Research from Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center has confirmed that high blood levels of omega-3 fatty acids, found in fish oil, increase the risk of aggressive prostate cancer by 71 percent, and increase the overall risk of prostate cancer by 43 percent. The results of the new study involving 2227 men confirm similar findings from a clinical study conducted in 2011, as well as another large European study. Scientists are uncertain why fish oil increases the risk of prostate cancer, but a potential cause is that the omega-3 fatty acids break down into compounds that may damage DNA and lead to cancer development.
A phase III study evaluated two osteoporosis drugs, denosumab and zoledronic acid, for the treatment of skeletal problems in patients with bone metastases in castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC). The average time to first bone-related adverse event was 20.7 months with denosumab and 17.1 months with zoledronic acid, suggesting that denosumab was more effective in this group.
New findings from two prostate cancer trials will be presented at the American Society of Clinical Oncology Annual Meeting. One trial determined that men with advanced prostate cancer who receive intermittent hormone therapy survive an average of 5.1 years compared to 5.8 years for men who receive therapy continuously. The second trial determined that abiraterone (Zytiga) in combination with prednisone (a steroid) was effective for the treatment of castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC) in patients who have not yet received chemotherapy. Abiraterone is currently approved for patients who have not responded to chemotherapy.
Results of a clinical trial that evaluated the prostate cancer vaccine Provenge have come under scrutiny. Questions arise regarding the reported 4-month survival benefit that ultimately led to FDA approval. Disputers suggest that a flaw in methods led to the survival benefit, but that the vaccine may actually cause harm.
A recent study evaluated the usefulness of surgery versus observation to treat localized prostate cancer. In the study, 731 men were followed for 10 years. Those treated with surgery did not have a significant decreased risk of death compared to those who were observed for advancing cancer.
A recent study evaluated the effects of finasteride (sold as Proscar) on the usefulness of prostate-specific antigen (PSA) screening to detect prostate cancer. Researchers determined that treatment with finasteride may differentiate individuals who have a rise in PSA due to cancer from those who have a rise due to other causes, such as benign enlargement and inflammation. The combination of finasteride with PSA to detect prostate cancer may decrease the rate of unnecessary biopsies.
A recent study weighed the benefits of yearly prostate cancer screening, finding that the potential disadvantages decrease the potential advantages by 23%. Harmful results of yearly prostate screening include negative prostate biopsies, radical prostatectomy, and radiation therapy.
A recent study found that the breast cancer drug Tamoxifen can prevent breast tenderness and breast pain in men treated with androgen suppression therapy for prostate cancer. Tamoxifen was more effective at reducing breast symptoms than another breast cancer medication or radiation therapy. Treatment was not associated with any significant side effects.