Archive for the ‘prostate cancer’ Category

Prostate Cancer, Inflammation, and Vitamin D.

Wednesday, October 29th, 2014


A new study published in the journal Prostate concluded that inflammation may be the link between Vitamin D and prostate cancer. Specifically the study demonstrated that the gene GDF-15, known to be upregulated by Vitamin D, is missing in samples of human prostate cancer driven by inflammation.  The researchers wanted to determine what genes Vitamin D is turning off in prostate cancer because it was known that puting vitamin D on prostate cancer cells inhibits their growth but has not been declared an anticancer agent.

The researchers said ” We thought there might be high levels of GDF-15 in normal tissue and low in prostate cancer, but we found that in a large cohort of human prostate tissue samples, expression of GDF-15 did not track with either normal or cancerous prostate tissue.” They then discovered that GDF-15 was uniformly low in samples of prostate tissue containing inflammation.  They said “Inflammation is thought to drive many cancers including prostate, gastric and colon. Therefore, GDF-15 may be a good thing in keeping prostate tissue healthy–it suppresses inflammation, which is a bad actor potentially driving prostate cancer.” They also found that the gene GDF-15 supresses inflammation by inhibiting another target, NFkB that has been shown to promiote inflammation and contribute to tumor formation in previous studies. Research is ongoing.

Can Prostate Cancer Be Detected with Urine?

Friday, October 17th, 2014


A new study published in the Journal of Molecular Diiagnostice concluded that a set of RNA molecules could be detected in tissue samples and the urine of prostate cancer patients but not in normal healthy individuals. These results could mean the development of more sensitive and specific non-invasive tests for prostate cancer than currently available and could reduce the need for many prostate biopsies. Current methods of testing for high concentrations of prostate-specific antigen (PSA) in blood samples and following up with biopsies lack specificity in detecting prostate cancer. Researchers believe they have found a better group of RNA molecules–known as long noncoding RNAs (IncRNAs) that may serve as better prognostic markers for prostate cancer. IncRNAs are thought to regulate normal cellular development and are increasing reported as contributing to a range of diseases incluyding cancer. Researchers profiled the IncRNAs in three distinct groups: 1) human prostate cancer cell lines and normal prostate epithelial cells, 2) prostate adenocarcinoma tissue samples and matched normal tissue samples, and 3) urine samples from patients with prostate cancer or benign prostate hyperplasia, and normal healthy indiciduals. In each case, the IncRNAs were elevated in prostate cancer patients but not in patients with benigh prostate hy0perplasia or normal healthy individuals.

Researchers also tested a recent urine test was based upon one IncRNA–PCA3 and found that it was detected ins some prostate cancer patients but not is all of their sample. Thus, they suggested that a single biolarker may be insufficient for prostate cancer detection, but combining additional markers may increase the specificity and asensitivity of tge test.

Can Prostate Cancer be Confirmed Without a Biopsy”

Wednesday, August 13th, 2014


The Prostate Health Index (phi), a simple, non-invasive blood test that is three times more specific than the PSA to detect prostate cancer is now available according to a report in Science Digest. This may reduce the need for men who test positive for prostate cancer using  a PSA test  to need  a biopsy. Researchers said “The PSA test is based on the fact that men with higher levels of PSA protein are more likely to have prostate cancer.” “However. the problem is that higher levels of PSA can also be caused by a benign enlargement or inflammation of the prostate, leading to many false positives for cancer and ultimately unnecessary invasive biopsies and an increased potential for patient harm.”  Because the blood test is three times more specific in detecting prostate cancer than the PSA it may reduce the need for a biopsy and potential patient harm. Studies showed a reduction of 31% in unnecessary biopsies due to false positives on PSA’s using the phi test.

The phi test uses three different PSA markers as part of a sophisticated algorithm to increase the reliability of determining a patient with a positive PSA has prostate cancer. “The Prostate Health Index is a significant addition to our comprehensive menu of advanced clinical evidence based blood tests that aid in early cancer detection.” said the co-founder of the laboratory offering the test.

Is there an Association between Depression and Prostate Cancer Survival, Stage, and Effectiveness of Treatment?

Wednesday, July 16th, 2014


A new population observational study study published in the online Journal of Clinical Oncology concluded that depressed men with localized prostate cancer were more likely yo be diagnosed with more aggressive prostate cancer, receive less effective treatment, and survive a shorter time than those with prostate cancer but no depression., Rcsearchers studied patients from the Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results (SEER) medicare database focusing on over 41,000 men diagnosed with localized prostate cancer diagnosed between 2004 and 2002007 and observed through 2009. Researchers identified 1,694 men diagnosed with depression among that group. .The study also found that with prostate cancer who were older, lower income. who had other medical problems , were white or Hispanic. who were unmarried and those living in non-metropolitan areas were more likely to be depresses. They also found that depressed men were more likely to seek out physicians in the two years before diagnoses but were less likely to seek out definitive treatment such aa surgery or radiation in contrast to those not depressed. They said “men with intermediate or high-risk prostate cancer and a recent diagnoses of depression are less likely to undergo definitive treatment and experience worse overall survival. It was concluded that more research was needed to validate these observatiojs.


Does Surgery or Radiation Benefit Older Men w/Early-Stage Prostate Cancer and Other Health Problems?

Wednesday, May 21st, 2014

logo1267406_mdA new study in the early online edition of Cancer concluded that treating older men with early-stage prostate cancer who also had other serious health problems with aggressive therapies such as surgery or radiation therapy does not help them live longer and may be detrimental. The retrospective study followed more than 140,500 men ge 68 and older diagnosed with early stage prostate cancer between 1991 and 2007. Men were followed for 15 years after diagnosis and the Charison Index that can predict 10 year mortality for a patient who has a range of other health problems was used. A protstate cancer patient with diabetes may score 1 on the index, whereas a man with multiple or more severe health problems might score a 3 or higher. Findings showed that men with a Charison index score of 0,1, or 2 who were treated with surgery or radiation therapy had a lower risk of dying of prostate cancer compared to men receiving no treatment. However, men with scores of 3 or higher did not have a reduction in risk of death from cancer with aggressive treatment because they did not live long enough to benefit from it and were more likely to die from something else. They said that men who also had multiple medical conditions such as a history of heart attack, chronic obstructive pumonasry disease, and diabetes in combination did not live longer after agressive treatment compared with men receiving no treatment and were also at risk of side effects such as impotence, urinary incontinence and bosel problems that can result from surgery and radiation treatment. Researchers said “The guidelines suggest the men with life expectancies of less than 10 years shouldn’t be treated aggressively, but life expectancy is difficult to measure accurately. This data clearly defines a subset of patients who should avoid therapies that will only cause them problems they don’t already have.”

New Prostate Cancer Detection Method is Less Invasive.

Friday, April 18th, 2014

logo1267406_mdProstate cancer detection is currently done by a biopsy that is painful and involves risks. A less invasive procedure was researched and presented at the European Assoiciation of Urology Congress in Stockholm this week that may reduce or eliminate the need for biopsies. The researchers developed a method to investigate whether and where men have prostate cancer using existing ultrasound scanners that create images in the body using sound waves. . Because ultrasound is unable to determine the difference between healthy and tumor tissue in images, researchers used thae fact that tumor tissue produces large numbers of small blood vessels that allow it to grow with a characteristic pattern., Patients are given a single injection of a contrast medium containing tiny bubbles, which are shown by the ultrasound scanner right down to the smallest blood vessels. Using advanced image-analysis techniques that can recognize the characteristic blood vessel pattern in tumors, the computer then generates an image that shows where the tumor is. The examination takes one minute and results are available within a few minutes.

Comparing the images with the prostate after removal by surgery of 24 patients  researchers found the images were a good indication of the location and size of the tumors. A comparison of the new and old procedures will be carried out next by the researchers.

Can a Simple Blood Test Diagnose Cancer?

Friday, October 25th, 2013

logo1267406_mdA new study presented at the Anesthesiology 2013 annual meeting reported that a simple blood test can detect early stage lung and prostate cancers as well as their recurrences. They said serum-free fatty acids and their metabolites can be used as screening biomarkers to help diagnose early stages of cancer and to identify the probability of recovery and recurrence after tumor removal.

The researchers looked at blood samples from 56 patients with lung cancer and 40 with prostate cancer and compared them to blood samples from people without cancer. In addition, blood was examined from from 24 patients scheduled for curative lung cancer surgery, and again six and 24 hours after surgery. The cancer patients has one-to six-times greater concentrations of serum-free fatty acids and their metabolites (biomarkers) in the blood thank patients without cancer. In the surgical group the serum free fatty acids and concentrations decreased by three to 10 times within 24 hours after the tumors were removed. The researchers said “In this study, we identified compounds that appear to be new screening biomarkers in cancer diagnosis and progress.” The head of research said “This is an exciting first step to having an uncomplicated way to detect early stages of lung, prostate and perhaps other cancers.”  It could also be used to measure the success of tumor resection surgery, immediately after surgery and long-term for recurrence screening.?”

Can Bladder Cancer be Detected by Scent?

Friday, July 19th, 2013

logo1267406_mdPLOS ONE reports that researchers have developed a new “scent device” called the ODOREADER that may prove to be a reliable way to sniff out cancer in patients urine before it becomes a serious problem. Bladder cancer kills more than 15,000 Americans each years and it is expected to cause about 73,000 new cases in 2013. If caught early it can be treated effectively but currently there are no early screening methods other than diagnosis through urine tests at the stage when it starts to become  a problem .At that stage there is usually blood in the urine, frequent or painful urination, and back and pelvic pain as the cancer inva=des the cells lining the inside of the bladder. Although there are screening tests for risk of breast and ovarian cancers such as the BRAC nbiomarker, there currently is no reliable biomarkers or measurable molecular signs of a disease that is available for screening bladder cancer. But the ODOREADER may solve that. Following up on research that showed dogs could successfully sniff out bladder cancer researchers speculated that dogs were picking up the scent of certain gasses emitted by the urine and subsequently built a device that contains a sensor that can analyze gases and create a readout of the chemicals found in the urine within 30 minutes.

The device was tested on 24 samples taken from patients with confirmed cases of bladder cancer and 74 samples from patients who had urological symptoms, but no confirmed cancer. The ODOREADER correctly picked 100% of the cancer patients. Although the results are promising there is more work to be done.

Can Nutrition and Exercise Reduce the Risk of Aggressive Tumors in Prostate Cancer Patients?

Friday, July 5th, 2013

logo1267406_mdA new study published online in thew Journal Nutrition and Cancer concluded that eating right, exercise, and other lifestyle changes may help prostate cancer patients reduce the risk of aggressive tumors. The study looked at some of the lifestyle recommendations of the World Cancer Research Fund that included desirable ranges of body mass index, physical activity, foods of low calorie density, fruit and non-starchy vegetables, salt, legumes, unrefined grains and red meat consumption.

Two thousand, two hundred twelve African=American or Caucasian-American men between the ages of 40 and 70 with newly diagnosed prostate cancer were included in the study. Recommendations are intended to decrease overall risk of cancer, and are recommended for cancer survivors.

In the study they found that adherence to  fewer than four of the eight recommendations (identified above) predicted a 38 percent increased risk of aggressive tumors compared to adherence to four or more recommendations. Results were statistically significant and similar ampong black and wjhite men despite a baseline higher risk of highly aggressive tumors among black men. The researchers said “Most men are at risk of prostate cancer, but it is the level of aggressiveness of disease that is most clinically relevant,.” These findings suggest that even men with prostate cancer can take control of their disease and moderate its aggressiveness through diet and lifestyle choices.”

Can Early Exposure to BPA Increase the Risk of Later Prostate Cancer?

Friday, June 28th, 2013

logo1267406_mdA new research study published at the recent ENDO meeting (Endocrine Society) in San Francisco concluded that early exposure to BPA (bisphenol A) , an additive commonly found in plastic water bottles and soup can liners, causes an increased risk in an animal model of human prostate cancer. The researcher said “This is the first direct evidence that exposure to BPA during development at the level we see in our day to day environment, increases the risk for prostate cancer in human prostate tissue.”

The increased risk to prostate cancer can be traced ro prostate stem and progenitor cells that become sensitized to estrogen early in development through exposure to BPA mimicking estrogen in the body. and this has become common in our present environment. Prostate stem cells are very long lived and pass on the increased estrogen sensitivity to the prostate tissues produced throughout life. The researcher says because prostate cancer is fueled by naturally rising estrogen levels in aging men, the prostate tissue’s increased sensitivity to estrogen makes the development of cancer much more likely. Currently, more than 95% of expectant mothers had BPA their urine according to research.

Using rats the researchers previously showed that exposure to elevated estrogen or BPA during embryonic development increased the rate of prostate cancer later in life and this study advanced knowledge by using an animal model in which human prostate stem cells were implanted into mouse hosts. To mimic BPA exposure during the early prostate development the researchers fed the mice BPA for the first two weeks after the transplant at doses comparable to those seen in pregnant American women. The tissue was then allowed tro mature for a month into a human prostate-like tissue. The mice were then exposed to elevated estrogen levels for two to four months to mimic the normal rising estrogen levels seen in aging men. . A third of the mice with the human prostate tissue fed BPA showed signs of cancer development compared to 12% of those not exposed to BPA. When the stem cells were exposed to BPA before implantation and again during development 45% showed signs of cancer. Thus, the researchers said “we believe the BPA actually reprograms the stem cells to be more sensitive to estrogen throughout life leading to a life-long increased susceptibility to diseases including cancer.”