Study Examines Predictors of Acute Urinary Symptoms After Radiotherapy for Prostate Cancer

“An interim study by Italian researchers showed that using a modelling program together with IPSS and dosage measure can predict the severity of acute urinary symptoms in patients with early prostate cancer who underwent radiotherapy. ‘Quantitative models predicting the risk of acute (and late) genito-urinary (GU) toxicity in patients treated with high dose radiotherapy for prostate cancer are lacking. This work represents one of the first attempts to provide radiation oncologists with quantitative tools to reliably predict the risk of moderate-severe acute GU effects based on both clinical and dosimetric individual parameters,’ said Dr. Cesare Cozzarini of the San Raffaele Scientific Institute, Dept. of Radiation Oncology in Milan, Italy.”


Biodegradable Medical Device May Decrease Rectal Side Effects Associated with Radiation Therapy for Prostate Cancer

Researchers from Virginia Commonwealth University Massey Cancer Center studied a biodegradable medical device designed to decrease rectal injury that often occurs as a side effect of radiation therapy for treating prostate cancer. The device, called the BioProtect balloon implant, increases the amount of space between the rectum and the prostate gland and decreases radiation exposure to the rectum. In the phase I clinical trial involving 27 patients with localized prostate cancer, the device decreased rectal radiation exposure by 82.3 percent at maximum prescribed doses. Researchers hope the device will allow higher doses of radiation to be used to treat prostate cancer more effectively and over a shorter period of time. A phase II clinical trial is planned to further determine its effectiveness.


Doubts Incite Conflict over Prostate Cancer Vaccine Provenge

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.


Study Finds Surgery for Early Prostate Cancer Unecessary

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.

Primary source: http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa1113162?query=featured_home


Yearly Prostate Cancer Screening May Decrease Quality of Life

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.


Prostate Cancer Gene May Determine Tumor Growth, Return

A recent study found a relationship between the SPARCL1 gene and prostate cancer recurrence. Individuals who had lower activity of the gene had a higher risk of prostate cancer recurrence over 10 years. A test to detect SPARCL1 is being designed.

Primary source: http://www.pnas.org/content/109/37/14977.full.pdf+html


NEJM Poll Reveals Lack of Consensus Among Clinicians over PSA Screening

The utility of (prostate-specific antigen) PSA screening to inform prostate cancer diagnosis and treatment has been a topic of heated debate. The New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) conducted a poll that indicates a lack of consensus among clinicians regarding best prostate cancer screening practices. Many clinicians feel patients should make informed decisions regarding testing preferences.


FDA Approves New Drug for the Treatment of Advanced Prostate Cancer

The FDA has approved enzalutamide (sold as Xtandi) 3 months ahead of deadline. The drug improved survival by nearly 5 months in men with advanced prostate cancer. It is approved for individuals who have not responded to chemotherapy. However, manufacturers hope to expand approval to include patients not previously treated with chemotherapy.


Radiation Therapy in Combination with Hormonal Therapy Improves Overall Survival in Locally Advanced Prostate Cancer

A recent study evaluated androgen deprivation therapy with and without radiation therapy in individuals with locally advanced prostate cancer. Individuals who received combination treatment had a better overall survival rate. Bowel-related side effects were similar for both groups 24 months after treatment.