What Every Man Must Know About Prostate Cancer and Prostate treatment

Man with Prostate CancerA Malignant tumor that often starts in the outer part of the prostrate is called the Prostate cancer. This may spread to the inner parts of the prostate as the tumor grows. The prostate cancer treatment available for this disease includes watchful waiting, radiation, hormonal therapy, brachytherapy and prostate surgery .

The risk of Prostate Cancer increases with age. Most men diagnosed of the disease are often older than 50 years. African-American men have been proven to have a higher risk of developing this cancer more than other races. Also a family with a history of Prostate cancer often increases the risk for the members of the family. Bout 10% of the disease run in families but till date no good reason has been given for this. Environmental factors like high intake of dietary fat, seems to increase the risk of the disease.

The disease takes time to develop, usually takes between two to four years to double its size. This slow growth usually leads to a long in detection while its building up. Just like every cancer whose process is well known as the growth of abnormal cells until it gets out of control. In this case the abnormal cells of the prostate gland keeps growing until they get out of control.

The best possible ways to prevent the spread of the disease are early diagnosis and prostate treatment . There are so many ways most men can treat and prevent it before prostate treatment is needed, which are by changing unhealthy habits including excessive smoking and drinking of alcohol, taking adequate calcium and vitamin D, then exercising regularly.

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Gene Test May Cut Need For Prostate Cancer Surgery

gene_testingA genetic pattern could predict how aggressive prostate cancer is, potentially saving many men with less threatening tumors from undergoing unnecessary and life changing surgery, scientists said on Wednesday.

Prostate tumors can range from relatively harmless ones that grow very slowly and are unlikely ever to cause a problem, to ones that are far more aggressive and need swift treatment. At present doctors have few effective tools to differentiate between varying types.

Details of the Study:

British researchers found that men with the highest levels of “cell cycle progression” (CCP) genes — ones that encourage cells to grow — were three times more likely than those with the lowest levels to have a fatal form of prostate cancer.

The study, published in the Lancet Oncology journal, also found that in patients who had already had surgery to remove their prostate, those with the highest CCP levels were 70 percent more likely to have a recurrence of the disease.

“Our findings have great potential,” said Jack Cuzick, a cancer specialist based at Queen Mary, University of London.

“CCP genes are expressed at higher levels in actively growing cells, so we could be indirectly measuring the growth rate and inherent aggressiveness of the tumor through a test.”

Myriad Genetics in the United States, has developed a test called Prolaris which measures CCP levels and Cuzick said that if further trials confirm his results, doctors could be using it in prostate cancer patients within a year.

Prostate cancer killed an estimated 258,000 men around the world in 2008 and is the second most common cause of cancer death in men in the United States. In Britain, about 35,000 men are diagnosed with it and some 10,000 die from the disease each year.

Being able to distinguish between aggressive tumors and slow-growing ones could spare many men unnecessary treatment and side effects like impotence and incontinence.

The study looked at 703 men with prostate cancer — 366 men in America who had undergone surgery to remove the prostate, and 337 men in Britain with cancer that was confined to the prostate and were judged to not need immediate treatment.

The untreated group were given what is called a “watch and wait” option, which allows doctors to try to avoid treating men whose prostate cancer will not cause them significant problems. Tissue samples from the prostate were either taken during surgery or from the biopsy used to diagnose the disease.

Researchers then tested each sample for levels of 31 different genes involved in CCP and were able to show that specific combination of these gene levels can identify men at high or low risk of the disease spreading beyond the prostate and those most likely to die.

Cuzick said previous studies had already shown that CCP levels can predict survival for breast, brain and lung cancers.

Helen Rippon, head of research management, at the British Prostate Cancer Charity, said in a statement the technology must be “comprehensively trialed in large numbers of men before it can be introduced into routine clinical practice.”

SOURCE: – Gene test may cut need for prostate cancer surgery

FUS: Protein that may destroy Prostate Cancer

FUSIn what can be termed as an important step in the battle against prostate cancer [abnormal cells that divide without control, which can invade nearby tissues or spread through the bloodstream and lymphatic system to other parts of the body. ] , scientists have discovered a key protein which not only suppresses the growth of the malignant cells, but also triggers a pathway that leads to their suicide.

Details of the Study:

According to experts, the identification of the protein known as FUS (Fused in Ewing’s Sarcoma) could be used to treat and even cure the lethal disease in men.

Prostate cancer [Prostate cancer is a disease in which the cells of the prostate become abnormal. They start to grow uncontrollably, forming tumors. A tumor is a mass or lump of tissue made of abnormal cells. Tumors may be malignant or benign. A malignant tumor can spread to other parts of the body. Malignant tumors are cancerous. Benign tumors cannot spread to other parts of the body.] is the second leading cause of cancer death in men today.

The disease is typically slow-growing, but can at times take an aggressive form and spread rapidly to the bone and other organs which can turn fatal.

FUS protein inhibits growth of tumors

The research team from the Imperial College London studying the effect of male hormones [chemical substances created by the body that control numerous body functions.] on prostate cancer cells found that FUS inhibits the growth of tumors.

They noted that patients whose prostate cancer cells had high levels of FUS had less aggressive tumours. In addition, they were inclined to survive for a longer period.

Researchers theorize that FUS levels could be used as a marker to predict how aggressive the disease is likely to be.

Dr Charlotte Bevan, senior author of the study, from the Department of Surgery and Cancer at Imperial College London, stated, “At the moment, there’s no way to say whether a prostate tumour will kill you or be fairly harmless.

“Current hormonal therapies only work for a limited time, and chemotherapy is often ineffective against prostate cancer, so there’s a real need for new treatments.”

“These findings suggest that FUS might be able to suppress tumour growth and stop it from spreading to other parts of the body where it can be deadly. It’s early stages yet but if further studies confirm these findings, then FUS might be a promising target for future therapies.”

A laboratory study

Prostate cancer is aggravated by male hormones that divide the cancer cells which multiply and spread.

Since, high hormone levels cause the cells to produce less of the protein FUS, the scientists conducted an experiment by adding more of the protein in the cancer cells in a dish.

It was noted that when the cells were producing more FUS, there was a significant reduction in the growth of prostate cancer cells.

Greg Brooke, from the Department of Surgery and Cancer at Imperial College London, said, “Our study suggests that FUS is a crucial link that connects male hormones with cell division. The next step is to investigate whether FUS could be a useful test of how aggressive prostate cancer is.

“Then we might look for ways to boost FUS levels in patients to see if that would slow tumour growth or improve response to hormone therapy.

“If FUS really is a tumour suppressor, it might also be involved in other cancers, such as breast cancer, which has significant similarities with prostate cancer.”

The study has been sponsored by Prostate Action, the Medical Research Council, The Prostate Cancer Charity and Imperial College and the findings are to be published in the ‘Cancer Research’ journal.

SOURCE: – Scientist discover protein that suppresses prostate cancer

Newest Experiment May Help Guide Prostate Cancer Treatment

Laboratory Technician Examining MouseThe latest experiment will someday benefit the doctors to guide them of the most difficult problems in cancer therapy: finding which prostate cancer patients needs full treatment.

Currently, once prostate cancer is diagnosed, doctors have no reliable way to know which cases are life-threatening. Most are not. So doctors have a difficult time determining whether they should monitor the cancers to see if they progress or recommend immediate treatment, such as surgery or radiation. Both treatments can cause problems, such as incontinence and impotence.

The dilemma results in overtreatment, such that about 48 men are treated for every life saved, says Dr. Ronald DePinho of the Dana-Farber Cancer Center in Boston.

But DePinho and colleagues have created a test they say might help doctors identify dangerous tumors more accurately than is possible now. In results published online Wednesday by the journal Nature, the scientists showed an improvement in accuracy to 91 percent from 84 percent.

When applied to prostate cancer samples, the gene test indicates “how this particular cancer is wired to behave,” DePinho said.

Details of the study on how this new test will help Prostate Cancer treatment

Drawing on research in mice, DePinho and colleagues identified four genes whose combined activity within cancers appears to drive prostate tumors toward being lethal. The genes are involved in processes like growth and ability to invade other tissues.

Then the researchers tested whether the combined activity of those genes also predicted cancer outcome in men, with a series of tests in human tumor samples.

In the largest test, they looked at 405 tumor specimens from men who’d been diagnosed between 1983 and 2004. Thirty-eight cases turned out to be lethal. Researchers looked for the chemical signatures of gene activity in the samples and tested how accurately that could classify tumors as lethal or not.

By itself, the gene test performed about as well as a combination of current indicators: age at diagnosis, indications of tumor spread and a “Gleason score” that assesses the appearance of tumor cells under a microscope. That standard approach was accurate 84 percent of the time in the study.

But accuracy rose to 91 percent when researchers combined that approach with the gene test. The combination “robustly predicted which men were going to die of the disease,” DePinho said.

The rights to develop the test have been licensed to a company that DePinho co-founded and in which he holds a financial interest.

Experts not connected with the study praised the work but said more research on the gene test is needed.

“It’s early still, but it’s pretty exciting,” said Dr. Eric Klein of the Cleveland Clinic. “This is a step in the right direction, without question.”

Dr. Angelo De Marzo, a professor of pathology, oncology and urology at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in Baltimore, called it “extremely interesting, promising, amazing work.”

It will take more research to see whether the gene test really could help doctors make treatment recommendations with more confidence than they can now, and in what situations, he said. The test might prove useful when prostate cancer is diagnosed from biopsy samples, or in deciding on further treatment after a man’s prostate has been removed, he said.

De Marzo noted that some prostate cancer researchers are meeting this weekend, and “I have a feeling there’s going to be a ton of buzz about this at that meeting. I think people are going to be very excited.”


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