2014

Christmas and New Year thoughts

It’s Christmas 2014 and a New Year 2015!!!  The time of year when a man’s thoughts turn to prostate cancer, right?  Unfortunately, it seems that is true for those of us who have this condition.  Just recently, I saw an interview with retiring U.S. Senator Tom Coburn of Oklahoma who is currently undergoing chemotherapy and more »

Current Clinical Trials in Immunotherapy for Prostate Cancer.

The Prostate Cancer Research Institute (PCRI) has listed four (4) Phase 2 or Phase 3 clinical trials which are currently recruiting patients.  These trials all involve immunotherapeutic agents. The first is a Phase 3 trial of ProstAtak® coupled with standard radiation therapy for localized prostate cancer.  Patients should be newly diagnosed with intermediate to high more »

News from Johns Hopkins on Urinary Incontinence, Kegel Exercises and Familial Prostate Cancer.

Urinary incontinence is a major complication of radical prostatectomy.  According to the November 9th Johns Hopkins Health Alerts (Prostate Disorders), incidence of serious incontinence from surgery at medical centers of excellence is low, around 3% whereas from overall national patient survey data, urinary incontinence is dramatically higher, around 50-60%.  For a clear description of the more »

Four Experts Recommend the Earlier Use of Provenge in Metastatic Prostate Cancer.

In  the last few years, several new therapeutic agents have been approved for treating various aspects of prostate cancer.  Now research also needs to focus on the timely utilization of these agents either individually or in combination and at which stages of disease should they best be applied.  Provenge® (sipuleucel-T) was approved by the Food more »

1) A “Calculator” to Predict Biopsy Outcomes; 2) Understanding the TNM Staging System Upon Prostate Cancer Diagnosis.

1) Researchers at the University of Texas Health Sciences Center in San Antonio have developed a “calculator” to predict probabilities of biopsy results based upon data such as PSA, age, race, results of digital examination and family history.  To access the “calculator” online, go to http://deb.uthscsa.edu/URORiskCalc/Pages/calcs/jsp.  The “calculator” is based on data from the prostate more »

Monitoring Emergence of Treatment-Resistant Prostate Cancer by Measuring Circulating Tumor DNA Levels.

Androgen deprivation (hormonal) therapy is often administered to men with advanced prostate cancer.  However, after a period of time genetic mutations can occur in the prostate cells which then promote tumor growth.  A new way to monitor how a man’s cancer is changing during treatment and which could help identify the stage at which some more »

Recommendations for Men Whose Tumors Have Become Resistant to Hormone Therapy.

Testosterone (androgen)-depleting therapies are usually the first line of defense for men with newly-diagnosed or recurrent prostate cancer. But resistance to these therapies develop over time which leaves the patient and physicians with a number of choices as to the next sequence of therapies to be administered. Recently, guidelines, issued jointly by the American Society more »

Disappointing Prostate Cancer Phase III Results for Cabozantinib.

Exelixis, the biotechnology firm developing the metastatic medullary thyroid cancer drug, cabozantinib, in the treatment of a variety of cancers, recently announced disappointing Phase III clinical trial results for the use of cabozantinib in the treatment of metastatic,  hormone-resistant (refractory) prostate cancer. The drug continues to be clinically evaluated in metastatic renal cell and advanced more »

Taxotere is More Effective if Used Before Hormone Resistance Develops.

Taxotere (docetaxel®) and taxol are plant alkaloids derived from  the European yew tree, Taxus Baccata.  Taxotere is synthetically obtained by chemically converting a precursor extracted from the needles of the yew plant.  Administered intravenously, both are used to treat several malignancies including breast, stomach, lung, ovarian and prostate cancers.  Clinical trials completed in 2004 demonstrated more »

Xtandi (Enzalutamide) Now Approved for Metastatic, Hormone-Refractory Prostate Cancer Before Chemotherapy.

The following is an important blog in three sections. It describes another approved therapeutic agent for men with metastatic, hormone-refractory prostate cancer. Also included are important discussions regarding the need for future clinical studies to maximize cancer remissions and overall survival. In 2012, the Food and Drug Administration approved Xtandi® (enzalutamide) for men with metastatic, more »

A Phase III Trial Involving Enzalutamide in Men with Metastatic, Hormone-Resistant Prostate Cancer.

The Alliance for Clinical Trials in Oncology is conducting a Phase III clinical trial of enzalutamide (Xtandi®) with or without abiraterone acetate (Zytiga®) and prednisone in men with hormone-refractory, metastatic prostate cancer with the hope of improving overall survival.  Details of this trial can be found at the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) clinical more »

Affinity: A Phase III Trial Using Custirsen and Jevtana® for Men with Metastatic Hormone-Resistant Prostate Cancer.

The goal of the Phase III Affinity Trial is to test whether adding an experimental drug called custirsen to Jevtana® (cabazitaxel) chemotherapy can help treat men with hormone-resistant prostate cancer. In the latter case, chemotherapy with taxotere (docetaxel®) or  Jevtana® (cabazitaxel) are often the first lines of chemotherapy adminstered. However, they are often accompanied by more »

Metformin Aids in the Stabilization of Metastatic Prostate Cancer

An article published in the January 4th, 2014 issue of the journal European Urology reported the outcome of a Swiss trial involving men with hormone-resistant (refractory) prostate cancer (defined as a testosterone level of less than 50 ng/dL with progressive disease) who were given the anti-diabetic drug metformin. For the trial, 44 non-diabetic men who more »

PROSPECT: A Phase III Clinical Trial of the Immunotherapy Vaccine Prostvac in Asymptomatic Hormone-Resistant Prostate Cancer Patients.

The goal of the Prospect Trial is to enhance a man’s immune system to fight prostate cancer. It is a Phase III trial for metastatic, hormone-resistant prostate cancer patients who are either asymptomatic or minimally symptomatic. The trial utilizes the investigational immunotherapy, Prostvac, a therapeutic pox virus cancer vaccine directed at PSA-producing cells. It is more »

High-Grade Prostate Cancer Associated with Chronic Inflammation

In an online April 18th, 2014 publication in the journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention, Johns Hopkins researchers reveal a link between chronic inflammation and a greater risk of high-grade prostate cancer. The study included 191 men with prostate cancer and 209 controls without the disease who received a placebo in the Prostate Cancer Prevention more »

Possible Link Between Low Vitamin D Levels and Prostate Cancer Risk

A recent study published in Clinical Cancer Research, (May 1, 2014; 20; 2289-99) indicated that men at risk of prostate cancer are more likely to develop an aggressive form of the disease if they are deficient in vitamin D. University of Illinois – Chicago and Northwestern University researchers examined data from 667 men aged 40 more »