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Health disparities in prostate cancer stem from lack of care, not lack of knowledge
By Dross at 2007-03-13 22:18

Decreasing the rates of prostate cancer among black men may require improving access to routine health care, rather than increased education about the disease, a study from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine suggests.

"African-American men were aware of their increased risk of prostate cancer, and they felt responsible for getting themselves to physicians for preventative care. But there were substantial barriers to their carrying out what they saw as being important," said the study's senior author, Dr. Paul A. Godley, associate professor of hematology and oncology in UNC's School of Medicine and Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center.

read more | 871 reads

Reactions to 'false-positive' prostate cancer screenings assessed
By Dross at 2007-03-03 03:33

Men who get a "false-positive" prostate cancer result -- an abnormal screening test followed by a biopsy indicating no evidence of cancer -- appear more likely to worry about their subsequent risk of cancer and report more problems with sexual function compared to men with normal screening results, according to a University of Iowa study. The study findings, based on telephone surveys of 210 men, appear in the February online issue of the journal Urology. Prostate cancer is the most common non-skin malignancy diagnosed in men in the United States. The majority of men in the United States are screened beginning at age 50 with the prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test. "This study emphasizes the importance of doctors' discussing the pros and cons of prostate cancer screening with patients," said the study's lead author David Katz, M.D., associate professor of internal medicine in the UI Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine, and of epidemiology in the UI College of Public Health. "Because screening affects a large number of men relative to those who are expected to benefit from treatment, even a small adverse effect of apparently false-positive results on cancer-related worry and quality of life could have a substantial impact on public health," said Katz, who also is a staff physician and researcher with the Department of Veterans Affairs Iowa City Health Care System and its Center for Research in the Implementation of Innovative Strategies and Practices.

read more | 1064 reads

Green tea and COX-2 inhibitors combine to slow growth of prostate cancer
By Dross at 2007-03-02 00:06

PHILADELPHIA -- Drinking a nice warm cup of green tea has long been touted for its healthful benefits, both real and anecdotal. But now researchers have found that a component of green tea, combined with low doses of a COX-2 inhibitor, could slow the spread of human prostate cancer. In the March 1 issue of Clinical Cancer Research, researchers from University of Wisconsin-Madison demonstrate that low doses of the COX-2 inhibitor celecoxib, administered with a green tea polyphenol called pigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), can slow the growth of human prostate cancer. Their experiments were performed in cell cultures and in a mouse model for the disease.

read more | 1486 reads

In Vivo Inhibition of Growth of Human Tumor Lines by Flavonoid Fractions From Cranberry Extract
By Dross at 2007-02-28 02:00

 Edible fruits and berries may serve as sources for novel anticancer agents, given that extracts of these foods have demonstrated cytotoxic activity against tumor cell lines. Semipurified, flavonoid-rich extracts of cranberry (Vaccinia macrocarpa) were shown previously to arrest proliferation of tumor cells and induce apoptosis. However, the ability of cranberry flavonoids to inhibit tumor growth in vivo has not been reported other than in a preliminary report. As model systems for testing this activity, human tumor cell lines representative of three malignancies were chosen: glioblastoma multiforme (U87), colon carcinomaterm (HT-29), and androgenindependent prostate carcinoma (DU145). A flavonoid-rich fraction 6 (Fr6) and a more purified proanthocyanidin (PAC)-rich fraction were isolated from cranberry presscake and whole cranberry, respectively, by column chromatography. Fr6 and PAC each significantly slowed the growth of explant tumors of U87 in vivo, and PAC inhibited growth of HT-29 and DU145 explants (P < 0.05), inducing complete regression of two DU145 tumor explants. Flow cytometric analyses of in vitro-treated U87 cells indicated that Fr6 and PAC could arrest cells in G1 phase of the cell cycle (P < 0.05) and also induce cell death within 24 to 48 h of exposure (P < 0.05). These results indicate the presence of a potential anticancer constituent in the flavonoid-containing fractions from cranberry extracts.

read more | 1606 reads

Prostate cancer therapy may increase risk of death from heart disease in older men
By Dross at 2007-02-24 22:40

BOSTON- Androgen deprivation therapy - one of the most common treatments for prostate cancer - may increase the risk of death from heart disease in patients over age 65, according to a new study by researchers at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Brigham and Women's Hospital and other institutions. The study results were based on data from CaPSURE, a national registry of men with prostate cancer. Although the findings need to be confirmed in clinical trials, the study authors state that oncologists should weigh the benefits of androgen deprivation therapy, or ADT, against the risk of heart problems in older prostate cancer patients. The researchers will present their study at the Prostate Cancer Symposium in Orlando, Fla., 1:30 pm on Saturday, Feb. 24. The symposium is sponsored by the American Society of Clinical Oncology, the American Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology and the Society of Urologic Oncology.

read more | 1323 reads

VA researcher finds way to identify which men need a second biopsy
By Dross at 2007-02-23 01:35

PORTLAND, Ore. -- A researcher in the Oregon Health & Science University Cancer Institute and Portland Veterans Affairs Medical Center has found a way to identify which men need a second prostate biopsy because they may be harboring life-threatening prostate cancer even though they were given a clean bill of health after their first biopsy.


Mark Garzotto, M.D., has been invited to present his findings on Thursday, Feb. 22, at the Multidisciplinary Prostate Cancer Symposium in Orlando, Fla. He is the director of urologic oncology at the Portland Veterans Affairs Medical Center, assistant professor of surgery (urology) in the OHSU School of Medicine, and member of the OHSU Cancer Institute. Also involved in the research is Shane Rogosin, M.D., resident, in general internal medicine, and geriatrics, OHSU School of Medicine. "Until now we've really had no clear and consistent method to recommend further follow up or diagnostic procedures for men who have a negative biopsy. We have derived a simple marker so urologists can identify who is at risk for high-grade prostate cancer," Garzotto said. Garzotto studied what is considered a large group, 511 men at the Portland Veterans Affairs Medical Center from 1992 to 2006. All had been referred to urology clinics for suspicion of prostate cancer. All patients had one prior negative prostate biopsy. In all, the study included 1,319 biopsies. What Garzotto found to be the indicator for a repeat biopsy was a high prostate specific antigen (PSA) adjusted for prostate size. A Gleason score of 7 or above was indicative that life-threatening prostate cancer may be present and a repeat biopsy is advised. A Gleason score is a system of grading prostate cancer tissue based on how it looks under a microscope. Gleason scores range from 2 to 10 and indicate how likely it is that a tumor will spread. A low Gleason score means the cancer tissue is similar to normal prostate tissue and the cancer is less likely to spread; a high Gleason score means the cancer tissue is very different from normal tissue and the tumor is more likely to spread. A high grade of cancer results in a higher PSA.

read more | 1415 reads

Baptist and UroCenter to Participate in Prostate Cancer Clinical Study
By Dross at 2007-02-21 23:06

The UroCenter, a partnership between Baptist Memorial Health Care and the physicians at the UroCenter, is the first site in the nation approved by the Food and Drug Administration for a Phase III clinical study to test a noninvasive therapy that uses ultrasound technology to treat localized prostate cancer. The therapy, known as high intensity focused ultrasound, uses ultrasound energy to capture a live image of the prostate and destroy the cancerous tissue with focused sound waves. The ultrasound device, the Sonablate(R) 500, elevates tissue temperature to more than 195 degrees Fahrenheit in seconds, destroying the diseased tissue without damaging the surrounding tissue. Doctors perform this treatment on an outpatient basis, and international studies suggest a substantial reduction in side effectsterm, such as impotence and incontinence-common with traditional treatments such as surgery, radiation and cryotherapyterm. In addition, the chance for cancer recurrence is minimized because the therapy treats the entire prostate gland. Phase III is the last stage before a product or treatment receives FDA approval. The UroCenter is the first site in the nation approved by the FDA to participate in the trial, which patients can enroll in immediately.

read more | 1903 reads

Artificial Intelligence could speed up radiation therapy for cancer patients
By Dross at 2007-02-07 21:05

A new computer-based technique could eliminate hours of manual adjustment associated with a popular cancer treatment. In a paper published in the Feb. 7 issue of Physics in Medicine and Biology, researchers from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center describe an approach that has the potential to automatically determine acceptable radiation plans in a matter of minutes, without compromising the quality of treatment.


"Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT) has exploded in popularity, but the technique can require hours of manual tuning to determine an effective radiation treatment for a given patient," said Richard Radke, assistant professor of electrical, computer, and systems engineering at Rensselaer. Radke is leading a team of engineers and medical physicists to develop a "machine learning" algorithm that could cut hours from the process.

read more | 2147 reads

Prostate cancer patients see high survival rates with seed implants
By Dross at 2007-01-31 22:15


More than ninety percent of men who receive appropriate radiation dose levels with permanent radiation seed implants to treat their prostate cancer are cured of their cancer eight years after diagnosis, according to a study released in the February 1 issue of the International Journal for Radiation Oncology*Biology*Physics, the official journal of ASTRO.


Seed implants have become a widely-accepted treatment option for early stage prostate cancer because it is very effective at curing the cancer, is minimally invasive and often spares patients from side effectsterm of other treatments, such as impotence and incontinence. The seeds, similar in size to a grain of rice, contain a radiation dose that, once implanted, delivers concentrated radiation to the prostate, sparing surrounding organs and tissue. Doctors in this study evaluated the long-term results of permanent seed implants in men with early stage prostate cancer. Nearly 2,700 men were studied at 11 institutions in the United States over eight years. The radioactive seeds were administered with the aid of ultrasound-guided techniques to accurately place the seeds in the prostate gland. The patients received the seed implants as the sole treatment for prostate cancer with no additional chemotherapyterm or radiation therapy.

read more | 2 comments | 2719 reads

Sunshine Pill in 2009
By Dross at 2007-01-17 21:07

A tablet designed to emulate the healing power of the sun could be available for the treatment of advanced prostate cancer as early as 2009. But it remains to be seen whether the drug will be the revolution in prostate cancer care that its makers claim.

The drug, Asentar (DN-101), is based on vitamin D and is given to patients in the advanced stages of prostate cancer along with chemotherapyterm drugs. Drug makers came up with the idea because vitamin D from sunlight improves the prognosis of certain cancers. But taking natural levels of the vitamin has no effect. Novacea, the company that makes Asentar, produced a novel formulation that reproduces the healing effect without the dangerous side-effects of a vitamin D overdose. If the on-going phase III trial goes to plan, the new drug should be available in 2009, reports Chemistry & Industry, the magazine of the SCI.

read more | 1016 reads

Multiple Cancer Types treated with Photodynamic Therapy for Tumor Ablation
By HCat at 2007-01-09 03:04

    Photodynamic therapy (PDT) is more than 25 years old, yet this cancer therapy is now becoming more widely used in multiple cancer treatment areas. PDT uses an injectable drug (usually photofrin) that is light sensitive to certain wavelengths. When this photosensitizer is hit with light at the particular wavelengths, a chemical-light reaction occurs in which numerous oxygen radicals are formed. These oxygen radicals cause damage and death to cells, inducing apoptosis and necrosis to the surrounding tissue while also initiating the immune and inflammation response within the body. To specify where the damage occurs, the light source is inserted into a fiber optic wire within a needle. The needle is then guided to the site of the cancer through various imaging techniques such as computed tomographic (CT) imaging or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).

read more | 2435 reads

High Risk Metastatic Prostate Cancer Treatments in clinical trials, a mini overview
By HCat at 2007-01-08 04:37

This article covers 5 clinical trials in various stages.

     The GM-CSF (granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor) Tumor Cell vaccine is part of the GVAX suite of vaccines from Cell GeneSys. The vaccine works through the injection of irradiated, non-growing prostate cancer cells that secrete GM-CSF. The GM-CSF acts to recruit the immune cells (specifically dendritic cells) to the site of the vaccine and produce an immune response. The immune response then acts to target any prostate cancer cell within the body. This vaccine is in clinical phase III trials and currently recruiting. The phase II trials, the time to disease progression in metastaticterm bone disease was almost doubled in treated patients.

read more | 2396 reads

Prostate Cancer Basics
By HCat at 2007-01-07 02:11

The Androgen Receptor

   The Androgen Receptor (AR) is a protein inside of certain cells that can bind or capture the androgen hormones testosterone and the more active metabolite 5alpha-dihydrotestosterone (DHT). Once the receptor binds one of the hormones, it causes the receptor to become active and stimulate production of certain proteins inside cells such as PSA.

It is known that AR is required for the normal development of the prostate. If a male animal has no AR, then the prostate will not be created of will be very small when he is born.

read more | 25649 reads

Potential candidate markers for prostate cancer development and new possible drug targets
By HCat at 2006-12-21 08:03
<p>Researchers from the UK have used the androgen hormone (R1881) and the anti-androgen bicalutamide to study the different total protein expression in cells upon treatment. Using the prostate cancer cell line LNCaP, protein extracts were analyzed to determine changes in the levels of specific proteins. The authors infer a link to how these specific protein level changes could help prostate cancer become resistant to anti-androgens, thus becoming androgen independent growth. The paper is a good technique lesson but it relies heavily on statistics to substantiate its claims. For the article abstract, click on this</p>
read more | 933 reads

Hair loss drug 'masks' test for cancer
By admin at 2006-12-08 00:25

[via Hair loss drug 'masks' test for cancer]:

The hair loss prevention drug Propecia has been found to mask a common test for prostate cancer, researchers say. It can cause inaccurate readings that can hide the presence of the disease, The Australian reports.


Doctors recommend men begin to have regular PSA tests in their 40s and 50s, as an elevated PSA level is often the first sign of prostate cancer or other prostate problems. But a US study has found that even a very low dose of Propecia can reduce PSA levels by as much as 50 per cent. advertisement  "If you are using the PSA test in order to screen men - especially young men - for prostate cancer you can be misled by the lower level of PSA when men are taking this drug for hair loss," said Anthony D'Amico, the lead researcher and chief of genito-urinary radiation oncology at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts. The findings suggest doctors should adjust their interpretation of the PSA tests for men using Propecia. About 12,000 men a year in Australia are diagnosed with prostate cancer, and more than 2700 die of the disease

read more | 895 reads

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