with surgery. Using data from the Scandinavian Prostate Cancer Group Study a randomized trial of 695 men with early prostate cancer, found that in the 24-year follow-up, 63 of 347 men in the surgery group died of prostate cancer compared to 99 of the 348 men in the watchful waiting group.
July 23, 2011 – LONDON (Cancer Digest) – Zytiga gets European nod for advanced prostate cancer

July 28, 2010 – CHICAGO (Cancer Digest) – Is treatment too aggressive for men with low-risk prostate cancer

 May 25, 2010 – MEMPHIS (Cancer Digest) – GTx disappointed by drug for prevention of prostate cancer

May 10, 2010 – ATLANTA (Cancer Digest) – Cost of cancer care doubled? So have other healthcare costs

May 3, 2010 – WASHINGTON, D.C. (Cancer Digest) – FDA to review safety of prostate cancer drugs

April 30, 2010 – SEATTLE (Cancer Digest) – FDA approves PROVENGE, now the hard part.

April 27, 2010 – DURHAM, N.C. (Cancer Digest) – Use and costs of imaging rising faster than cost of cancer care

April 26, 2010 – SEATTLE (Cancer Digest) – Prostate vaccine expected to open new cancer treatment