Diagnostics, Genetics, Imaging

Predicting Prostate Cancer’s Future Behavior

Developing an accurate prognosis, i.e., predicting how a man’s cancer is likely to behave in the future, is the first and most important step toward optimal care. Future predictions are often looked at with some suspicion. With prostate cancer, however, our power to anticipate future cancer behavior is quite accurate unless there is a lack more »

Information on Prostate Supplements and PSA Testing

The Prostate Cancer Foundation (PCF) publishes a highly recommended e mail periodical entitled NewsPulse to which one can subscribe.  The October issue contained two articles which I will simply summarize and link. The first article concluded that popular prostate supplements such as those containing saw palmetto do not benefit prostate cancer patients.  They do not more »

AR-V7: A Genetic Test to Determine Effectiveness of Enzalutamide and Abiraterone.

When prostate cancer becomes “hormone resistant” or refractory, anti-androgen drugs such as enzalutamide (Xtandi®) and abiraterone (Zytiga®) are often prescribed.  But not all patients respond equally. Some 30 percent of men with advanced prostate cancer have an abnormal version of a prostate cancer protein that connects with testosterone.  The protein is missing a key connector more »

Men With Low-Risk Prostate Cancer In Active Surveillance Program Not Likely To Succomb To The Disease, Study Shows.

The post below comes from a multi-year study at Johns Hopkins in Baltimore. It should be noted below that repeat biopsies performed on men undergoing active surveillance were performed using MRI-guided technology and pathologists checked biopsy tissue levels of proteins made by the PTEN gene, a biomarker for prostate cancer aggressiveness. Men with relatively unaggressive more »

An Alternative to Immediate Prostate Biopsy

The following article dated August 6th came from a site entitled Prostatesnatchers authored by a noted prostate oncologist, Dr. Mark Scholz. He suggests that a commercial OPKO-4Kscore blood test and a high-resolution color Doppler ultrasound or a 3-Tesla multi-parametric MRI can help identify aggressive cancers and minimize the use of standard 12-core prostate biopsies and more »

Active Surveillance for Men with Intermediate-Risk Prostate Cancer

When men are newly diagnosed with prostate cancer, they are split into three broad categories: Low-Risk, Intermediate-Risk and High-Risk. This system, which was invented by Dr. Anthony D’Amico, is helpful for the proper selection of optimal treatment; men with more favorable types of prostate cancer can receive milder therapy and still maintain normal survival rates. more »

Genetic Test Can Determine Whether Expensive Treatments Will Work in Metastatic Cancer

Enzalutamide and abiraterone are drugs that are used to treat metastatic prostate cancer that is growing despite hormonal therapy.  The two drugs work differently.  Enzalutamide targets the androgen (e.g. testosterone) receptor on a cell while abiraterone inhibits androgen synthesis.   The treatments can cost as much as $100,000 per year and not every man responds to more »

Latest Information on Molecular Imaging for Prostate Cancer

The Prostate Cancer Research Institute (PCRI) publishes a periodical entitled Insights which is available by e mail or regular mail.  I strongly advise readers to subscribe electronically.  The February issue discussed several very important topics including molecular imaging.  After initial surgery or radiation prostate cancer treatment, 40% of patients will experience a PSA relapse.  Knowing more »

MRI-Ultrasound-Guided Biopsies Diagnose More High-Risk Prostate Cancers.

Prostate biopsies that combine MRI technology with ultrasound appear to give men better information regarding the seriousness of their cancer, a new study suggests.  The new technology, which uses MRI scans to help doctors biopsy very specific portions of the prostate, diagnosed 30 percent more high-risk cancers than standard prostate biopsies in men suspected of more »

Prostate MRI/Ultrasound Fusion Guided Biopsies for Prostate Cancer Detection

I recently came across a video presentation from the University of Alabama-Birmingham describing in detail the technique of using prostate magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) coupled with ultrasound techniques to guide urologists to specific prostate biopsy targets.  While the video is geared to scientific and medical personnel, it can provide general knowledge of the potential utility 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 »

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 »

1) MRI or Ultrasound-Guided Biopsies; 2) Effect of Diet on Prostate Cancer; and, 3) Two Genes Linked to Aggressive Prostate Cancer.

1) A recent article was published from the Washington University School of Medicine which compared the results of prostate cancer biopsies as guided by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) with those obtained via ultrasound guidance. It was concluded that MRI-guided biopsies were more likely to find aggressive tumors than those that rely on ultrasound. For specific 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 »

All You Need to Know About the Gleason Score and Its Diagnostic Use.

The Johns Hopkins Health Alerts are extremely informative about various health issues including prostate cancer. The latest alert (June 14th)  discussed the Gleason Score, the most important factor in predicting the current state of a prostate cancer. The Gleason Score is based on tumor grade, which is an indication of the tumor’s aggressiveness. The tumor more »

Exercise and Prostate Cancer; Enzalutamide Extends Survival; and, Synergy in Cancer Risk Assessment.

Several articles of interest were recently published in the February-March, 2014 NewsPulse from the Prostate Cancer Foundation (PCF). This information had been presented at the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) meeting. The first article described the benefits of exercise in men prior to their prostate cancer diagnosis as well as during therapy for their more »

More News on Genetic Screening for Prostate Cancer Involving BRCA1 and BRCA2 Genes Among Others.

It is widely accepted that selected genetic screening is the future of prostate cancer detection. Two interesting articles were recently published describing such screening involving the aggressive breast cancer genes, BRCA1 and BRCA2 among others (CHEK2, PALB2 and ATM). For details, see the following link. In addition, researchers in the United Kingdom have determined that more »