Posts Tagged ‘prostate cancer’

New Diagnostic Test for Prostate Cancer.

Friday, October 31st, 2014


After 30 years without progress in screening methods a new screening test has been identified for detecting prostate cancer. The  only place in the southeast part of the United States that offers the new technique–the MRI-US image fusion technique-is the University of Alabama in Birmingham. The researchers say ” We are utilizing prostate MRI and fusing it with real time ultrasound for image-guided prostate biopsies;  this can detect prostate cancer with high accuracy, and it accurately targets lesions of concern defined by MRI. ” ” This improves overall detection compared to standard biopsies and, more importantly, has the potential to give clinicians and patients a more accurate picture of their true disease burden by allowing improvements in staging.” The new technique allows direct tissue sampling of suspicious areas seen on MRI as opposed to the traditional method of random, systematically sampling that is essentially performed blind in different regions of the prostate.

Researchers say studies show the technique increases the overall cancer detection rate, increases the high risk detection rate, and improves staging for patients who are considering active surveillance where the doctor monitor low risk prostate cancer for changes.  the technique is a clinical based  procedure that can be performed under local anesthesia and the patient’s experience of this new biopsy compared to previous biopsy without MRI guidance is the same but with more accurate outcomes based on the targeted approach. The procedure has been offered for the past year at the U of Alabama.




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 a Tomato Rich Diet Reduce Prostate Cancer Risk?

Wednesday, September 3rd, 2014


A new study published in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention concluded that men who eat over 10 portions of tomatoes a week have an 18 per cent lower risk of developing prostate cancer. To evaluate lifestyle and dietary habits and prostate cancer researchers assessed 1,806 men between age 50 and 69 with prostate cancer anc compared them with 12,005 men who were cancer free. This was the first study to evaluate a dietary index that consisted of dietary components that have been linked to prostate cancer—calcium, selenium and foods rich in lycopene. They found that men who had optimal intake of these dietary components had a lower risk of prostate cancer. Most effective were tomatoes and  its products such as tomato juice and baked beans with an 18 percent risk reduction in men who ate over 10 servings a week. Lycopene, an antioxidant that fights off toxins that can cause DNA and cell damage, is thought to be the the likely component in tomatoes but further research is needed to validate these findings.

Researchers studied physical activity, diet and body weight for cancer prevention but only the high intake of fruits, vegetables and dietary fiber were found to be assocviated with a reduced risk of prostate cancer.


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.


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.

Does Eating Walnuts Reduce the Risk and Produce Smaller Prostate Cancers?

Friday, July 26th, 2013

logo1267406_mdA new study reported in Cancer Investigation concluded that eating a modest amount of walnuts can protect against prostate cancer. In studies researchers injected  tumors cells and noted they  start to grow in a large number of mice in 3 to 4 weeks. A previous study asked if a walnut-enriched diet would be associated with a reduced cancer formation in the injected mice and found positive results.In the prostate study the walnut enriched diet was utilized with prostate cell injected mice. Results showed that 3 ( 18 percent) of the walnut enriched diet injercted mice developed prostate cancer compared to 14 of 32 mice (44 percent) on the non-walnut controlled diet. In addition, the average size of the tumor in the mice with the walnut enriched diet was about 1/4 the size of the pro9state tumor as the non walnut eating control group. Researchers said ” We found the results to be stunning because there were so few tumors in animals consuming the walnuts and these tumors grew much more slowly than in the other animals.”     The diet for all mice was a typical animal diet except for the addition of the walnuts for the subjects. The walnuts added to the diet was equivalent to a human eating about 2 ounces, or two handfuls, daily. Conclusions by the researchers were “The data to date suggest that using walnuts on a regular basis in the diet may be beneficial to defer, prevent, or delay some types of cancer, including breast and prostate. “

Do Omega-3 Fatty Acids Increase the Risk of Prostate Cancer?

Wednesday, July 17th, 2013

logo1267406_mdA new report published in the online edition of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute \concluded from a second large, prospective study that there is a link between concentrations of Omega-3 fatty acids and an  increase risk of prostate cancer. Specifically, high concentrations of EPA, DPA, and DHA -the three anti-inflammatory and metabolically related fatty acids from fatty fish and fish-oil supplements are associasted with a 71 percent increased risk of high grade prostate cancer; a 44 percent increase in the risk of low-grade prostate cancer; and an overall 43 percent risk for all prostate cancers. Because the high-grade prostate cancers are more likely to be fatal that result is important. The findings of this study confirm an earlier smaller study by the same researchers in 2011 that reported similar findings. The researchers said” the consistency of these findings suggests that these fatty acids are involved in prostate tumorigenesis and recommendations to increase long-chain omega-3 fatty acid intake, in particular through supplementation, should consider its potential risk.

Although it is unclear why high levels of omega-3 fatty acids would increase prostate cancer risk but the replication of the findings in two large samples indicates there is a need for futher study of the possible mechanism. A possible harmful effect is the conversion of fatty acids into compounds that can cause damage to cells and DNA and affect their role in immunosuppression but whether this impacts cancer risk in unknown.Results were based upon 834 men who had been diagnosed with incident, primary prostate cancers (2156 were high-grade cancer) along with a comparison groupo  of 1,393 men selected randomly from the 35,500 participants inthe larger sample.

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.”