Diagnostics, Genetics, Imaging

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 »

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 »

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 »

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 »

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 »

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 »

The U.S. Preventative Services Task Force Advises Against PSA Screening; a Summary of Responses.

    Since its October, 2011 initial advisory, and after receiving input from the medical community including many leading urologists and oncologists, the United States Preventative Services Task Force (USPSTF) recently issued its final recommendation against screening asymptomatic men for prostate cancer using the prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test.  (An earlier 2008 recommendation had advised against screening men over the age more »

New Developments in Prostate Cancer Biomarkers.

Two articles discussing the development of new genetic tests which could potentially be used to detect and determine aggressive prostate cancers were published in the May 2nd and May 15th  issues of the Zerohour Newsletter of the Project to End Prostate Cancer. The biggest problem facing men who have been diagnosed with prostate cancer is to determine whether the more »

A New Urine-Based PC Assay, Clinical Trials Providing Earlier Access to New Therapies and Other News from February-March, 2012.

It has been a month since I last updated this website and there have been significant news items which are summarized below. 1) FDA Approves a PCA3 Urine-Based Assay for Prostate Cancer that Could Reduce Unnecessary Prostate Biopsies.  On February 15th, 2012, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved a urine-based molecular diagnostic test that more »

Opting to Track Early Prostate Cancer.

A December 20th article by Associated Press medical writer Lauran Neergaard illustrated the difference between “watchful waiting” and “active surveillance” for men diagnosed with early-stage prostate cancer. Most of the 240,000 cases of prostate cancer diagnosed annually in the United States are in the “low-risk” category. Yet 90% of these men seek immediate treatment and more »

URGENT ACTION NEEDED! Government Proposes Elimination of Prostate Cancer Testing. Does PSA Screening for Prostate Cancer Save Lives?

The United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF), an independent panel appointed by the Federal cabinet-level Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), is preparing a recommendation which would eliminate prostate cancer testing (PSA) for all men. The rationale cited by the government panel is that there is moderate or high certainty that PSA testing more »

Sanibel, Florida; BJ Gabrielsen photo

Bone Scans for Metastatic Prostate Cancer

The most troubling thought for prostate cancer patients whose cancer has recurred after an initial radicalprostatectomy is the fact that there are PSA-producing cells located somewhere in our bodies. While subsequent treatments such as androgen deprivation (hormonal) therapy may keep these cells under control, there are undoubtedly micro-metastases somewhere in our bodies. When the controlling more »

NewsPulse, a Medical Resource from the Prostate Cancer Foundation. Biomarkers in Urine for the Detection of Prostate Cancer.

Sources of current medical information concerning prostate cancer are listed on this website under the section Medical Resources.  Recently, a new August 2011 electronic newsletter entitled NewsPulse was received from the Prostate Cancer Foundation. The issue contained very current information on specific diagnostic methods, biomarkers for cancer detection, targeted therapies and drugs under development, nutrition and more »