Prostate cancer risk reduction in men taking dutasteride, but some concerns remain

Nearly 2,800 men participated in the four-year REDUCE (REduction by DUtasteride of prostate Cancer Events) observational clinical study evaluated prostate cancer risk reduction in men taking dutasteride, a 5-alpha-reductase inhibitor (5ARI) typically used to treat enlarged prostate. Results showed that few new prostate cancers were detected during the two-year follow-up in either treatment group and no deaths were reported. However, the former dutasteride group produced double the number of cancers than the former placebo group (14 vs. 7).

Consistent epigenetic ‘signatures’ found in prostate cancer patients’ metastatic tumors

Researchers at Johns Hopkins analyzed 13 metastatic prostate tumors, finding a a consistent epigenetic signature among the samples. The discovery of the stable, epigenetic “marks” that sit on the nuclear DNA of cancer cells and alter gene expression, defies a prevailing belief that the marks vary so much within each individual’s widespread cancers that they have little or no value as targets for therapy or as biomarkers for treatment response and predicting disease severity.

Baldness by age 40 linked to prostate cancer, retrospective Australian study shows

University of Melbourne reserachers analyzed 9.448 men from the Melbourne Collaborative Cohort Study (MCCS), a prospective cohort study that was set up to investigate the role of diet and life style factors in chronic diseases including prostate, breast and bowel cancers, for hair patterns. After a more than 11 year follow-up, researchers found vertex androgenetic alopecia at age 40 years was associated with earlier age at onset of prostate cancer, and increased cumulative probability of prostate cancer up to age 76 years.

In UK, Prostate Cancer Diagnoses Increase as Deaths Decrease

1 in 7 boys born in 2015 will be diagnosed with prostate cancer compared to 1 in 20 in 1990 according to a Cancer Research UK study. The good news is deaths from prostate cancer have dropped off by 18% in the last 20 years. The lifetime risk of being diagnosed with prostate cancer is going from 5% (a 1 in 20 chance) for men born in 1990 to 14% (a 1 in 7 chance) to those born in 2015 according to data from the Cancer Research UK. On the positive side, deaths from prostate cancer are 18% lower than 20 years ago.

Cabozantinib Improves PFS in for Castrate-Resistant Prostate Cancer in Phase II Trial

171 patient trial shows median PFS of 23.9 weeks with cabozantinib and 5.9 weeks with placebo. 72% of patients had regression in soft tissue lesions, whereas 68% of evaluable patients had improvement on bone scan, including complete resolution in 12%.

2-weekly docetaxel may benefit castration-resistant advanced prostate cancer patients who can't tolerate stronger 3-weekly dose

2-weekly dose of docetaxel shown to be as effective as 3-weekly dose for castration-resistant advanced prostate cancer patients in a randomised, phase 3 trial. 2-weekly option may be useful for patients who can’t tolerate the higher dose of the 3-weekly regimen. 3-weekly regimen had more grade 3-4 events compared to 2-weekly regimen.

Behavioral stress accelerates prostate cancer development in mice, new study shows

We know stress is bad for cancer patients in general. Now, a new study shows mouse prostate cancer models under stress (they can smell a predator) had lower responses to cancer drug compared to non-stressed counterparts. A linked commentary suggests drugs such as beta-blockers that affect adrenaline could boost efficacy of anti-cancer treatments.

Due to positive results with cabozantinib, editorial highlights need for molecular stratification approaches for prostate cancer

Phase II trial of cabozantinib was suspended after 122 patients with castrate-resistant prostate cancer were enrolled onto the open-label portion of the study because of improvements in bone scans and a decrease in pain. Editorial authors propose efforts to stratify prostate cancer patients based on molecular biomarkers to best test novel targeted agents such as cabozantinib

15-year Study in NEJM Shows Long-Term Urinary, Bowel, and Sexual Function in Men Treated by Surgery or Radiotherapy is Similar

Patients undergoing prostatectomy were more likely to have urinary incontinence than were those undergoing radiotherapy at 2 years and 5 years. But, by year 15,, there was no no significant differences between the 2 groups. The same was found for erectile dysfunction and bowel urgency.