Increasing the Odds of Prostate Cancer Detection

Excerpt:

“For three years, Andrew Harder wondered if he had prostate cancer. In 2009, he had routine blood work that revealed an elevated prostate-specific antigen (PSA) level. When PSA is above 4 nanograms per milliliter of blood, it can be one of the first signs of a prostate tumor. Harder’s PSA was 9.

“By the time Harder saw a urologist, it had skyrocketed to 20. His doctor recommended the traditional next step: a transrectal ultrasound (TRUS) biopsy, which involves taking random tissue samples from 12 cross sections of the prostate.

“Over the course of two years, Harder, 60, an MRI technologist, would have three TRUS biopsies. They were all inconclusive.”

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Patients with Low Risk Prostate Cancer on Active Surveillance Experience Good Quality of Life

Excerpt:

“Active surveillance (AS) has become an increasingly important alternative to surgery, chemotherapy, or radiation treatment for men diagnosed with low risk prostate cancer. However, what is the impact of AS on health related quality of life (HRQoL) in patients selected or opting for this conservative form of disease management? New research published in The Journal of Urology found that patients on AS who were tracked for three years experienced similar HRQoL as men without prostate cancer, both clinically and psychologically.

“The majority of men diagnosed with prostate cancer have low risk disease and face a difficult decision between having the disease managed conservatively through AS or undergoing definitive therapy. These results can help guide physicians and patients through this decision-making process.”

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I Thought Melanoma Would Kill Me. Here's Why It Didn't.

Excerpt:

“Several months ago, my wife, Françoise, and I attended something novel for melanoma patients: a survivors’ dinner. People said they wanted to make it an annual gathering. Planning anything that far in advance had been pointless for me. Two years ago, I was about to accept hospice care.

“When I was diagnosed in 1996, very early surgery was the only reliably successful treatment. A more advanced case was essentially a death sentence. Over the past five years, a series of revolutionary drugs have given me and many other people a surprisingly hopeful prospect. Nevertheless, the drugs’ development process has often been excruciating for participants in clinical trials, and the drugs’ remarkably high costs limit their value.”

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Revolutionary Surgery for Lung Cancer

Excerpt:

“The University of Montreal Hospital Research Centre (CRCHUM) is launching a major international clinical trial to test a minimally invasive and safer surgical approach for patients with lung cancer: video-assisted thoracoscopic (VATS) lobectomy with ultrasonic pulmonary artery sealing.

“Monic Ste-Marie, 48, is one of the first to benefit from this procedure developed by Dr. Moishe Liberman, a thoracic surgeon and researcher at the CRCHUM. On January 19, 2016, he successfully removed the one-centimetre tumour lodged in her left lung. The operation involved making three small incisions in her chest and then removing the diseased portion of her lung, guided by a video camera and using an electronic device to seal the pulmonary artery by ultrasound to prevent bleeding during the operation.”

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Test Aids Prostate Cancer Treatment

Excerpt:

“Genomic Health Inc. has struck a deal to commercialize a new blood test that can help advanced prostate cancer patients decide whether to try costly new-generation drugs or rely on much cheaper traditional chemotherapy to improve their chances for survival.

“The test, developed by closely held Epic Sciences Inc., San Diego, detects a mutation associated with a poor response to two new drugs, Xtandi from Medivation Inc. and Astellas Pharma Inc. of Japan, and Zytiga from Johnson & Johnson.

“The two blockbuster drugs have significantly extended survival for many patients with advanced prostate cancer. But in a study published last month, patients who tested positive for the anomaly—a variant of the androgen receptor called AR-V7—lived substantially longer if they were treated with chemotherapy than those given the two new drugs. The receptor is the target of the new drugs.”

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Video: The Ideal Patient Population for the Use of Nivolumab in Treatment of NSCLC

Excerpt:

“Hossein Borghaei, DO, chief, Thoracic Oncology, director, Lung Cancer Risk Assessment, associate professor in the Department of Hematology/Oncology, Fox Chase Cancer Center, discusses the ideal patient population that can potentially benefit from the use of nivolumab in the treatment of non–small cell lung cancer.”

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'End of Controversy': Robotic Prostatectomy Is Winner

Excerpt:

“The long-running debate about which surgical method is best for removing a cancerous prostate is over, a urologic surgeon declares in an editorial published in the July issue of the Journal of Urology.

” ‘Robotic prostatectomy has superior or at least equal oncologic efficacy and complication rates compared to open prostatectomy,’ writes Michael O. Koch, MD, from the Indiana University School of Medicine in Indianapolis. ‘I believe the most current literature supports that view and this debate should finally be put to rest.’

“Dr Koch presents himself as an impartial judge, saying that he has ‘substantial surgical experience with both techniques.’

“Dr Koch’s editorial, partially entitled the ‘End of the Controversy,’ accompanies a study that prompted his declaration and compares the rival procedures.”

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Can Liquid Biopsies and Tumor Biomarkers Personalize Prostate Cancer Treatment?

Excerpt:

“Experimental, minimally invasive ‘liquid biopsy’ blood tests might soon help to personalize prostate cancer treatment by predicting androgen resistance and survival benefits from particular treatments, researchers announced at the 2016 American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Annual Meeting, held June 3–7 in Chicago.

“Liquid biopsies detect circulating tumor cells (CTCs) or bits of tumor DNA (ctDNA). Not all tumors shed cells or DNA into a patient’s bloodstreams, but most do. And when they do, they can reveal a lot about themselves—including molecular signatures that can be targeted with specific treatments.

“Recent years have seen an explosion of candidate biomarkers for prostate cancer and other malignancies, including both liquid biopsies and tumor-sample gene panels. Most candidate biomarkers have been prognostic gene-mutation signatures that can estimate patient survival regardless of what treatment strategies are attempted. These prognostic tests can be useful for risk-stratifying patients who are participating in clinical studies, or in communicating prognosis to a patient and his loved ones.”

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Lung Cancer Patients Who Have Surgery Live Longer

Excerpt:

“Patients with late-stage, non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) who have surgery have better survival rates than those who don’t, but fewer of these patients are undergoing surgery, UC Davis researchers have found.

“Published today in The Annals of Thoracic Surgery, the study raises an important question: Why aren’t more evaluated for as part of a comprehensive treatment regimen for the world’s deadliest cancer?

“Using the California Cancer Registry, the team identified more than 34,000 patients who had stage IIIA, IIIB or IV NSCLC. Analyzing the data, they found that patients who received surgery had improved compared to their non-surgical peers. In addition, they found that 27 percent of patients received no treatment at all.”

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