“Results from a prospective clinical trial showed that a blood test looking at specific biomarkers was able to detect recurrences of lung cancer an average of six months before conventional imaging methods found evidence of recurrence. In the largest prospective clinical trial to date of circulating tumor cells (CTC) as biomarkers for locally advanced lung cancer, the findings indicate that blood tests potentially can be used in conjunction with CT and PET/CT scans to guide personalized treatment planning for patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). The study will be presented today at the 2017 Multidisciplinary Thoracic Cancers Symposium.”
“The FDA today approved Axumin, an injectable radioactive diagnostic agent used to detect recurrent prostate cancer.
“The agent is indicated for PET imaging in men who have suspected prostate cancer recurrence based on elevated PSA levels following treatment.
“The FDA based its decision on results of two studies that evaluated the safety and efficacy of Axumin (Blue Earth Diagnostics). One study compared 105 Axumin scans to histopathology obtained by prostate biopsy and by biopsies of suspicious imaged lesions in men suspected of having prostate cancer recurrence. In the second study, researchers evaluated 96 Axumin scans with C11 choline scans in patients with a median PSA of 1.44 ng/mL.”
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“A blood test can detect changes in tumor DNA, potentially helping doctors detect melanoma relapse far earlier, according to a study in England.
“Scientists at Cancer Research UK found the blood test detects mutations in circulating tumor DNA indicating potential drug resistance or relapse, which would allow treatment to start earlier and increase the chance for a patient’s survival.
“Although the study was small, and scientists say the test’s accuracy needs to be tested in a much larger trial before it is used in clinics, any possibility of improving how cancer is tracked will improve treatment.”
“The American Cancer Society estimated that 220,800 new cases of prostate cancer will be diagnosed in the United States in 2015. Approximately 27,540 men will die of the disease, accounting for 5 percent of all cancer deaths.
“A common treatment for prostate cancer is a prostatectomy, in which all or part of the prostate gland is removed. Recent studies have shown that this procedure is often over-prescribed. As early as 2010, the New England Journal of Medicine reported that such a procedure extended the lives of just 1 patient in 48. Side effects from the surgery, including urinary incontinence and impotence, can affect the quality of life of the patient.
” ‘For every 20 surgery procedures to take out the prostate, it is estimated that only one life is saved,’ said Gabriel Popescu, director of the Quantitative Light Imaging Laboratory (QLI) and senior author on the study. ‘For the other 19 people, they would be better left alone, because with removing the prostate, the quality of life goes down dramatically. So if you had a tool that could tell which patient will actually be more likely to have a bad outcome, then you could more aggressively treat that case.’ ”
“A recent study reported in The Journal of Nuclear Medicine compared use of the novel Ga-68-PSMA-ligand PET/CT with other imaging methods and found that it had substantially higher detection rates of prostate-specific membrane antigen (PSMA) in patients with biochemical recurrence after radical prostatectomy. Discovering a recurrence early can strongly influence further clinical management, so it is especially noteworthy that this hybrid PSMA-ligand identified a large number of positive findings in the clinically important range of low PSA-values (<0.5ng/mL).
“According to the CDC, prostate cancer is the most common cancer among men in the United States, after non-melanoma skin cancer. While many men with prostate cancer die from other causes, prostate cancer remains one of the leading causes of cancer death among men of all races. Treatment and survival after recurrence depend on many factors, but early detection of the recurrence is certainly key.
“Matthias Eiber, MD, corresponding author of the study, noted, ‘The study is the first to examine this highly promising PET tracer in the use of a homogeneous patient collective consisting of only those with biochemical recurrence after radical prostatectomy. It found superb detection rates compared to other tracers, like choline, or imaging modalities, like MRI. For patients, this means that the referring urologist can receive earlier and more precise information about the site and extent of metastatic disease. Physicians will also be better able estimate whether a PSMA-PET scan might be useful in a specific setting.’ “