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November 8, 2006, 9:07 PM CT

Muscle Protein Drives Prostate Cancer

Muscle Protein Drives Prostate Cancer
Scientists at the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center have for the first time implicated the muscle protein myosin VI in the development of prostate cancer and its spread.

In a series of lab studies with human prostate cancer cells, the Hopkins researchers were surprised to find overproduction of myosin VI in both prostate tumor cells and premalignant lesions. When the researchers genetically altered the cells to "silence" myosin VI, they discovered the cells were less able to invade in a test tube.

"Our results suggest that myosin VI may be critical in starting and maintaining the cancerous properties of the majority of human prostate cancers diagnosed today," says Angelo M. De Marzo, M.D., Ph.D., a study coauthor and associate professor of pathology, urology and oncology.

The Hopkins work, reported in the recent issue of the American Journal of Pathology, has potential value for better ways to diagnose the disease, treat and track the effects of drugs and surgery. "Targeting myosin VI represents a promising new approach that could lead eventually new approaches to treating the disease," says Jun Luo, Ph.D., senior author of the paper and assistant professor of urology.

Myosins are a class of 40 motor proteins that power cell movement and muscle contractions. Normally, as they work, myosins slide in a single direction along the threads of a protein called actin. But myosin VI moves against the grain, and it does not function as a classical "muscle" protein.........

Posted by: Mark      Permalink         Source


November 5, 2006, 8:57 PM CT

IMRT versus 3D CRT for prostate cancer

IMRT versus 3D CRT for prostate cancer
New research findings show men have fewer long-term gastrointestinal side effects with intensity-modulated radiation treatment (IMRT) than with three-dimensional conformal radiation treatment (3D CRT) for prostate cancer therapy, despite the higher doses of radiation used in the IMRT group. These and other data, including long-term genitourinary side effects, were presented today at the 48th Annual Meeting of the American Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology in Philadelphia.

Long-term data comparing 3D CRT for prostate cancer versus the use of IMRT is only now beginning to mature. Few other academic therapy centers have as much experience with 3D CRT and IMRT as Fox Chase.

Both techniques allow precise targeting of the cancer with multiple X-ray beams, but IMRT allows physicians to modulate the radiation dose intensity with far smaller radiation beams. Thus, doses of radiation to the bladder and rectum can be limited. Reducing radiation exposure to healthy normal tissue and other vital organs helps prevent once common side effects such as urinary frequency and diarrhea.

In the study presented today, scientists analyzed data collected prospectively from 1,417 patients treated at Fox Chase. Of these, 928 men were treated with 3D CRT (median follow-up of 63.3 months) and 489 men with IMRT (median follow-up of 29.9 months). The IMRT patients received higher doses of radiation.........

Posted by: Mark      Permalink         Source


November 5, 2006, 8:39 PM CT

Six Months Of Hormone Therapy Enough For Prostate Cancer

Six Months Of Hormone Therapy Enough For Prostate Cancer
Patients with prostate cancer treated with either radiation or surgery who use hormone treatment for longer than six months do not survive any longer than patients who use the therapy for a shorter amount of time, as per a research studypresented November 5, 2006, at the American Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology's 48th Annual Meeting in Philadelphia.

"A number of patients with high risk prostate cancer are treated with two or more years of hormone treatment based on studies performed over a decade ago," said Cliff Robinson, M.D., lead author of the study and a radiation oncologist at Cleveland Clinic in Cleveland, Ohio. "Our study's findings suggest that treating current patients with shorter-term hormone treatment may not only be equally effective, but also improve their quality of life, due to a lesser degree of therapy side effects."

The authors also observed that patients receiving longer than six months of hormone treatment were twice as likely to die as patients who use the therapy for a shorter amount of time. "The reasons why patients receiving longer term hormone treatment may do worse are unclear," said Dr. Robinson, who also cautions, "Many factors could complicate the issue, and this area needs further investigation before any conclusions can be drawn".........

Posted by: Mark      Permalink         Source


October 15, 2006, 7:31 PM CT

Novel Therapy For Prostate Cancer

Novel Therapy For Prostate Cancer
A team of University of Iowa Health Care scientists has launched an important clinical trial of a novel therapeutic that may eventually lead to new therapys for men diagnosed with prostate cancer.

The Ad5-TRAIL gene treatment for prostate cancer research trial is a Phase I study designed to test the optimal dosage at which the therapeutic agent can safely be given to patients.

The clinical study is being co-led by Thomas Griffith, Ph.D., (photo, left) an associate professor in the Department of Urology, and Richard Williams, M.D., the Rubin H. Flocks Chair in Urology and professor and head of the UI Department of Urology.

"This is the first use of this type of anti-cancer agent which was developed at the University of Iowa. This new gene treatment may help us successfully manage patients with high-risk prostate cancer," Griffith said. "Ideally, we hope to be able to say at the conclusion of this trial that this novel agent is safe and performs as intended by causing the death of prostate tumor cells with no harm to normal cells. However, being at the initial stages of the trial, it is premature to make any claims until the data is analyzed".

Scientists injected the investigational therapeutic into the malignant prostates of three patients. Then, following a 10-day waiting period, surgeons removed the prostates and are evaluating the results.........

Posted by: Mark      Permalink         Source


September 27, 2006, 6:46 PM CT

IMRT Cures Prostate Cancer

Results from the largest study of men with prostate cancer treated with high-dose, intensity modulated radiation treatment (IMRT) show that the majority of patients remain alive with no evidence of disease after an average follow-up period of eight years. The 561 patients with prostate cancer treated with IMRT at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center were classified into prognostic risk groups. After an average of eight years, 89 percent of the men in the favorable risk group were disease-free and none of the men in any group developed secondary cancers as a result of the radiation treatment. This report, reported in the October 2006 issue of The Journal of Urology, is the first description of long-term outcomes for patients with prostate cancer using IMRT.

"Our results suggest that IMRT should be the therapy of choice for delivering high-dose, external beam radiotherapy for patients with localized prostate cancer," said Dr. Michael J. Zelefsky, Chief of the Brachytherapy Service at Memorial Sloan-Kettering. "We were able to show long-term safety and long-term efficacy in a very diverse group of patients with prostate cancer that we followed a number of for as long as ten years. Despite the fact that some patients had an aggressive form of their disease with high Gleason scores and PSA (prostate specific antigen) levels, the overwhelming majority of patients had good tumor control with neither recurrence of their original cancer nor development of second cancers, which one might have expected from the high doses of radiation," he added.........

Posted by: Mark      Permalink         Source


September 20, 2006, 5:09 AM CT

Why Food Tastes Bad To Chemotherapy Recipients

Why Food Tastes Bad To Chemotherapy Recipients
It's a common experience among patients who are receiving chemotherapy to have no tast for food. About two million cancer patients currently receiving certain drug therapies and chemotherapy find foods and beverages to have a foul metallic flavor, as per a medical study. In general, more than 40 percent of hospitalized patients suffer from malnutrition due to taste and smell dysfunction.

"Unfortunately, these problems that impact nutrition and quality of life are underestimated and understudied by oncologists," said Andrea Dietrich, Virginia Tech professor of civil and environmental engineering (CEE).

Dietrich believes there are two components to the metallic flavor the taste of metal ions on the tongue and the production of metal-catalyzed odors in the mouth that create a retro-nasal effect. "I am attempting to gain a better understanding of the metallic sensation, its prevention, and application to human health," Dietrich said.

Along with two of her university colleagues, Susan E. Duncan, professor of food science and technology, and YongWoo Lee, an assistant professor in the biomedical sciences and pathology department and a member of the Virginia Tech-Wake Forest University School of Biomedical Engineering and Sciences, Dietrich is the recipient of a $200,000 grant from the Institute of Public Health and Water Research (IPWR) to examine the problems of foul flavored water. The interdisciplinary investigative team combines proficiency in food oxidation and off-flavors, water chemistry, cell biology, and human perception.........

Posted by: Janet      Permalink         Source


August 24, 2006, 4:53 AM CT

PSA predicts treatment success

PSA predicts treatment success
ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- A test used to detect prostate cancer can also help doctors know when therapy is working. A man's prostate specific antigen, or PSA, level after seven months of hormone treatment for advanced prostate cancer predicted how long he would survive, as per a new multicenter study conducted by the Southwest Oncology Group and led by scientists at the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center.

The study reviewed 1,345 men with prostate cancer that had spread to distant parts of the body. The men were treated with seven months of androgen deprivation treatment, a therapy designed to block the effects of hormones on the cancer. PSA levels were monitored throughout the therapy. The scientists observed that men whose PSA dropped below 4.0 ng/ml had a quarter the risk of dying in comparison to those whose PSA was more than 4.0.

Results of the study appear in the Aug. 20 issue of the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

"Our analysis showed that a low or undetectable PSA after seven months of androgen deprivation treatment is a powerful predictor of risk of death in patients with new metastatic prostate cancer. This could allow oncologists to identify patients who are unlikely to do well with this therapy long before they develop clinical signs of therapy resistance," says lead study author Maha Hussain, M.D., professor of internal medicine at the U-M Medical School.........

Posted by: Mark      Permalink         Source


August 13, 2006, 9:31 AM CT

RNA-Based Drug Kills Prostate Cancer Cells

RNA-Based Drug Kills Prostate Cancer Cells
Acting as a genetic Trojan horse, an experimental RNA-based drug -- the first of its kind -- tricks its way into prostate cancer cells and then springs into action to destroy them, while leaving normal cells unharmed.

The drug, developed at Duke University Medical Center, uses one type of genetic material, called targeting RNA, to enter cancer cells, and another type, called silencing RNA, to stop the expression of a protein that keeps the cells alive.

In tests in mice with prostate cancer, the drug shrank the size of their tumors by half, while the tumors in control mice that did not receive the drug continued to grow, said study co-author Bruce Sullenger, Ph.D., director of Duke's Translational Research Institute and chief of the Division of Experimental Surgery.

The mice showed no side effects from the treatment, Sullenger said.

"This study represents the first step in creating an RNA-based drug for cancer," said lead author James McNamara, Ph.D. a postdoctoral fellow in experimental surgery. "It provides a 'proof of principle' that an entirely RNA-based drug can work with minimal side effects, and it shows it is possible to overcome many of the obstacles that have hampered the development of RNA-based drugs".

The study is reported in the August 2006 issue of Nature Biotechnology, which is now available online. The research was funded by the National Institutes of Health.........

Posted by: Mark      Permalink         Source


August 1, 2006, 7:02 AM CT

Reduce Prostate Cancer Growth Rate

Reduce Prostate Cancer Growth Rate
UCLA scientists observed that altering the fatty acid ratio found in the typical Western diet to include more omega-3 fatty acids and decrease the amount of omega-6 fatty acids may reduce prostate cancer tumor growth rates and PSA levels.

Reported in the Aug. 1 issue of the journal Clinical Cancer Research, this initial animal-model study is one of the first to show the impact of diet on lowering an inflammatory response known to promote prostate cancer tumor progression and could lead to new therapy approaches.

The omega-6 fatty acids contained in corn, safflower oils and red meats are the predominant polyunsaturated fatty acids in the Western diet. The healthier marine omega-3 fatty acids are found in cold-water fish like salmon, tuna and sardines.

"Corn oil is the backbone of the American diet. We consume up to 20 times more omega-6 fatty acids in our diet in comparison to omega-3 acids," said principal investigator Dr. William Aronson, a professor in the department of urology at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and a researcher with UCLA's Jonsson Cancer Center. "This study strongly suggests that eating a healthier ratio of these two types of fatty acids may make a difference in reducing prostate cancer growth, but studies need to be conducted in humans before any clinical recommendations can be made".........

Posted by: Mark      Permalink         Source


July 1, 2006, 9:56 AM CT

Pomegranate Juice Keeps PSA Levels Stable

Pomegranate Juice Keeps PSA Levels Stable
Drinking an eight ounce glass of pomegranate juice daily increased by nearly four times the period during which PSA levels in men treated for prostate cancer remained stable, a three-year UCLA study has observed.

The study involved 50 men who had undergone surgery or radiation but quickly experienced increases in prostate-specific antigen or PSA, a biomarker that indicates the presence of cancer. UCLA scientists measured "doubling time," how long it takes for PSA levels to double, a signal that the cancer is progressing, said Dr. Allan Pantuck, an associate professor of urology, a Jonsson Cancer Center researcher and lead author of the study.

Doubling time is crucial in prostate cancer, Pantuck said, because patients who have short doubling times are more likely to die from their cancer. The average doubling time is about 15 months. In the UCLA study, Pantuck and his team observed increases in doubling times from 15 months to 54 months, an almost four-fold increase.

"That's a big increase. I was surprised when I saw such an improvement in PSA numbers," Pantuck said. "In older men 65 to 70 who have been treated for prostate cancer, we can give them pomegranate juice and it may be possible for them to outlive their risk of dying from their cancer. We're hoping we may be able to prevent or delay the need for other therapies commonly used in this population such as hormone therapy or chemotherapy, both of which bring with them harmful side effects".........

Posted by: Mark      Permalink         Source



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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.

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