Prostate Cancer Blog for Wives and Partners

The Prostate Cancer Blog for Wives and Partners lets you know when new information has been added to our site. Anytime a new page is created—or we feel there is something worth noting—it will be posted here.

Archive of older posts


Study: Hormone Therapy for Early Prostate Cancer

Researchers from Georgetown University Medical Center (Potosky et al) have reported that men with early stage prostate cancer who had hormone therapy as primary treatment instead of surgery or radiation did not live longer than men who had no treatment at all. Researchers reviewed the medical records of 15,000 men, but did not compare primary hormone treatment directly to surgery or radiation. April 20, 2014.

More Evidence for Hormone Treatment Plus Radiation

We know that men who have a localized recurrence of prostate cancer benefit from six months of hormone therapy prior to radiation therapy. Now men who combine six months of hormone therapy with radiation therapy may benefit if they have prostate cancer that is “small” and confined to the prostate gland, but is at risk of growing and spreading, according to new research (Bolla et al) that was presented at the 33rd conference of the European Society for Radiotherapy and Oncology in Vienna on April 6. The clinical trial followed 819 men with early stage prostate cancer tumors. Men who had combination therapy had nearly half of the risk (47%) of biochemical progression of their prostate cancer compared to men who just had radiation therapy. April 19, 2014.

Radical Prostatectomy for Men with Advanced Prostate Cancer?

Radical prostatectomy is generally not a treatment option for men with prostate cancer that has grown beyond the gland. Now new research from Stockholm (Wiklund et al) that was presented at the European Association of Urology Meeting may totally shake things up. According to a news report by Medical News Today, researchers analyzed records of two groups of 699 men. One group had hormone therapy alone while the other group had radical prostatectomy followed by hormone therapy. There were two and a half times more deaths in the group that had hormone therapy alone (231 vs 93) after a follow-up of 14 years. April 17, 2014.

Study: Prognostic Value of Circulating Tumor Cells

Circulating prostate cancer tumor cells can be used as a prognostic marker for overall survival, according to a study (Goldkorn et al) of men with castration-resistant prostate cancer who were taking the chemotherapy drug docetaxel. The study appeared in the March 10 edition of the Journal of Oncology. Some media outlets are reporting that this may be a better alternative to PSA testing to predict a man’s survival. But an editorial by Friedlander and Fong, which appeared in the same issue, calls for more validation in large clinical trials. March 26, 2014.

Study: PSA Testing Saves Lives

To test or not to test has been a controversial question over the last several years. Now researchers from Umeå University in Sweden, and Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York (Stattin et al), have released a new study that points to a 20 percent lower rate of death caused by prostate cancer in counties in Sweden that have the highest incidence of the disease, but also have an early and rapid uptake of PSA testing. March 13, 2014.

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Study: BPA and Prostate Cancer

Levels of bisphenol A (BPA) in men’s urine could be a marker of prostate cancer, according to new findings from Cincinnati Cancer Center researchers (Ho et al). BPA is an environmental pollutant with estrogen activity. Low levels of BPA exposure were associated with cellular changes in both non-malignant and malignant prostate cells. Researchers looked at PSA levels of 60 men and found higher levels of BPA in men with prostate cancer than in men who did not have prostate cancer (5.74 ìg/g creatine versus 1.43 ìg/g creatine). The difference was even more significant in men who were younger than 65. March 13, 2014.

New Joint Guideline on Radiation Therapy After Prostate Cancer Surgery

The American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) and the American Urological Association (AUA) have published a joint guideline on radiation therapy following prostate cancer surgery for men who have or do not have any evidence of prostate cancer recurrence. The Adjuvant and Salvage Radiotherapy After Prostatectomy: ASTRO/AUA Guideline is an 81-page document that is based on a comprehensive review of 324 research articles. February 11, 2014.

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New Guidelines for Castration-Resistant Prostate Cancer

The American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) and Cancer Care Ontario (CCO) have issued new guidelines for castration-resistant prostate cancer (cancer that does not respond to hormone therapy) to include “more recent findings as well as an expanded evaluation of the strength of published evidence, clinical benefits, and risk of harms.” It includes recommendations on treatments including abiraterone acetate, cabazitaxel, docetaxel, enzalutamide, mitoxantrone, radium-223, and sipuleucel-T. It also provides recommendations on older treatments like corticosteroids and ketoconazole and when to start palliative care services. February 11, 2014.

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Study: Educate Men About Hormone Therapy

Men with prostate cancer who undergo hormone therapy (also known as androgen deprivation therapy) should receive counseling from their physicians about quality of life changes that can result from treatment, according to a new study (Cary et al) that was published in The Journal of Urology online. Researchers found that hormone therapy was associated with changes in mental and emotional wellbeing, but after two years, the declines were not “clinically meaningful.” They conclude that men “must be counseled on possible quality of life changes related to androgen deprivation therapy as well as interventions to attenuate these effects before receiving treatment for prostate cancer.” January 28, 2014.

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Study: Melatonin May Reduce Risk of Prostate Cancer

In other American Association for Cancer Research (AACR)-Prostate Cancer Foundation Conference on Advances in Prostate Cancer Research news, higher levels of melatonin were associated with a decreased risk of developing advanced prostate cancer. Melatonin is a hormone that is produced only at night in the dark and affects the body’s circadian rhythm, which also regulates our sleep-wake cycle. Higher levels of melatonin were associated with a 75 percent lower risk of men developing advanced prostate cancer compared to men with lower melatonin levels. More studies are needed to confirm melatonin’s role in reducing risk of prostate cancer. January 23, 2014.

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Study: How Exercise Affects Men with Prostate Cancer

Researchers have found that men who walked at a fast pace (3.3 to 4.5 miles per hours) prior to being diagnosed with prostate cancer had more blood vessels in their tumors that were regularly shaped than men with prostate cancer who walked slowly (1.5 to 2.5 miles per hour), which may explain why exercise has been linked to better outcomes. Men who have more physical activity have already been reported to have a lower risk of prostate cancer recurrence and death than men who do little or no physical activities. These results were recently shared at the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR)-Prostate Cancer Foundation Conference on Advances in Prostate Cancer Research. January 23, 2014.

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New Initiative for Men with Bone Metastases

Amgen has teamed up with several advocacy groups, including Us TOO International Prostate Cancer Education & Support Network, to offer resources to help men and their caregivers understand how prostate cancer can spread to the bone. They have launched a new educational website that features tips and tools and video diaries of patients. January 22, 2014.

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Study: Anesthesia And Pain Meds May Affect Prostate Cancer Outcomes

Opioids that are commonly used to control pain following prostate cancer surgery may affect long-term outcomes, according to a study led by the Mayo Clinic. Researchers believe these painkillers may suppress the immune system’s ability to fight cancer cells. They found a significant association between an opioid-sparing technique and reduced prostate cancer tumor progression and overall mortality (death). The researchers suggest that general anesthesia along with a spinal or epidural painkiller prior to surgery reduces a man’s need for opioids following surgery, which was associated with a lower risk of cancer recurrence. January 9, 2014.

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Study: New Biomarker Predicts Prostate Cancer Progression

A biomarker for a cellular switch that can accurately predict which men with prostate cancer are likely to have their cancer return or spread has been identified by Researchers at Vanderbilt University Medical Center and the University of Alberta in Canada. The study (Zijlstra et al) was posted online in Cancer Research. Researchers studied a protein called CD151 that helps cancer cells spread. Using prostate cancer cell lines, they found that CD151 is free from integrin, which is its normal adhesion partner. This allows cells to stick to surrounding tissue (called CD151free). In men who tested positive for CD151free, their cancer recurred and spread an average of 10 years earlier than men with no detectable CD151free. The hope is that this biomarker can help determine whether men should be treated aggressively or whether their prostate cancer can be followed through active surveillance (also called watching and waiting). January 9, 2014

Taking Testosterone for Erectile Dysfunction (ED)?

While it is controversial, some men do turn to testosterone following prostate cancer treatment in an effort to improve ED. The problem is that testosterone fuels prostate cancer. There are other studies that suggest that high levels of estrogen contribute to ED. A study (Kataoka et al) that was published in the May online issue of the International Journal of Impotence Research reports that testosterone treatment in rats did not improve ED caused by high estrogen levels. Important information to consider. December 10, 2013

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