BETHESDA, Md--Physicians have long hypothesized that natural variation in sex hormones may influence prostate cancer risk, said Meir Stampfer, MD, of the Harvard School of Public Health. Efforts to prove this, however, have yielded unclear results. Now, by examining the interrelationship of different sex hormones, Dr. Stampfer and his colleagues have achieved what he calls the first clear demonstration that circulating levels of sex hormones can predict a man's risk of developing prostate cancer.
Prognostic Factors in Low-Stage Nonseminomatous Testicular Cancer
Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia has received a patent for a molecular-based blood test that provides a novel approach to diagnosing prostate cancer. Jefferson has given exclusive licensing rights to the test to UroCor, Inc., for the United States and Canada, and to the Italian-based biotechnology firm Raggio-Italgene, for Europe and Japan.
Whether patients with clinical stage I nonseminomatous testicular germ-cell cancer (NSGCT) should be treated with orchiectomy and retroperitoneal lymph node dissection (RPLND) or orchiectomy and surveillance remains
PHILADELPHIA--Although the addition of chemotherapy to supportive care with a corticosteroid provides no survival advantage for patients with hormone-refractory prostate cancer, the combination appears to achieve better pain control, compared with corticosteroid therapy alone.
Pretreatment prostate-specific antigen (PSA) level is the single most important prognostic factor for patients undergoing radiotherapy for clinically localized prostate cancer. When combined with Gleason score and T-stage, pretreatment PSA enhances our ability to accurately predict pathologic stage. Patients with pretreatment PSA levels more than 10 ng/mL are at high risk for biochemical failure when treated with conventional radiation alone. A PSA nadir of more than 1 ng/mL and a post-treatment PSA more than 1.5 ng/mL are associated with a high risk of biochemical failure. Postoperative radiotherapy delivered while the tumor burden is low (eg, PSA less than 1 ng/mL) predicts a favorable outcome. Many of these conclusions about the usefulness of pretreatment PSA are based on the assumption that PSA can be used as a surrogate end point for disease-free and overall survival from prostate cancer. However, this assumption still remains to be validated by phase III trials. [ONCOLOGY 10(8):1143-1153, 1996]
ORLANDO--Treatment of recurrent prostate cancer, whether by prostatectomy or chemotherapy, has not yielded very effective or long lasting results. Many patients now ask about cryotherapy, in the hopes of better effectiveness and/or improved quality of life (less incontinence and less chance of impotence). However, urologists have been reluctant to use salvage cryosurgery for prostate cancer patients after radiation or hormonal therapy, because the outcome and quality of life data were simply not there, Louis L. Pisters, MD, said at the American Urological Association meeting earlier this year.
Radical radiation therapy and radical prostatectomy are the two most commonly employed therapeutic alternatives for clinically localized (T1-T2,NX,M0) prostate cancer. A vigorous debate is ongoing about the relative efficacy of each modality. This debate centers around the percentage of patients who cannot be cured by one method or the other, suggesting that some patients may be better served by one treatment, or by some form of combined-modality therapy employing radiation after surgery or neoadjuvant androgen suppression before radiation.
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla--The duration of anticipated survival after a prostate cancer diagnosis, and therefore the period of time at risk in the disease, is unique to prostate cancer in the influence it exerts on selection of therapy.
ASCO--In an EORTC study, the combination of radiotherapy and adjuvant hormonal therapy with an LHRH analog has been shown to significantly increase survival in patients with locally advanced prostate cancer, compared with radiotherapy alone.