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: 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

Study Enrollment: Personalized Prostate Cancer Treatments

Advances in genomic sequencing have allowed biomedical companies to develop personalized treatments for a number of diseases. Now a new study from the Mayo Clinic will use genomic sequencing to develop customized treatments for men whose cancer does not respond to hormonal therapy (called castration-resistant prostate cancer). The Prostate Cancer Medically Optimized Genome-Enhanced Therapy (PROMOTE) study will seek to match new targeted drugs with the genomic characteristics of a man’s prostate cancer tumor. Men who are interested in enrolling in the study can call 507-284-3067 for further information. December 3, 2013

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Mixed Bag About the Benefits of Fish Oil

In September, researchers from the SELECT trial (Brasky et al) warned that men with high levels of fish oil in their blood had an increased risk of developing a more aggressive form of prostate cancer. Now a new study by researchers at UCLA reports that men with prostate cancer who followed a low-fat diet and took fish oil supplements (5 grams per day in 5 capsules) had lower levels of pro-inflammatory substances in their blood and a lower cell cycle progression (a measure to help predict cancer recurrence). These results suggest that a low-fat diet and fish oil can actually change prostate cancer tissue, which may help prevent aggressive disease. December 3, 2013

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Warning Signs for Men Undergoing Robotic Assisted Prostate Surgery

A history of infection, previous abdominal surgery, radiation treatment, an enlarged prostate, and prior transurethral resection of the prostate (known as TURP) have been identified as warning signs for potential injury to the urethra during robotic prostatectomies, according to a study published in the Journal of Endourology. Researchers followed 6,442 men who underwent robotic prostatectomy from 2001 to 2013. While the rate of cutting the urethra was only 0.046%, this information may help prevent future injuries. December 1, 2013.

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