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Prostate cancer blog: Prostate cancer is the most common cancer among American men. American Cancer Society estimates that over 230,000 new cases of prostate cancer occur in the United state every year. This important blog about prostate cancer is run by Mark and other bloggers. This blog brings news, stories, and other personal observations related to prostate cancer. publishes a diabetes watch blog and this blog is run by JoAnn other bloggers. This diabetes watch blog brings you the latest in the field of diabetes. This includes personal stories, advances in diagnosis and treatment, and other observations about diabetes. Improving awareness about diabetes is an important mission of this group.


Nov 13, 2005

What Predicts Prognosis In Prostate Cancer

What Predicts Prognosis In Prostate Cancer
Time required for doubling of the PSA value (PSA doubling time) may be a better predictor of prognosis in prostate cancer, than the rate at which the PSA increases (PSA Velocity) as per researchers at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. These researchers reviewed the records of 2,290 patients with multiple preoperative prostate specific antigen (PSA) measurements, recording PSA velocity, and the rate at which PSA levels doubled (PSA doubling time). They found that while PSA velocity (PSAV) is simpler to calculate, PSA doubling time (PSADT) might be a better indicator of untreated prostate cancer.

As both measurements proved valuable, looking at the speed at which PSA increases may be more important than simply recording PSA levels, allowing better prediction of disease progression and likelihood of death after radical prostatectomy surgery.

"The level of PSA in the blood has less prognostic value than we previously thought, and we don't have another serum marker to help us," said Dr Michael Blute, Mayo Clinic urologist and lead investigator of the study. "It was important for us to find other ways to look at PSA data and translate that into information that will save lives, and I believe we have done that."

Mark      Permalink

Nov 10, 2005

Herbal Extract To Treat Prostate Cancer

Herbal Extract To Treat Prostate Cancer
A Columbia University study has reportedly demonstrated Zyflamend, an proprietary herbal extract preparation, suppresses prostate cancer cell growth.

The study also found Zyflamend induces prostate cancer cells to self-destruct via a process called apoptosis.

Columbia researchers said their study suggests Zyflamend has the ability, in vitro, to reduce prostate cancer cell proliferation by as much as 78 percent and confirms Zyflamend has COX-1 and COX-2 anti-inflammatory effects, although its anti-cancer affects against prostate cancer were independent of COX-2 inhibition. That, said the scientists, supports the postulation that some prostate cancer cells are not affected by COX-2 inflammation.

These results were particularly surprising and show great promise in the fight against prostate cancer, said researcher Dr. Debra Bemis of the Columbia University Department of Urology. We hope that the magnitude of benefits shown in this research will be confirmed in the larger scale trial already in progress.

On the strength of the laboratory research, Columbia's department of urology has commenced a Phase 1 human clinical trial testing Zyflamend's ability to prevent prostate cancer in patients with prostatic intraepithelial neoplasia -- a clinical precursor for prostate cancer.

The study is detailed in the journal Nutrition and Cancer

Mark      Permalink

Nov 6, 2005

Apparent Decrease In Prostate Cancer Mortality May Be False

Apparent Decrease In Prostate Cancer Mortality May Be False
From 1991 to 1995, there was a 6.3% drop in the overall prostate cancer mortality rates.

May be something has changed in the way Gleason scores are given today (Gleason scores are a measure of aggressive of the prostate cancer). These days it is hard to see a Gleason score of less than 6. Earlier it used to be between 2 and 5. May be the way in which the scores are allocated has changed. Allocating a high grade to an actually low-grade cancer creates a false impression of a decrease in the prostate cancer mortality.
An article published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute whose lead author is Peter C. Albertson, MD, Division of Urology; University of Connecticut at Farmington contradicts a true improvement in prostate cancer mortality.

Albertson and his collaborates calculated prostate cancer mortality rates, which showed an improvement in the mortality rate of 28 percent. They said that might be due to the reclassification of the scoring system and is a statistical artifact known as the Will Rogers phenomenon.

These days we can find more men undergoing prostate biopsy due to the accessibility of safe and effective biopsy techniques. Because of more aggressive screening prostate cancer is detected 10 to 15 years earlier than in the past. This trend of early diagnosis is called "zero time shift" or "lead time bias." Early diagnosis creates a false impression of longer survival without a real improvement in the overall survival.

Mark      Permalink

Nov 3, 2005

Leaders Join Together For Prostate Cancer

Leaders Join Together For Prostate Cancer
No one knows the exact causes of prostate cancer. Doctors can seldom explain why one man develops the disease and another does not.

Tony Blair, Michael Howard and Charles Kennedy, the leaders of the three main political parties have tied up together for the improvement in the cure of prostate cancer.

At the National Prostate Cancer Conference which is going to be held in London shortly, the "Audio Day Motion" recordings will be played. Invitation has also been forwarded to other MPs and lords for adding their voice to the recordings.

Prostate cancer is supposed to be UK's biggest killer of men and all the participants have in common a weakness to the disease.

It has been estimated that 30,000 men are affected by prostate cancer in a year out of which one third die from it.

The Prostate Cancer Charter for Action was formed in the year 2003. This Charter for Action is made up of 22 charities and organisations which includes the Prostate Cancer Charity and Cancer Research UK.

Sandy Tyndale-Biscoe, a patient of prostate cancer spoke for the Prostate Cancer Charter for Action and complimented the politicians who are putting their efforts to improve the services.

He also said that there is a long way to go as many men suffering from prostate cancer still get a poor deal. And since there is a prospect to change this historically, tackling prostate cancer should be the main concern for us.

Mark      Permalink

Oct 31, 2005

Fused Genes Initiate Prostate Cancer

Fused Genes Initiate Prostate Cancer Photo: courtesy of University of Michigan and Scott Tomlins, U-M Medical School
Scientists at the University of Michigan Medical School, in collaboration with researchers at Harvard's Brigham and Women's Hospital, have discovered a recurring pattern of scrambled chromosomes and abnormal gene activity that occurs only in prostate cancer.

In a paper being published in the recent issue of Science, the research team indicates that these chromosomal rearrangements induce specific genes to merge, creating what scientists call a fused gene. U-M researchers detected the unique molecular signature of these fused genes in the majority of prostate cancer tissue samples they analyzed, but found no evidence of gene fusion in benign prostate tissue or in prostate tissue with non-cancerous changes.

"The data in our study provides tantalizing evidence that gene fusion is the causative agent - the initiating event - in prostate cancer," says Arul M. Chinnaiyan, M.D., Ph.D., the S.P. Hicks Collegiate Professor of Pathology in the U-M Medical School, who directed the study. "It's what drives the aberrant over-expression of cancer-causing genes and is the first step in the progression of tissue changes leading to prostate cancer."

Because this particular gene fusion occurs only in prostate cancer, a diagnostic test to detect, in blood or urine, the fused genes or their protein products would be specific for prostate cancer and far more accurate than current screening tests, according to Chinnaiyan. And if scientists could find a way to block the gene, it could be the basis for a new, effective treatment for prostate cancer.

Mark      Permalink

Oct 28, 2005

Key Genes In The Development Of Prostate Cancer Discovered

Key Genes In The Development Of Prostate Cancer Discovered
A key set of genes that is involved in the initiation and production of prostate cancer has been identified. Researchers hail this new finding as a breakthrough in prostate cancer research and say that this may lead to development of more effective diagnostic tests and treatment for prostate cancer.

"This is amazing," says Michael Heinrich, a professor at the Oregon Health and Science University Cancer Institute, who was not involved in the study. "This is the Rosetta Stone of prostate cancer. Cracking the code lets you read the whole library. The implications of this are huge in a lot of different ways."

These research findings were published in the recent issue of the journal Science. This study may form a foundation for further cancer research as per one of the study's authors, Mark Rubin, chief of urologic pathology at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston.

This finding is revolutionary in the fact that until now researchers were thinking that prostate cancer is the result of lots of random genetic mutations. This study, however, suggests for the first time that prostate cancer begins after specific genes fuse, forming a complex gene promoting growth of prostate cancer. This merged gene was detectable in nearly 80% of 29 prostate cancer samples, says Arul Chinnaiyan, a professor at the University of Michigan Medical School who directed the study. None of the 50 samples of non-cancerous tissue had the genes, he says.

This discovery may allow doctors to begin to divide prostate cancer - which is now treated as a single disease - into different types which could lead to more targeted therapies based on the genetic abnormalities.

Mark      Permalink

Oct 25, 2005

Prostate Cancer Screening Reduces Death Risk

Prostate Cancer Screening Reduces Death Risk
Men with prostate cancer often do not know they have this disease. This is due to the fact that men may live with prostate cancer for many years without developing any symptoms. Screening tests allow doctors to find prostate cancer at an early stage thereby reducing their death risk.

A new study found that patients diagnosed with prostate cancer who had regularly undergone the yearly blood test had a less aggressive form of the disease at diagnosis - translating into a threefold reduction in the likelihood of death when compared with patients who had skipped the screening.

"A simple blood test called PSA may decrease deaths from prostate cancer because it appears to discover prostate cancers at a more curable time," said study author Dr. Jason Efstathiou, of the department of radiation oncology at Brigham and Women's Hospital and Dana Farber Cancer Institute, in Boston.

The study of Efstathiou and his team was presented recently at the American Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology's meeting in Denver, mentioning that men who had a history of PSA testing were found to have had less aggressive cancer at the time of their diagnosis.

Dr. Durado Brooks, director of prostate and colorectal cancers with the American Cancer Society stated that "It's not really surprising that men who were detected by screening had less aggressive tumors, lower-risk disease, and earlier-stage cancer".

Mark      Permalink

Oct 21, 2005

Penn Surgeons Use Robotic Surgery to Treat Prostate Cancer

Penn Surgeons Use Robotic Surgery to Treat Prostate Cancer
One of the most innovative of treatments for prostate cancer is robotic-assisted laparoscopic prostatectomy (removal of the prostate). The University of Pennsylvania Health System is currently one of only a handful of facilities across the country offering this minimally invasive, high-tech treatment. David I. Lee, M.D., a national expert in robotic surgery, was recruited to Penn and named Chief of the Division of Urology at Penn Presbyterian Medical Center, where the robotic prostate program is based.

There are many factors that make robotics an exceptionally valuable tool in the operating room during prostate surgery, for both the patient and surgeon. "Perhaps two of the most-feared possible long-term effects of a radical prostatectomy are erectile dysfunction and urinary incontinence," says Dr. Lee. "My specially-trained team and I have discovered that by using the robotic technique there is greater nerve sparing, which provides patients with the best chance for maintaining potency and continence."

Robotic technology offers a number of advantages during surgery. For instance, the robotic "arms" filter even minute tremors of the human hand so to provide steadiness. The robot's camera also provides a three-dimensional, stereoscopic image of the body's interior, as opposed to a two-dimensional image on a flat screen. This improved perspective enables depth perception that sharpens the visualization of the prostate and the network of nerves and tissue surrounding it. Additionally, by scaling down the motion of the robotic instruments, the surgeon can perform extremely precise, intricate movements during the procedure. For example, if the surgeon's hand moves five centimeters, he/she can scale the robotic hand to move only one centimeter.

Robotic technology also offers a number of advantages after surgery. Because laparoscopic surgery is minimally invasive and no large incisions are involved, robotic-assisted surgery provides numerous benefits for prostate cancer patients, including: less pain and scarring, diminished blood loss, a shorter hospital stay and reduced recovery period for a quicker return to daily activities.

Mark      Permalink

Oct 17, 2005

Does type II diabetes effect prostate cancer?

Does type II diabetes effect prostate cancer?
As per the research findings presented by researchers at Fox Chase Cancer Center there no effects of type II diabetes on aggressiveness of prostate cancer but found that long-term survival is worse in patients with type II diabetes and prostate cancer. These findings were presented at the 47th Annual Meeting of the American Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology in Denver.

Khanh H. Nguyen, M.D., lead author of the Fox Chase study and a resident in the radiation oncology department at Fox Chase said that men with type II diabetes didn't have a significantly different initial profile for their prostate cancer than the men without diabetes. The study did not detect significant differences in the initial PSA, Gleason score, or T-stage between the men with and without diabetes. Men with type II diabetes did not have significantly different treatment outcomes, said Nguyen.

Nguyen, now a radiation oncologist at the University of Tennessee Medical Center in Knoxville, Tenn., concluded, "The degree of hyperinsulinemia in type II diabetes can vary considerably and may obscure the true impact of insulin on the natural history of prostate cancer. "However, type II diabetes conferred a significantly higher overall mortality. Aggressive management of diabetes with diet, exercise, and medications may improve the survival of cancer patients."

Mark      Permalink

Oct 16, 2005

Antiangiogenic drug with radiation block prostate cancer in mice

Antiangiogenic drug with radiation block prostate cancer in miceResearchers at Montefiore Medical Center have discovered that a combination of anti-gene therapy based on angiogenesis and radiation inhibits the growth of prostate and lung cancer tumors in mice increasing their lifespan. This exciting result was reported at the recent meeting of American Society of Therapeutic Radiation and Oncology (ASTRO in Denver, CO.

The gene therapy involves a new protein, called Tek-Fc, which blocks angiogenesis, or the growth of blood vessels that are crucial for the continued growth of tumors.

"This anti-angiogenic gene therapy could eventually be an effective adjuvant to radiation therapy in the treatment of prostate and lung cancer in humans," said Madhur Garg, MD, lead author of the study and a senior physician scientist in Montefiore's Department of Radiation Oncology, the only institution in the US using this specific gene therapy model.

Dr. Garg and his colleagues at Montefiore and Albert Einstein College of Medicine demonstrated that a combination of Tek-Fc protein therapy and radiation was effective in reducing the size and inhibiting the growth of prostate and lung tumors in mice significantly.

Mark      Permalink

Prostate cancer
The prostate is located just below the bladder and in front of the rectum in male. The tube that carries urine runs through the prostate. The prostate contains cells that make some of the seminal fluid. This fluid protects and nourishes the sperm. Prostate cancer usually starts in the gland cells of the prostate. This kind of cancer is known as adenocarcinoma. Prostate cancer is usually a slow disease, but sometimes it can grow fast and spread quickly to other organs.

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