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Biomarkers Discovered For Prostate Cancer Detection, Recurrence

Main Category: Prostate / Prostate Cancer
Also Included In: Genetics
Article Date: 15 May 2012 – 4:00 PDT

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Alterations to the “on-off” switches of genes occur early in the development of prostate cancer and could be used as biomarkers to detect the disease months or even years earlier than current approaches, a Mayo Clinic study has found. These biomarkers – known as DNA methylation profiles – also can predict if the cancer is going to recur and if that recurrence will remain localized to the prostate or, instead, spread to other organs. The study, published in the journal Clinical Cancer Research, is the first to capture the methylation changes that occur across the entire human genome in prostate cancer.

The discovery could someday help physicians diagnose prostate cancer earlier and make more effective treatment decisions to improve cure rates and reduce deaths. It also points to the development of new drugs that reverse the DNA methylation changes, turning the “off” switch back “on” and returning the genetic code to its normal, noncancerous state.

“Our approach is more accurate and reliable than the widely used PSA (prostate-specific antigen) test,” says senior author Krishna Donkena, Ph.D., a Mayo Clinic molecular biologist.

The PSA test detects any prostate abnormality, whether inflammation, cancer, infection or enlargement, while the DNA methylation changes are specific to prostate cancer, she says.

Though the instructions for all the cell’s

Read more at: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/releases/245390.php

Prostate cancer controlled for 10 years by robot-assisted surgery

Robot-assisted surgery to remove cancerous prostate glands is effective in controlling the disease for 10 years, according to a new study led by researchers at Henry Ford Hospital.

The study also suggested that traditional methods of measuring the severity and possible spread of the cancer together with molecular techniques might, with further research, help to create personalized, cost-effective treatment regimens for prostate cancer patients who undergo the surgical procedure.

The findings apply to men whose cancer has not spread beyond the prostate, and the results are comparable to the well-established and more invasive open surgery to remove the entire diseased prostate and some surrounding tissue.

The research study is published this month online in European Urology, the official journal of the European Association of Urology.

“Until our analysis, there was little available information on the long-term oncologic outcomes for patients who undergo robot-assisted radical prostatectomy, or RARP,” says Mireya Diaz, Ph.D., Director of Biostatistics at the Henry Ford’s Vattikuti Urology Institute (VUI) and lead author of the study.

“As one of the very first hospitals to establish a structured RARP program a little over a decade ago, we were able to determine the long-term effectiveness of the technique thanks to the continued feedback of our patients and the follow-up efforts of the VUI team,” Dr. Diaz adds.

The researchers followed 483 consecutive men who had cancer that had not spread outside the prostate and received RARP as their first treatment. All cases were from 2001 to 2003, the earliest years of Henry Ford’s robot-assisted prostate surgery

Read more at: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/releases/279758.php

Epidemic of overtreatment of prostate cancer must stop


Men do not need all the cancer treatments doctors routinely give them, Dr. Otis Brawley says.

Editor’s note: CNN conditions expert Dr. Otis Brawley is the chief medical officer of the American Cancer Society, a world-renowned cancer expert and a practicing oncologist. He is also the author of the book “How We Do Harm: A Doctor Breaks Ranks About Being Sick in America.”

(CNN) — Prostate cancer is a significant disease in the U.S. In 2014 alone, the American Cancer Society estimates, 233,000 men will be diagnosed and 29,480 will die of it.

This week, two important studies showing how prostate cancer is treated in the U.S. were published in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine.

The findings should cause those of us who treat prostate cancer and the organizations that advocate for prostate cancer awareness to take notice. These studies found that a large number of American men with prostate cancer get unnecessary and aggressive treatment. In some cases, these treatments are known to be worthless and even harmful.

One study more than 20 years long and involving more than 60,000 men diagnosed with cancer confined to the prostate found that initial treatment with anti-androgen hormonal therapies is common. This study also confirmed previous research showing that this treatment in this population does not prolong survival.

This is a therapy that is appropriate for a small, well-defined group of men with prostate cancer. It

Read more at: http://rss.cnn.com/~r/rss/cnn_health/~3/5asH9PshnRY/index.html

Early onset prostate cancer a newly identified, more aggressive subtype often linked to genetic mutations

The number of younger men diagnosed with prostate cancer has increased nearly 6-fold in the last 20 years, and the disease is more likely to be aggressive in these younger men, according to a new analysis from researchers at the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Typically, prostate cancer occurs more frequently as men age into their 70s or 80s. Many prostate cancers are slow-growing and many older men diagnosed with early stage prostate cancer will end up dying from causes other than prostate cancer.

But, the researchers found, when prostate cancer strikes at a younger age, it’s likely because the tumor is growing quickly.

“Early onset prostate cancer tends to be aggressive, striking down men in the prime of their life. These fast-growing tumors in young men might be entirely missed by screening because the timeframe is short before they start to show clinical symptoms,” says Kathleen A. Cooney, M.D., professor of internal medicine and urology at the University of Michigan.

Peter Rich was 59 when he was diagnosed with stage 4 prostate cancer. His PSA was only 9, but the disease had already spread to his ribs, spine and lymph nodes.

“To think of mortality was devastating. It was like any major loss – shock and numbness,” says Rich, who had to retire from his job as a school social worker because of his cancer treatment.

Rich was diagnosed six years ago. Average survival for stage 4 disease is generally less than three years.

“What we both said when we got the diagnosis was, well,

Read more at: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/releases/279693.php

Prostate cancer is focus of two studies in JAMA Internal Medicine

Management for Low-Risk Prostate Cancer Varies Widely Among Physicians

Management of low-risk prostate cancer (which is unlikely to cause symptoms or affect survival if left untreated) varies widely among urologists and radiation oncologists, with patients whose diagnosis is made by a urologist that treats non-low-risk prostate cancer more likely to receive treatment vs. observation.

Most men in the United States with low-risk prostate cancer usually receive treatment with prostatectomy or radiotherapy and thus are exposed to treatment-related complications including urinary dysfunction, rectal bleeding and impotence. Observation is an alternative approach. Previous research indicates that older men with low-risk prostate cancer who choose observation have similar survival and fewer complications. However, it is not known whether decisions about disease management are influenced by physician factors, including characteristics of the diagnosing urologist.

Authors analyzed data from a group of men (ages 66 years and older) with low-risk prostate cancer (diagnosed from 2006 through 2009) to examine the impact of physicians on disease management.

A total of 2,145 urologists diagnosed low-risk prostate cancer in 12,068 men during the study period, of whom 80.1 percent received treatment and 19.9 percent were observed. Observation varied widely across urologists from 4.5 percent to 64.2 percent of patients. Urologists who treat non-low-risk prostate cancer and graduated less recently from medical school were less likely to manage low-risk disease with observation. Patients were more likely to undergo medical interventions, including prostatectomy or external-beam radiotherapy, if their urologist performed that procedure. Rates of observation varied across consulting radiation oncologists from 2.2 percent to

Read more at: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/releases/279616.php