2013

Highlights of 2013; New Urine Test for Prostate Cancer.

A new urine test for prostate cancer that measures minute fragments of ribonucleic acid (RNA) is now commercially available nationwide through the University of Michigan MLabs. The new test [Mi-Prostate Score (MiPS)], improves the utility of the PSA blood test, increases physicians’ ability to differentiate high-risk prostate tumors from low-risk tumors in patients, and may help more »

Christmas-New Year 2013 Greeting

First and foremost, as we are nearing the end of 2013, I wish to thank the nearly 200,000 readers of this website. Writing it is a joy for me personally, and it was especially gratifying to receive comments from prostate cancer patients who had been successfully treated at my “alma mater”, Johns Hopkins in Baltimore, Maryland. Hopkins more »

In a Test of my Faith, I Received a Grade of C(-). I Passed but Could Do Better.

During my personal and scientific career, I have been blessed to meet and interact with some extremely interesting and gifted people. One such person, Dr. Raymond Damadian, is the inventor of magnetic resonance (MR) scanning. He and I formerly attended the same church in Long Island, New York. One of Dr. Damadian’s chief scientific passions continues to be the use of MR more »

Neuroendocrine Prostate Cancer; a Lethal Result of Resistance to Hormone Therapy.

Most (90%) of all prostate cancers are initially diagnosed as treatable adenocarcinoma. However, every adenocarcinoma type of cancer contains a sub-type of cells (often 1% or less) called neuroendocrine  prostate cancer (NEPC) cells. While adenocarcinoma cells often metastasize to bone, NEPC can metastasize to liver or other abdominal organs. Cancer cells have the ability to evolve more »

Nerve-Sparing Radical Prostatectomy

Surgery (radical prostatectomy) is one option for treating prostate cancer. Personally, since I was in my mid-50’s when prostate cancer was detected, I opted for this route. The two major risks posed by surgery and other treatments are incontinence and impotence.  The area surrounding the prostate gland is densely composed of small blood vessels and nerves which control more »

A New Urine Test for Prostate Cancer Combining Genetic Biomarkers.

Considerable academic and commercial research efforts are underway in order to identify and utilize genetic biomarkers to aid in the diagnosis and characterization of prostate cancers, to determine their aggressiveness, to ascertain the need for biopsies, and to monitor therapeutic regimens. These have been reviewed in this website’s blog posts dated March 26th, 2012 and more more »

Measuring PSA Activity May Be a Better Predictor of Prostate Cancer Aggressiveness.

Research results recently published online in the August 9th issue of The Prostate (Prostate 2013, DOI:10.1002/pros.22714) suggest that measuring the biological enzymatic activity (or lack thereof) of prostate-specific antigen (PSA) could be used as a predictor of prostate cancer (PCa) aggressiveness.  As we know, the level of PSA in serum is often used to determine the necessity more »

Johns Hopkins Urology: A Valuable Resource for Prostate Cancer Information.

The Department of Urology at the Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland has consistently been rated best (#1) in the annual survey published in U.S. News and World Report. Hopkins urologists provide an excellent source of prostate information via a number of publications. Recent examples are as follows.  The July 28th-Aug. 3rd issue of the Johns Hopkins Health Alerts more »

PSA Velocity, Questions to Ask Your Doctor, Nanoparticle Drug Delivery and Xofigo Review and Video.

I come across numerous smaller articles of interest related to prostate cancer. Rather than summarizing them in separate blog posts, I’d like to send this short list of four. Hopefully, one or more will be of interest to you. 1) On June 5th, 2013, the Johns Hopkins Health Alerts published a short article entitled “What We Can Learn more »

Using Genetic Biomarkers in Prostate Cancer Diagnoses- A Review.

  New research has identified several ‘biomarkers’ or genetic fingerprints that report the underlying biology of a tumor. Combinations of these biomarkers can aid clinical management of prostate cancer by:  1) allowing accurate diagnoses;  2) establishing whether a patient’s cancer is aggressive or indolent;  3) deciding if repeat biopsies are needed;  4) aiding clinical decisions more »

Are You in a Time of Need?

I would like to share a small example which I believe illustrates God’s timetable and daily provision for circumstances in our lives. While this narrative might seem relatively insignificant, the principle it demonstrates is a major one.  Just as we rely on God’s help and provision for serious issues such as prostate cancer, He also makes His presence more »

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 »