Prostate Cancer Surveillance Criteria May Not Be Accurate for African American Men

“A new study published in The Journal of Urology revealed that African American men with Gleason score 3+3=6 prostate cancer (PCa) produce less prostate specific antigen (PSA) and have significantly lower PSA density (PSAD) than Caucasian men. These findings could have important implications when selecting patients for inclusion in active PCa surveillance programs.

“Prostate cancer remains the second leading cause of  among  in the U.S., with nearly 30,000 deaths annually. According to the latest recommendations by the American Urological Association, PSA remains the only screening test to select men with unremarkable digital rectal examination in whom prostate biopsy should be considered. Deaths from  have declined by about 40% since the advent of PSA screening in the late 1980s, and 40-70% of that decline may be attributable to screening. For early stage low grade disease, active surveillance, commonly called watchful waiting, is considered appropriate.”


Popular Prostate Cancer Therapy May Be Harmful

“A widely used treatment for prostate cancer may cause more harm than good for some patients, according to Dr. Oliver Sartor, medical director of the Tulane Cancer Center.

“For decades, many men diagnosed with prostate cancer were treated with androgen deprivation therapy (ADT), injections that suppressed testosterone production. Sartor’s research has revealed and a new study corroborates this is the wrong approach for selected men with localized disease, as it provides no added survival benefit and may be associated with other serious health issues.

” ‘Men with advanced disease, or certain men with aggressive disease confined to the prostate gland, are potential ADT candidates,’ said Sartor. ‘Testosterone suppression can increase radiation cure rates for certain aggressive cancers, and it is standard of care for metastatic disease.’

“For years, though, many doctors used ADT for men with low-grade, prostate-confined cancers.

” ‘We now have good evidence this treatment may cause more harm than good for these individuals,’ said Sartor, ‘especially patients with slow-growing tumors who are not likely to die of their disease.’ “


Nymox Announces Positive Prostate Cancer 8 Month Clinical Trial Results

The gist: This article discusses the results of a clinical trial—a research study with volunteer patients. The goal of the trial is to test a new treatment for low grade localized prostate cancer. The new treatment is called NX-1207. So far, the researchers report, the results have been promising, with patients who took the drug less likely to have their disease worsen than patients who did not.

“Nymox Pharmaceutical Corporation (Nasdaq:NYMX) announced today new positive outcome results from the Company’s ongoing prospective NX03-0040 trial of NX-1207 for the treatment of low grade localized prostate cancer. Clinical outcomes were determined at 8 months from the initial treatments. A controlled comparison was conducted of patients who required and received radiation and surgery treatments for their cancer based on blinded post-treatment upgraded evaluations of their pre-treatment initially positive lower grade cancers. The study found after 8 months for NX-1207 single-injection treated patients that there was a statistically significant reduction compared to controls of more than 75% (p=.002) in the proportion of patients who had upgraded blinded biopsy and laboratory results and went on to require and receive radiation therapy and/or surgery. The new results also indicated that the NX-1207 treated patients had 67% less progression to surgery and/or radiotherapy compared to controls (p=.008) for all reasons (including elective surgery and/or radiotherapy with no biopsy or laboratory upgrades).”

“146 patients were enrolled in the NX03-0040 Phase 2 U.S. trial and either randomized to one of two doses of NX-1207 (2.5 mg or 15 mg) or to active surveillance. The drug was injected into the area of the prostate where the cancer was detected and repeat biopsies were then performed on all patients, drug treated and controls. The patients in the active surveillance group in the study who were eligible could elect crossover drug treatment after their first follow-up rebiopsy. Follow-up studies are being conducted of all consenting patients in the study to continue to monitor outcome and safety data.”


Planned Clinical Phase I Trial to Examine the Safety of Vaccine Against Gliomas Based on Mutant IDH1 in Human Patients

“Astrocytomas and oligodendrogliomas are subtypes of a brain cancer called ‘glioma’. These incurable brain tumors arise from glial cells, a type of support cell found in the central nervous system. ‘Low-grade gliomas’, which grow comparatively slowly, spread in a diffuse manner across the brain and are very difficult to completely eliminate through surgery. In many cases, the effectiveness of treatments with chemotherapy and radiotherapy is very limited. Gliomas can develop into extremely aggressive glioblastomas.

“Low-grade gliomas have a particular feature in common: more than 70% of the cases exhibit the same gene mutation in tumor cells. An identical ‘typo’ in the DNA causes the exchange of a single, specific protein building block (amino acid) in an enzyme called isocitrate dehydrogenase 1 (IDH1). As a result, most cancer cells do not follow the original building plan for the protein; at the 132nd position in the molecule’s sequence, they insert the amino acid histidine instead of arginine…

” ‘…we might be able to use a vaccine to alert the patient’s immune system to mutant IDH1, fighting the tumor without damaging healthy cells,’ [Prof. Dr. Michael Platten at the German Consortium for Translational Cancer Research] explains.

“In collaboration with a team of physicians and scientists from Heidelberg University Hospital, DKFZ and the Universities of Mainz, Tübingen and Hamburg, Platten and his co-workers have now made the first successful step toward a vaccine that specifically targets the mutation in the tumor.

“In a clinical trial scheduled to start early next year, with the support of the German Consortium for Translational Cancer Research (DKTK), they plan to examine the safety of the vaccine against gliomas based on mutant IDH1 in human patients, for the first time.”

Editor’s note: Early next year, oncologists will begin testing a newly developed cancer vaccine in a clinical trial with volunteer patients, in the hopes that it will help treat low-grade gliomas. Cancer vaccines are a type of immunotherapy treatment; they boost a patient’s own immune system to fight cancer. The new vaccine takes advantage of a dysfunctional protein that is found in 70% of low-grade gliomas. The protein is called IDH1, and the vaccine is designed to alert the patient’s immune system to attack cells with mutant IDH1, potentially shrinking the brain tumor. So far, the vaccine has only been tested in mice, but the results were promising.


Nymox Announces Positive New Prostate Cancer Clinical Trial Results

“Nymox Pharmaceutical Corporation announced today new positive outcome results from the Company’s ongoing prospective trial of NX-1207 for the treatment of low grade localized prostate cancer. These are the first clinical patient treatment outcome results for this trial. A controlled comparison was conducted of patients who required and received radiation and surgery treatments for their cancer based on blinded post-treatment upgraded evaluations of their pre-treatment initially positive lower grade cancers. The study found after up to 22 months for NX-1207 single-injection treated patients there was an 85% reduction compared to controls in the proportion of patients who had upgraded blinded biopsy results in the treated area and went on to require and receive radiation therapy and/or prostatectomy (surgery).”

Editor’s note: This story is about the results of a clinical trial that is testing the effectiveness of a new drug called NX-1207. Learn more about clinical trials here.