“An analysis of two influential studies of prostate cancer screening concludes that the much-debated test “significantly” reduces deaths from the disease, suggesting that current recommendations against routine PSA screening might be steering men away from a lifesaving procedure.
“The analysis, published Monday in Annals of Internal Medicine, drew wildly different reactions, as is often the case with research on PSA screenings. Some experts in cancer screening and statistics said its novel approach was “on shaky ground” and used a “completely unverifiable” methodology that they had “never seen before,” but others praised its “intriguing and innovative approach.” There was one area of agreement, however: “I imagine it’s going to generate some buzz,” said biostatistician Ted Karrison of the University of Chicago.”
“Yesterday’s historic FDA approval of the first engineered T-cell treatment for cancer, Novartis’ Kymriah (tisagenlecleucel), was accompanied by inevitable questions about how the product would be priced. In the end, Novartis set the price at $475,000, which was lower than many analysts had predicted, considering the treatment is designed to cure some forms of acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL)—and in clinical trials it did just that for most patients.”
“With the arrival of two revolutionary treatment strategies, immunotherapy and personalized medicine, cancer researchers have found new hope — and a problem that is perhaps unprecedented in medical research.
“There are too many experimental cancer drugs in too many clinical trials, and not enough patients to test them on.
“The logjam is caused partly by companies hoping to rush profitable new cancer drugs to market, and partly by the nature of these therapies, which can be spectacularly effective but only in select patients.”
“Patients with high-volume, castration-naïve metastatic prostate cancer may have superior progression-free survival (PFS) outcomes when treated with early docetaxel, according to findings published online in the European Journal of Cancer.
“Using the Quality-adjusted Time Without Symptoms of disease and Toxicity of treatment (Q-TWiST) method, investigators also determined that the benefits associated with androgen deprivation therapy (ADT) plus docetaxel outweighed the risks associated with the treatment.”
“Patients who choose to receive alternative therapy as treatment for curable cancers instead of conventional cancer treatment have a higher risk of death, according to researchers from the Cancer Outcomes, Public Policy and Effectiveness Research (COPPER) Center at Yale School of Medicine and Yale Cancer Center. The findings were reported online by the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.
“There is increasing interest by patients and families in pursuing alternative medicine as opposed to conventional cancer treatment. This trend has created a difficult situation for patients and providers. Although it is widely believed that conventional cancer treatment will provide the greatest chance at cure, there is limited research evaluating the effectiveness of alternative medicine for cancer.”
“Like many men diagnosed with prostate cancer, Bill Pickett faced a tough question when he came to UCLA for treatment: how to fight it?
“Prostate cancer is one of the more curable cancers—it has a 96 percent survival rate 15 years after diagnosis, according to the American Cancer Society. The options men have after a diagnosis have different side effects and trade-offs. So choosing, for example, between radiation therapy or surgery, can be complicated for a person.”
“When approved therapies don’t work, or stop working, for people with serious or life-threatening illnesses, it puts them in a difficult position. Some turn to clinical trials that are testing experimental treatments. But many can’t do that because they are too sick, don’t meet the requirements of the trial, or can’t afford to travel to the site of a trial. That doesn’t mean they are out of options.”
“The most common complication of prostate biopsy is infection, with mild bleeding also reported, according to an update of the American Urological Association White Paper published in the August issue of The Journal of Urology.
“Michael A. Liss, M.D., from the University of Texas Health Science Center San Antonio, and colleagues conducted a literature review to examine the prevalence and prevention of common complications of prostate needlebiopsy. They focused on infection, bleeding, urinary retention, needle tract seeding, and erectile dysfunction in 346 articles identified for full text review and 119 articles that were included in the final data synthesis.”
“The largest and longest trial to compare treatment options for prostate cancer has found little difference in outcomes between men who underwent surgery vs. those who were simply observed by their doctors.
“Led by a researcher at the Minneapolis VA Medical Center, the 20-year national study provides the best evidence yet that most men can live with their prostate cancers, avoiding the potential risks of surgery. The results, though, did show that surgery was probably a better option for younger men with long life expectancies, and some urologists dispute the findings.”