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'Mismatched' prostate cancer treatment more common than expected
By Dross at 2007-11-26 21:00

More than a third of men with early prostate cancer who participated in a study analyzing treatment choice received therapies that might not be appropriate, based on pre-existing problems with urinary, bowel or sexual function. The prevalence of these treatment “mismatches” could reflect patient’ unwillingness to discuss such problems with their physicians. The study will appear in the January 1, 2007 issue of the journal Cancer and is being released online.

“Prostate cancer patients experience the same fears and hard decisions as all cancer patients do, but prostate cancer treatment directly affects very personal things that most people aren't comfortable talking about – urinary, bowel and sexual function,” says James Talcott, MD, SM, of the Center for Outcomes Research at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) Cancer Center, who led the study. “In this case, however, having that information matters because the three major treatments available to patients have different patterns of potential side effectsterm. Knowing if patients already have problems in these areas should help guide treatment decisions.”

read more | 1 comment | 875 reads

A low-carb diet may stunt prostate tumor growth
By Dross at 2007-11-14 21:01

DURHAM, N.C. -- A diet low in carbohydrates may help stunt the growth of prostate tumors, according to a new study led by Duke Prostate Center researchers. The study, in mice, suggests that a reduction in insulin production possibly caused by fewer carbohydrates may stall tumor growth.

“This study showed that cutting carbohydrates may slow tumor growth, at least in mice,” said Stephen Freedland, M.D., a urologist at Duke University Medical Center and lead researcher on the study. “If this is ultimately confirmed in human clinical trials, it has huge implications for prostate cancer therapy through something that all of us can control, our diets.”

read more | 1030 reads

Radiation seeds effectively cure prostate cancer in young men
By Dross at 2007-10-30 01:42

Radiation seed implants (brachytherapy) are just as effective at curing prostate cancer in younger men (aged 60 and younger) as they are in older men, according to a study presented at a scientific session on October 31, 2007, at the American Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology’s 49th Annual Meeting in Los Angeles.

Brachytherapy is a minimally invasive procedure where a radiation oncologist places small radioactive seeds into the prostate in order to kill the cancer cells. It is an attractive treatment option for patients with prostate cancer because it has a much shorter recovery time than surgery and studies have shown brachytherapy to be just as effective as surgery. However, surgeons have usually advised younger men to undergo surgery to remove all or part of the prostate (prostatectomy) over other treatments like seed implants because they believed younger men could physically tolerate surgery, plus they believed surgery was more effective than brachytherapy at curing prostate cancer long term. This meant that many younger men would undergo surgery without ever learning about other treatment options, like brachytherapy or external beam radiation therapy.

read more | 720 reads

Diet And Medications May Assist Prevention Of Prostate
By Dross at 2007-09-20 00:51

Recent investigations of medications, diet and the
molecular understanding of prostate cancer are defining
potential prevention strategies for the disease, and herald
a new stage in the management of this cancer, according to
a new review. Writing in the November 1, 2007 issue of
CANCER, a peer-reviewed journal of the American Cancer
Society, Dr. Neil Fleshner and Dr. Alexandre Zlotta from
the University of Toronto say that available medications,
such as 5-alpha reductase inhibitors and selective estrogen

read more | 873 reads

Shrinkage of prostate led to overestimation of cancer risk in trial
By Dross at 2007-09-14 23:42

Reanalysis of data from the first long-term randomized trial of a chemopreventive agent for prostate cancer shows that the excess prevalence of high-grade prostate cancer in the drug-treated group may be attributable to shrinkage of the prostate at the time of biopsy.

The study of the Prostate Cancer Prevention Trial, led by University of Illinois at Chicago professor of pathology Dr. Peter Gann, is published in the Sept. 12 issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

The Prostate Cancer Prevention Trial evaluated the drug finasteride, which blocks production of a male hormone within the prostate and is proven effective in treating benign prostatic hyperplasia, or enlargement of the prostate. The trial was stopped in 2003 when finasteride was found to reduce the risk of prostate cancer by nearly 25 percent. However, men assigned to the finasteride group had a greater prevalence of high-grade cancer.

read more | 1213 reads

First biomarker discovered that predicts prostate cancer outcome
By Dross at 2007-08-16 05:32

ROCHESTER, Minn. -- Mayo Clinic researchers have identified the first immune molecule that appears to play a role in prostate cancer development and in predicting cancer recurrence and progression after surgery. The report on the B7-H3 molecule by Mayo Clinic Cancer Center appears today in Cancer Research.

“This discovery will allow physicians to individualize treatment and observation plans for prostate cancer patients,” says Timothy Roth, M.D., a Mayo Clinic urology resident and lead author of the study. “Being able to tell a patient his specific risk after surgery, and perhaps even prior to surgery, will be a huge step forward.”

read more | 1607 reads

No evidence that widely prescribed statins protect against prostate cancer
By Dross at 2007-08-10 02:40

PHILADELPHIA − A large community-based study refutes previous findings that statins – a top-selling drug class, worldwide -- might cut one’s risk of developing prostate cancer by reducing production of the male hormones that fuel cancer growth.

Researchers from the New England Research Institutes found that while men using statins did indeed have lower blood levels of androgens such as testosterone, it was more likely attributable to poor health rather than the use of statins. Their findings are published in the August issue of Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research.

read more | 1066 reads

U-M to use new device that detects small movements during radiation
By Dross at 2007-08-07 20:43

U-M to use new device that detects small movements during radiation

treatment for prostate cancer


Calypso system shows when patient's breathing, other movement changes

tumor location, impacting treatment


ANN ARBOR, Mich. - Radiation for cancer treatment involves targeting

intense beams in a very precise fashion to a relatively small area. But

despite efforts to align a patient beforehand, a cough, a wiggle, a deep

read more | 1415 reads

Gene fusion for Prostate Cancer found
By Dross at 2007-08-02 00:29

ANN ARBOR, Mich. - Researchers at the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center have discovered how genes turn on the switch that leads to prostate cancer.


The team discovered that pieces of two chromosomes can trade places with each other and cause two genes to fuse together. The fused genes then override the "off" switch that keeps cells from growing uncontrollably, causing prostate cancer to develop.

read more | 927 reads

Outcome of prostate cancer surgery depends on the experience of the surgeon
By Dross at 2007-07-26 03:42

NEW YORK, July 24, 2007 -- According to a new study published online today in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, prostate cancer patients treated by highly experienced surgeons are much more likely to be cancer-free five years after surgery than patients treated by surgeons with less experience.

“The difference in outcome among patients who were treated by surgeons with varying degrees of experience is clinically relevant and likely reflects a true relationship between surgical technique and cancer control,” said the study’s lead author Andrew Vickers, PhD, Associate Attending Research Methodologist, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC).

read more | 2 comments | 980 reads

Provenge Stirs Emotion and Support Over Access to Experimental Treatments
By HCat at 2007-07-06 11:27

    The Washington Post has recently commented on Howard I. Scher of the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and Maha Hussain of the University of Michigan being in fear for their safety after they raised opposition to Dendreon Corporation’s experimental vaccine Provenge and its approval by the FDA. An expert panel in March recommended the FDA approve Provenge but in May, Scher and Hussain, along with others, questioned the effectiveness of Provenge and asked for more evidence to support its effectiveness. This raised a debate among patients about the access to experimental treatments which the article covers. 

read more | 7 comments | 4676 reads

Trial shows circulating tumor cells predict how prostate cancer patients do with chemotherapy
By Dross at 2007-06-04 23:19

(PHILADELPHIA) -- The number of tumor cells circulating in the bloodstream of patients with metastaticterm, hormone-resistant, prostate cancer can predict how they will do with chemotherapyterm, according to results of an international trial. The findings, if backed by larger studies, could have important implications for designing personalized treatments for this very dangerous type of prostate cancer, the researchers say.

The team of scientists – including first author Jose Moreno, M.D., clinical associate professor of urology at Jefferson Medical College of Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia and the Kimmel Cancer Center at Jefferson – looked at circulating tumor cells (CTCs) in 240 men with metastatic prostate cancer that failed hormone-depletion therapy. They compared levels prior to chemotherapy and after two to five weeks of treatment. They found that those men with more than five tumor cells per blood sample had a worse prognosis than those who had fewer cells. One half of the patients with more than five CTCs lived at least 10 months, whereas half of the men with fewer tumor cells lived substantially longer – 21 months.

read more | 4 comments | 1158 reads

Nonhormonal drug reduces hot flashes in men treated for prostate cancer
By Dross at 2007-06-04 01:00

CHICAGO -- North Central Cancer Treatment Group (http://ncctg/) researchers based at Mayo Clinic ( in Rochester, Minn., have discovered that low doses of a drug used to prevent epileptic seizures and to treat nerve pain caused by shingles substantially reduces hot flashes in patients who are undergoing anti-hormonal treatment, or androgen-deprivation therapy, for prostate cancer.

In presenting results of a 223-patient, placebo-controlled Phase III clinical trial at the 2007 annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (, Mayo Clinic investigators report that the drug gabapentin reduced the frequency and the intensity of hot flashes by up to 46 percent in men receiving androgen deprivation therapy. The men who received gabapentin reported fewer side effectsterm than those receiving a placebo tablet, the researchers say.

read more | 2865 reads

Treatment for early prostate cancer associated with type of specialist seen
By Dross at 2007-06-04 00:57

Chicago, June 3, 2007 -- A new study analyzing men with localized prostate cancer shows that the specialty of the physician they see can influence the type of therapy they ultimately receive. The study, co-led by a urologist and a radiation oncologist at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, found that patients aged 65 to 69 years old who consult a urologist are more likely to undergo surgery to remove the prostate, while those who consult a radiation oncologist and a urologist, regardless of age, usually receive radiation therapy.

"These practice patterns are no surprise but are notable because specialists who treat prostate cancer tend to favor the treatment they themselves deliver, despite the fact that no one has shown one treatment for early stage prostate cancer to be better than another," said Thomas L. Jang, MD, MPH, a physician in the Department of Urology, at Memorial Sloan-Kettering and co-lead author of the study. "It is very important for patients to receive an unbiased, balanced perspective on the full range of treatments."

read more | 2 comments | 926 reads

High pretreatment PSA velocity predicts worse outcome
By Dross at 2007-05-26 08:40

The most significant single predictor of aggressive prostate cancer is an elevated rate of increase in prostate specific antigen (PSA) levels, according to a new study. Published in the July 1, 2007 issue of CANCER, a peer-reviewed journal of the American Cancer Society, the study found that a pre-treatment rate of PSA increase, called PSA velocity, of more than 2 ng/ml/year was strongly associated with a high risk of death from prostate cancer. Elevated PSA velocity was a stronger poor prognostic factor than any other single high-risk indicator, such as a biopsy Gleason score greater than 7, a PSA level of 10 ng/ml or an advanced disease category.

read more | 1 comment | 1305 reads

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