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March 10, 2009, 11:02 PM CT

Folic acid may increase prostate cancer risk

Folic acid may increase prostate cancer risk
A study led by scientists at the University of Southern California (USC) observed that men who took a daily folic acid supplement of 1 mg daily had more than twice the risk of prostate cancer compared with men who took a placebo.

The finding came from a secondary analysis of the Aspirin/Folate Polyp Prevention Study (AFPP), a placebo-controlled randomized trial to determine the impact of aspirin and folic acid on colon polyps in men and women who were at high risk for the disease. The results appear in the March 10 online issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute

Folic acid (folate) is a B vitamin found in a number of vegetables, beans, fruits and whole grains. While evidence of its ability to reduce neural tube defects in infants while taken by the mother before or during pregnancy has been well documented, its effects on other conditions are unclear.

"We know that adequate folate levels are important in the prevention of several cancer types, cardiovascular and neurological diseases," says main author Jane Figueiredo, Ph.D., assistant professor of preventive medicine at the Keck School of Medicine of USC. "However, little has been known about its role in prostate cancer. Our objective was to investigate the relationship between folic acid supplements and dietary folate and risk of prostate cancer".........

Posted by: Mark      Read more         Source


February 20, 2009, 6:04 AM CT

PSA testing for older men

PSA testing for older men
Certain men age 75 to 80 are unlikely to benefit from routine prostate specific antigen (PSA) testing, as per a Johns Hopkins study reported in the April 2009 issue of The Journal of Urology

The scientists observed that men in this age group with PSA levels less than 3 nanograms per milliliter are unlikely to die of or experience aggressive prostate cancer during their remaining life, suggesting that the use of PSA testing in a number of older men may no longer be needed.

The study, led by scientists from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and the National Institute on Aging's Baltimore Longitudinal Study of Aging (BLSA), evaluated data from 849 men (122 with and 727 without prostate cancer) who were participating in the BLSA and who had undergone regular PSA testing.

Results showed that among men who were over 75 with PSA levels less than 3 nanograms per milliliter, none died of prostate cancer and only one developed high-risk prostate cancer. In contrast, men of all ages with a PSA level of 3 nanograms per milliliter or greater had a continually rising probability of dying from prostate cancer.

If confirmed by future studies, these results may help determine more specific guidelines for when PSA -based screening might be safely discontinued, as per lead investigator Edward Schaeffer, M.D., an assistant professor of urology at Johns Hopkins. While PSA screening remains a useful tool for helping detect early stages of prostate cancer and is credited with decreasing prostate cancer mortality, discontinuing unneeded PSA testing could significantly reduce the costs of screening and also potentially reduce morbidity resulting from additional tests or therapys.........

Posted by: Mark      Read more         Source


February 12, 2009, 5:26 AM CT

DHEA may prevent prostate cancer

DHEA may prevent prostate cancer
DHEA is a natural circulating hormone and the body's production of it decreases with age. Men take DHEA as an over-the-counter supplement because it has been suggested that DHEA can reverse aging or have anabolic effects since it can be metabolized in the body to androgens. Increased consumption of dietary isoflavones is linked to a decreased risk of prostate cancer. Red clover (Trifolium pretense) is one source of isoflavones. Both supplements may have hormonal effects in the prostate and little is known about the safety of these supplements.

In a recent report in Cancer Prevention Research, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research, scientists report that DHEA levels can be manipulated in cells in the laboratory to understand its effects.

Julia Arnold, Ph.D., a staff scientist at the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) at the National Institutes of Health, said more research is necessary in an environment where men and women concerned about health problems tend to self-prescribe based on information they find on the Internet.

Towards this end, the NCCAM laboratory is studying signaling between human prostate cancer cells and their supporting stromal cells as they grow together in laboratory culture. "DHEA effects in the prostate tissues may depend on how these two cells types 'talk to each other' and further, it appears to be potentially harmful in tissues containing inflammation or with early cancer lesions because the cells can induce DHEA to become more androgenic," said Arnold.........

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January 2, 2009, 9:46 AM CT

Family History of Prostate Cancer Has No Impact On The Treatment Outcomes

Family History of Prostate Cancer Has No Impact On The Treatment Outcomes
Prostate anatomy
In a first of its kind study, a first-degree family history of prostate cancer has no impact on the therapy outcomes of patients with prostate cancer treated with brachytherapy (also called seed implants), and patients with this type of family history have clinical and pathologic characteristics similar to men with no family history at all, as per a January 1 study in the International Journal of Radiation Oncology*Biology*Physics, the official journal of the American Society for Radiation Oncology.

"This information is relevant for both physicians and patients with new diagnoses as they embark on complex therapy decisions," Christopher A. Peters, M.D., main author of the study and a radiation oncologist at Northeast Radiation Oncology Center in Dunmore, Pa. (chief resident at Mount Sinai School of Medicine at the time of the study), said. "Now patients with a family history of prostate cancer can be confident that they have the same outcomes as patients with sporadic disease, regardless of the therapy modality they chose".

As per the American Cancer Society, prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men behind skin cancer. A number of patients diagnosed with prostate cancer have some type of family history of the disease and men with a family history do have an increased risk of developing the disease, but there is conflicting data on how family history impacts therapy outcomes.........

Posted by: Mark      Read more         Source


December 31, 2008, 7:11 AM CT

Reason for failure of hormonal therapy of prostate cancer

Reason for failure of hormonal therapy of prostate cancer
The hormone deprivation treatment that patients with prostate cancer often take gives them only a temporary fix, with tumors commonly regaining their hold within a couple of years. Now, scientists at Johns Hopkins have discovered critical differences in the hormone receptors on prostate cancer cells in patients who no longer respond to this treatment. The findings, published in the Jan. 1 issue of Cancer Research, could lead to a way to track disease progression, as well as new targets to fight prostate cancer.

Prostate cancer cells rely on androgens, male hormones that include testosterone, to survive and grow, explains Jun Luo, Ph.D., an assistant professor at Johns Hopkins' James Buchanan Brady Urological Institute. Since 1941, doctors have taken advantage of this dependency to battle prostate cancer by depriving patients of androgens, either by castration or chemical methods. For most patients, this hormone deprivation treatment causes tumors to shrink, sometimes dramatically. However, it's never a curetumors eventually regrow into a stronger form, becoming resistant to this and other forms of therapy.

Seeking the reason why this treatment eventually fails, Luo and colleagues at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, the University of Washington and Puget Sound VA Medical Center looked to a key player: the androgen receptors on prostate cancer cells.........

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December 19, 2008, 5:12 AM CT

Cough medicine ingredient could treat prostate cancer

Cough medicine ingredient could treat prostate cancer
A study published recently in the recent issue of the European medical journal Anticancer Research demonstrates that an ingredient used in a common cough suppressant may be useful in treating advanced prostate cancer. Scientists observed that noscapine, which has been used in cough medicine for nearly 50 years, reduced tumor growth in mice by 60% and limited the spread of tumors by 65% without causing harmful side effects.

Prostate cancer is the most common cancer among men in the United States. The American Cancer Society estimates that 186,320 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2008 and 28,660 will die from it. One man in 6 will get prostate cancer during his lifetime. Eventhough slow-growing in most men, the cancer is considered advanced when it spreads beyond the prostate. There is no known cure.

The laboratory study was a joint effort by Dr. Israel Barken of the Prostate Cancer Research and Educational Foundation, Moshe Rogosnitzky of MedInsight Research Institute, and Dr. Jack Geller of The University of California San Diego. Noscapine has previously been studied as a therapy for breast, ovarian, colon, lung and brain cancer and for various lymphomas, chronic lymphocytic leukemia and melanoma. This study, however, is the first to demonstrate its effectiveness in treating prostate cancer.........

Posted by: Mark      Read more         Source


December 16, 2008, 8:34 PM CT

Low-income men and advanced prostate cancer

Low-income men and advanced prostate cancer
Low-income men are more likely to present with advanced prostate cancers, most likely because they don't receive screening services shown to reduce the diagnosis of later-stage cancers, a UCLA study found.

The study focused on a group of disadvantaged men enrolled in the state's IMPACT (Improving Access, Counseling and Treatment for Californians with Prostate Cancer) program, which provides high-quality care to poor, underinsured and uninsured men. Scientists observed that of the 570 men studied, 19 percent had metastatic cancer at diagnosis, in comparison to 4 percent of men from the general population who were followed in other studies.

The study also observed that the diagnosis rates for lower-risk, less advanced cancers in the IMPACT patients did not increase over time, while the diagnosis rates of lower-risk, less advanced cancers did go up for men in more affluent populations.

Prior studies have shown that widespread adoption of PSA screening for prostate cancer has resulted in more men being diagnosed with organ-confined, low-risk disease. This trend has not been mirrored among the disadvantaged IMPACT patients, who don't have access to or don't take advantage of screening.

Reported in the February 2009 issue of The Journal of Urology, the study sheds light on the challenges and opportunities that public assistance programs face in reducing cancer-related socioeconomic disparities.........

Posted by: Mark      Read more         Source


December 8, 2008, 10:30 PM CT

Men with wives more likely to be screened for prostate cancer

Men with wives more likely to be screened for prostate cancer
Eventhough the link between early screening and prostate cancer survival is well established, men are less likely to go for early screening unless they have a wife or significant other living with them, as per a research studypublished in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research.

"In terms of motivating people to get screened, there may be benefit in targeting wives or significant others as well as men," said lead author Lauren P. Wallner, M.P.H., a graduate research associate at the University of Michigan.

Prostate cancer is the second leading cause of cancer deaths among men in the United States, and early detection is linked to drastically improved five-year survival rates. However, what motivates a man to get screened is not known.

Wallner and his colleagues identified 2,447 Caucasian men ages 40 years to 79 years from Olmstead County, Minnesota. These men completed questionnaires containing queries on family history of prostate cancer, concern about getting prostate cancer and marital status.

If men had a family history of prostate cancer, they were 50 percent more likely to be screened. If men said they were worried about prostate cancer, they were nearly twice as likely to be screened.........

Posted by: Mark      Read more         Source


October 16, 2008, 10:59 PM CT

Prostate cancer gene test provides new early detection

Prostate cancer gene test provides new early detection
Arnhem, 16 October 2008 Prostate cancer (PCa) is one of the most common male cancers in the Western world. Currently, early detection of PCa depends on an abnormal digital rectal examination and an elevated prostate-specific-antigen (PSA) level requiring a prostate biopsy, often linked to anxiety, discomfort, complications, and heavy expenses. The prostate-cancer-gene-3 (PCA3) test is a new PCa gene-based marker carried out with a urine sample. PCA3 is highly specific to PCa and has shown promising early detection results at repeat biopsy. It may allow patients to avoid unnecessary biopsies. The PCA3 gene is dominant in over 95% of cancerous prostate tissue in comparison to non-malignant and normal prostate tissue.

Several studies have been done to evaluate the PCA3 assay. In 2007, Marks et al showed that urine PCA3 levels were more accurate than serum PSA measurements for predicting the results of repeat biopsy (Marks LS, Fradet Y, Deras IL, et al. PCA3 molecular urine assay for prostate cancer in men undergoing repeat biopsy. Urology 2007; 69:532��).

In the October 2008 issue of European Urology (http://www.elsevier.com/locate/eururo), Haese et al took the study by Marks et al even further in their evaluation of the PCA3 assay in a larger population of European men with one or two negative biopsies scheduled for repeat biopsy in order to determine its effectiveness in detecting PCa at repeat biopsy.........

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September 24, 2008, 9:40 PM CT

Age alone should not be used to determine whether to treat prostate cancer

Age alone should not be used to determine whether to treat prostate cancer
Concerns regarding the association of hormone treatment used to treat prostate cancer with cardiovascular disease in some older men may lead doctors to forgo hormone therapy solely on the basis of age. But a new study by physicians at Fox Chase Cancer Center shows that men over age 70 with high-risk prostate cancer lived longer and experienced increases in PSA less frequently when treated with long-term androgen deprivation treatment.

The benefit of long-term (i.e. 2-3 years) androgen deprivation treatment has been established in high-risk patients with prostate cancer in several prospective, randomized clinical trials. However, concern that androgen deprivation treatment may result in cardiovascular disease, especially in older patients men with certain risk factors for cardiovascular disease, has led researchers to question its role in older men.

"Several studies have demonstrated a survival benefit when androgen deprivation treatment is used along with radiotherapy in men with high-risk, clinically localized prostate cancer," said the study's lead author, Joshua Silverman, MD, PhD, a resident in the Department of Radiation Oncology at Fox Chase. "What we did not know until now is whether this benefit outweighs the risks of cardiovascular and metabolic adverse effects from androgen deprivation treatment." .........

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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.

Medicineworld.org: Archives of prostate-cancer-blog

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