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May 18, 2008, 9:00 PM CT

Finasteride in preventing prostate cancer

Finasteride in preventing prostate cancer
A comprehensive re-evaluation of the largest prostate cancer prevention study ever completed produced new findings suggesting that men and their doctors should consider a more aggressive approach that includes finasteride to prevent the development of prostate cancer.

A pathologic analysis of that same study sheds light on the significance of the cancers found in that study. Additionally, this study highlights the role of prostate specific antigen (PSA) scores in therapy decision-making. Scientists observed that even those men who have a low PSA screening value can have cancer that is difficult to cure.

The two studies will be published online in advanced of the June 2008 issue of Cancer Prevention Research, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research.

The original study, the Prostate Cancer Prevention Trial (PCPT), had randomized 18,822 men to receive either a placebo or an agent known as finasteride, currently approved to control prostate growth, for seven years. Results showed that while finasteride reduced prostate cancer risk by 25 percent, it appeared to increase development of more aggressive prostate cancer in some men. Because of this finding and concerns that tumors detected had low PSA values and might be of little risk to patients, since the studys original publication in 2003, few doctors have recommended finasteride for prostate cancer prevention.........

Posted by: Mark      Read more         Source


April 22, 2008, 9:40 PM CT

Protein that helps predict prostate cancer survival

Protein that helps predict prostate cancer survival
An Oregon Health & Science University Cancer Institute researcher has identified a protein that is a strong indicator of survival for men with advanced prostate cancer. The C-reactive protein, also known as CRP, is a special type of protein produced by the liver that is elevated in the presence of inflammation.

"This could mean that a simple blood test that is already available could help in clinical decision making and patient counseling. Patients and doctors would know better what to expect from the prostate cancer they are facing," said Tomasz Beer, M.D., director of the Prostate Cancer Research Program at the OHSU Cancer Institute, associate professor of medicine (hematology/medical oncology), OHSU School of Medicine.

Beer's research will be published online in the journal Cancer on Monday, April 21.

Past research has shown that cancer causes an inflammatory response. This research also suggests that inflammation may play an important role in driving prostate cancer progression and resistance to treatment. Inflammatory cells are attracted to cancer sites and this local inflammation can lead to a release of inflammatory markers, like CRP.

"While inflammation may sometimes slow the progression of the cancer, an increasing body of evidence suggests that cancer can actually take advantage of the inflammatory response, and the reaction of the immune system may fuel cancer progression. To the extent that our hypothesis proves true, C-reactive protein may be reflecting the overall intensity of the inflammation," Beer said.........

Posted by: Mark      Read more         Source


April 13, 2008, 8:56 PM CT

Exercise may lead to faster prostate tumor growth

Exercise may lead to faster prostate tumor growth
Prostate tumors grew more quickly in mice who exercised than in those who did not, leading to speculation that exercise may increase blood flow to tumors, as per a new study by scientists in the Duke Comprehensive Cancer Center (DCCC) and the Duke Prostate Center.

Our study showed that exercise led to significantly greater tumor growth than a more sedentary lifestyle did, in this mouse model, said Lee Jones, Ph.D., a researcher in the DCCC and senior investigator on this study. Our thought is that we may, in the future, be able to use this finding to design better drug delivery models to more effectively treat patients with prostate cancer, and those with other types of cancer as well.

The findings were presented in a poster session at the American Association for Cancer Research annual meeting on April 13 in San Diego, Calif. The study was funded by the United States Department of Defense, the Prostate Cancer Foundation and the American Urological Association Foundation, Rising Star in Urology Award, given to Stephen Freedland, one of the studys investigators.

The scientists implanted prostate tumors subcutaneously in the flanks of 50 mice and then put half of the mice in cages with exercise wheels and half in cages with no wheels. All mice were fed the same diet. On average, the exercising mice ran more than half a mile each day.........

Posted by: Mark      Read more         Source


January 30, 2008, 9:20 PM CT

Links between prostate cancer, cadmium, and zinc

Links between prostate cancer, cadmium, and zinc
Cadmium exposure is a known risk factor for prostate cancer, and a new University of Rochester study suggests that zinc may offer protection against cadmium.

In an article reported in the February 2008 journal, The Prostate, epidemiologist Edwin van Wijngaarden, Ph.D., reports that PSA levels were 22 percent higher among American men who had zinc levels below the median (less than 12.67 mg/daily) and cadmium levels above the median. (PSA is a protein produced by the cells of the prostate gland. The higher a mans PSA level, the more likely cancer is present.) .

In contrast, among men with a greater than median zinc intake, little evidence of an association between cadmium and PSA was found.

The way zinc and cadmium interact within human organs is significant and provides interesting leads for study, van Wijngaarden said. Zinc stimulates production of a protein that binds cadmium thereby taking it out of circulation and reducing its toxic effects.

However, it is too early to recommend zinc supplements for those whore worried about prostate damage, he added.

Your health is based on the complex interplay of a number of factors, said Van Wijngaarden, an assistant professor in the Department of Community and Preventive Medicine at the University of Rochester Medical Center. Environmental exposures play out differently in people. Its important to identify those subpopulations that may be more sensitive to toxicities.........

Posted by: Mark      Read more         Source


January 21, 2008, 7:59 PM CT

Pros, cons of drug to prevent prostate cancer

Pros, cons of drug to prevent prostate cancer
Dr. Yair Lotan's analytical research calls for men to weigh the potential benefits and as well as the side effects of the drug finasteride before taking it to prevent prostate cancer.

Credit: UT Southwestern Medical Center
Findings by UT Southwestern Medical Center scientists encourage men to weigh both the potential benefits and side effects of the drug finasteride before taking it to prevent prostate cancer.

In todays online issue of Cancer, UT Southwestern doctors analyzed data gathered by the National Cancer Institutes Prostate Cancer Prevention Trial, or PCPT. The trial, which began in October 1993, was designed to test whether finasteride could prevent prostate cancer in men 55 years of age and older. It was stopped early in June 2003 when an analysis showed that finasteride reduced the risk of developing prostate cancer by 25 percent.

UT Southwesterns analysis of the PCPT data indicates that cost effectiveness and quality of life issues linked to taking the drug are not clear cut, said Dr. Yair Lotan, assistant professor of urology and the Cancer studys senior author. The PCPT data show that in addition to preventing prostate cancer, finasteride also reduces urinary-tract symptoms linked to non-malignant prostatic hyperplasia. It also decreased sexual desire and caused impotence in 5 percent of the trial participants. Some PCPT participants who did develop prostate cancer also had high-grade tumors, eventhough there is ongoing debate whether this result might have been due to sampling bias.........

Posted by: Mark      Read more         Source


November 13, 2007, 10:03 PM CT

A low-carb diet may stunt prostate tumor growth

A low-carb diet may stunt prostate tumor growth
A diet low in carbohydrates may help stunt the growth of prostate tumors, as per 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 treatment through something that all of us can control, our diets.

Freedland conducted most of the research for this study while doing a fellowship in urology at Johns Hopkins Brady Urological Institute under the tutelage of William Isaacs, Ph.D., a molecular geneticist there.

The scientists published their results on November 13, 2007 in the online edition of the journal Prostate. The study was funded by the Department of Veterans Affairs, the Department of Surgery and the Division of Urology at Duke University Medical Center, the Prostate Cancer Foundation, and the Department of Defense Prostate Cancer Research Program.

The scientists hypothesized that since serum insulin and a related substance known as insulin-like growth factor (IGF) had been linked with the growth of prostate tumors in earlier research in mice, a reduction in the bodys levels of these substances might slow tumor growth, Freedland said.........

Posted by: Mark      Read more         Source


October 29, 2007, 10:33 PM CT

Can statins make radiation more effective?

Can statins make radiation more effective?
Prostate cancer patients who receive high-dose radiation therapy and also take statin drugs usually used to lower cholesterol have a 10 percent higher chance of being cured of their cancer at 10 years after diagnosis (76 percent), in comparison to those who dont take these medications (66 percent), as per a research studypresented at a scientific session October 31, 2007, at the American Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncologys 49th Annual Meeting in Los Angeles.

The study demonstrated that the greatest benefit of statin medications was observed in patients who had more aggressive or advanced forms of prostate cancer. The research also showed that men who took statins during high-dose radiation treatment had a lower rate of the cancer spreading to distant parts of the body.

We were, indeed, surprised by the findings that statins used by these patients for other conditions was shown to improve the effectiveness of radiation therapy in killing prostate cancer cells, said Michael J. Zelefsky, M.D., the senior author of the study and a radiation oncologist at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York. The use of statins during radiation may also be effective in the therapy of other types of cancer. However, more studies are necessary to explore the association between statins and radiation therapy in curing cancers.........

Posted by: Mark      Read more         Source


October 29, 2007, 10:18 PM CT

Radiation seeds effectively cure prostate cancer

Radiation seeds effectively cure prostate cancer
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, as per a research studypresented at a scientific session on October 31, 2007, at the American Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncologys 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 therapy option for prostate cancer patients 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 commonly advised younger men to undergo surgery to remove all or part of the prostate (prostatectomy) over other therapys 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 a number of younger men would undergo surgery without ever learning about other therapy options, like brachytherapy or external beam radiation treatment.

These results suggest that brachytherapy is extremely effective in curing localized prostate cancer for men aged 60 and younger. When younger men are diagnosed with localized prostate cancer, they should be presented with all viable therapy options, including brachytherapy, said Alice Ho, M.D., the lead author of the study and a radiation oncologist at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York. Every man with prostate cancer, regardless of his age, should have access to the therapy that is best for his cancer and lifestyle.........

Posted by: Mark      Read more         Source


October 28, 2007, 2:01 PM CT

Walking prevents bone loss caused from prostate cancer treatment

Walking prevents bone loss caused from prostate cancer treatment
Exercise may reduce, and even reverse, bone loss caused by hormone and radiation therapies used in the therapy of localized prostate cancer, thereby decreasing the potential risk of bone fractures and improving quality of life for these men, as per a research studypresented on October 28, 2007, at the American Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncologys 49th Annual Meeting in Los Angeles.

Patients with prostate cancer are not routinely advised to exercise. Walking is one tool that patients with prostate cancer can use to improve their health and minimize the side effects of cancer and cancer therapys, said Paula Chiplis, PhD., RN, the lead author of the study and a clinical instructor and senior research assistant at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore. Walking has no harmful side effects, if done moderately, but it can dramatically improve life for men suffering from side effects from some prostate cancer therapys.

Men with localized prostate cancer frequently receive radiation treatment followed by months of hormone treatment to treat their cancer. Radiation is used to kill the cancer cells, while hormone treatment decreases testosterone and estrogen that feed the cancer cells, thereby keeping the tumor from growing. Men undergoing hormone treatment lose between 4 to 13 percent of their bone density on an annual basis, in comparison to healthy men who lose between.5 to 1 percent per year, beginning in middle age. Men are typically not believed to be at risk for osteoporosis and bone fractures; however, their rate of bone loss is greater than that of post-menopausal women.........

Posted by: Mark      Read more         Source


October 28, 2007, 1:57 PM CT

Image Guided radiation therapy for prostate cancer

Image Guided radiation therapy for prostate cancer
Image courtesy of elekta.com
Oregon Health & Science University Cancer Institute scientists have observed that highly targeted radiation treatment for prostate cancer can ensure that the majority of persons with this tumor will not have any long-term rectal damage.

A group of 231 study participants received a combination of intensity-modulated radiation and seed marker-based image-guided radiation therapies (IM-IGRT) for prostate cancer then were tracked for 1.4 years. Nearly 98 percent of these participants had no rectal damage, as per Todd Scarbrough, M.D., principal investigator, associate professor, radiation medicine, OHSU School of Medicine; and an OHSU Cancer Institute member. This combination allows for millimeter targeting accuracy of the tumor.

If these outcomes hold over time and the results can be reproduced by others, then this combination of radiation therapies for prostate cancer will yield some of the lowest toxicity rates of any definitive therapys for prostate cancer. This would be the therapy for prostate cancer. A patient could cruise through therapy with no side effects, explained Scarbrough who also serves as director of the MIMA Cancer Center, Melbourne, Fla.

A poster of this study will be presented Monday, Oct. 28, at the 2007 annual American Society of Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology (ASTRO) meeting in Los Angeles.........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         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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