New 17-Gene Test Enhances Ability to Predict Prostate Cancer Aggressiveness.

Genomic Health Inc., a cancer diagnostics company, recently announced they are now marketing a genomic test for men diagnosed with prostate cancer that will provide better information on how likely it is that their prostate cancer is an aggressive form of the disease needing immediate treatment, or a slow-growing, low-risk form of prostate cancer that more »

Bone-Targeting Drug (Xofigo) Approved for Treatment-Resistant Prostate Cancer.

  On May 15th, 2013, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved Xofigo (previously known as Alpharadin) for use in men with treatment-resistant prostate cancer that had metastasized to bones but not to other organs. Xofigo, administered by injection, will be marketed by Bayer Healthcare Pharmaceuticals who developed the therapy jointly with Algeta, ASA, a Norwegian pharmaceutical company. The more »

Guard Against Osteoporosis When On Androgen-Deprivation (Hormonal) Therapy.

I recently learned of a good friend who has asymptomatic but metastatic prostate cancer which was being controlled by intermittent androgen deprivation (hormonal) therapy. One of the potential side effects of such therapy is the risk of osteopenia and the more serious condition, osteoporosis. Osteoporosis and the processes involved in breaking down bone (resorption) by cells called osteoclasts and generating new more »

Predicting Outcomes and Characterizing Prostate Tumors.

For a newly-diagnosed prostate cancer patient, the three most important initial parameters are the blood levels of prostate-specific antigen (PSA) and its rate of increase, the biopsy-based Gleason score that ranks a tumor’s aggressiveness, and the clinical stage of the tumor based on its physical appearance. In the early 1990’s, Dr. Alan Partin, currently director of Urology at more »

Updates on Active Surveillance (AS) for Prostate Cancer.

Active Surveillance (AS) is a monitoring program with possible application for patients diagnosed with low-risk prostate cancer. It is gaining popularity as a means to avoid overtreatment of indolent, slow-growing prostate cancers. The likelihood of harboring small bits of prostate cancer in a man is about equal to his age as a percentage. For example, in men more »

Weekly Consumption of Deep-Fried Foods Linked to Prostate Cancer.

I don’t usually write about the implications of diet on prostate cancer. But a former scientific colleague recently sent me an article from Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology News which cited research findings from the well-respected Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. Researchers there found that men who reported eating French fries, fried chicken, fried fish, and/or doughnuts at more »

“I Have Bad News”. Must it Always Be?

I recently read a reprinted  “Sermon of the Week” from a local Florida newspaper. In the context of yesterday’s blog post, “Hope When Your World Falls Apart”, this “sermon” could be labeled as Part Two. The writer had been given bad news by a physician who used the phrase, “I have bad news, we found cancer.” Even while clinging to God’s peace, more »

Hope When Your World Falls Apart.

What was your first thought when you were initially informed that you had prostate cancer? Personally, mine was “can it be cured?” When reality and reason was restored, one of my predominant thoughts and prayers was (and remains) “God, please do not let me die of this disease.” More precisely, I don’t fear death itself more »

Galeterone and Tasquinimod, Two New Drugs in Late-stage Clinical Development.

New information has recently been published updating early clinical trials results for two new promising prostate cancer drugs, galeterone (TOK-011 from Tokai Pharmaceuticals) and tasquinimod (TASQ, from Active Biotech and Ispen).  Both drugs have been described in the December 20th, 2012 issue of the Prostate Cancer Foundation NewsPulse. Galeterone: Resistance to therapy is a growing concern more »

Abiraterone Acetate (Zytiga) Approved to Treat Hormone-Refractory Prostate Cancer Before Chemotherapy.

In the past, when a prostate cancer patient became non-responsive (refractory) to hormonal therapy, the next step in his treatment was chemotherapy with taxotere (docetaxel). This treatment was usually accompanied by significant side effects.  Meanwhile, in April, 2011, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) had initially approved abiraterone acetate (Zytiga) for use in patients whose prostate cancer had progressed more »

Recent Information on Prostate Cancer Screening and Active Surveillance.

The National Cancer Institute (NCI) is the largest of the numerous institutes comprising the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in Bethesda and Frederick, Maryland. The NCI publishes a monthly cancer bulletin focused on all types of cancer. The current special issue (NCI Cancer Bulletin, Vol. 9, November 27th, 2012) is specifically devoted to cancer screening. Screening is more »

An Example and a Purpose For Anyone with Prostate Cancer.

At some point in life, all of us will be diagnosed with a serious and perhaps life-threatening medical condition. How will we react in such a situation? Could such an unwanted circumstance have a deeper purpose? A difficult diagnosis and illness can be viewed as either a mirror or a window.  A dark adversity can represent a mirror in which we see ourselves and then are more »

Newly Diagnosed Prostate Cancer; What You Need to Know.

An extremely useful article was recently published by Nathan Roundy in the August, 2012 issue of the Prostate Cancer Research Institute (PCRI) Insights. The article is directed toward men who have been recently diagnosed with prostate cancer. It defines various medical terms and diagnostic and treatment details. Risk assessment tools are provided to help one determine more »

Identification of Localized Prostate Cancer Recurrence Using PET/CT Imaging.

It would be useful if one could detect and identify the location of localized prostate cancer recurrences and metastatic disease in early PSA recurrence in men who had previously failed initial cancer treatments. For example, such identified “focal” or local recurrences in 1-2 specific areas of the body could then be treated surgically or with targeted radiation. These areas of recurrence might not more »

Xtandi (Formerly MDV3100) Approved by the FDA for Treatment of Hormone- and Chemotherapy-Resistant Prostate Cancers.

On August 31st, 2012, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved MDV3100 (now known as Xtandi) for treatment of prostate cancers in men who have previously failed hormone and chemo therapies. (See the full story in the August 31st issue of the Prostate Cancer Foundation, PCF, NewsPulse). In its Phase III clinical trials, Xtandi increased median more »

An Example of Potential New Prostate Cancer (PC) Treatments on the Horizon. Killing PC Cells With Radioactive Gold Nanoparticles Containing a Component of Tea as the Targeting Agent.

Nanotechnology is finding potential applications in many areas of our lives including cancer.  [A nanometer is defined as one billionth of a meter or one ten millionth of a centimeter (there are 2.54 centimeters per inch).] Synthetic nanometer-sized particles (such as atoms, molecules or fragments thereof usually less than 100 nanometers in size) are being used in many more »

Active Surveillance May Be the Preferred Option in Some Men with Prostate Cancer.

A recent study from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology concluded that for men over 65 “active surveillance is the first option for men in this category with very-low-risk disease” according to senior investigator Dr. H. Ballantine Carter. The initial question for such patients should be “whether any therapy is more »

PSA Screening Recommendations from the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO).

The American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) is a highly respected organization. On July 16th 2012, a committee of experts from ASCO published a provisional clinical opinion regarding PSA screening in the Journal of Clinical Oncology. This information is also summarized in the July 24th, 2012 issue of the National Cancer Institute (NCI) Bulletin. Briefly, ASCO experts concluded that for more »