Prostate Health Newsbytes

Menstuff® has compiled Newsbytes on Prostate Health. See our complete listing of Health Issues (emotional, physical, psychological, sexual and additions) and related information on a Testicular Self Exam. Prostate Cancer Awareness Month is September, and Prostate Cancer Awareness Week, the period set aside for free screenings, runs September 16-22, 2013. Information about the Prostate will change daily during this period at "Today" at our homepage.

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Warning: Selenium may cause diabetes

Bayer claimed that “emerging research” suggested that the mineral selenium in One A Day might reduce the risk of prostate cancer. But according to the Center for Science in the Public Interest, “emerging research” did no such thing. In fact, a seven-year, $118-million study funded by the National Institutes of Health found that selenium does not prevent prostate cancer in healthy men. That massive trial, which involved 35,000 men, was abruptly halted when it became clear to researchers that selenium was not protecting the men from prostate cancer and may have been causing unexplained cases of diabetes.

FDA Approves New Treatment for Advanced Prostate Cancer Patients

The FDA has approved Bayer and Algeta's drug Xofigo (radium Ra 223 dichloride, formerly known as alpharadin) to treat men with symptomatic late-stage (metastatic) castration-resistant prostate cancer that has spread to bones but not to other organs. It is intended for men whose cancer has spread after receiving medical or surgical therapy to lower testosterone.

Xofigo binds with minerals in the bone to deliver radiation directly to bone tumors, limiting the damage to the surrounding normal tissues. It is the second prostate cancer drug approved by the FDA in the past year that demonstrates an ability to extend the survival of men with metastatic prostate cancer.

Patients who are interested in finding out where and when newly FDA approved drug Xofigo will be available can call 1-855-696-3446 or visit the website
Source: Pres release

Government Eliminates Early Detection for Prostate Cancer, Fails American Men

The United States Preventive Services Task Force has issued its final recommendation for early detection of prostate cancer, effectively eliminating the PSA test and leaving American men without a defense in the fight against prostate cancer.

"We are greatly disappointed by the decision to give the PSA test a "D" rating by United States Preventive Services Task Force,” said Skip Lockwood, CEO of ZERO – The Project to End Prostate Cancer. “We believe that the decision, which eliminates men's access to potentially lifesaving information provided by a PSA test, should not be made by a government panel that doesn’t include a medical oncologist or urologist.”

The USPSTF rated PSA testing “D,” saying there is moderate or high certainty that the service has no net benefit or that the harms outweigh the benefits. This decision contradicts prostate cancer testing recommendations from medical and professional organizations, including the National Comprehensive Cancer Network and American Urological Association.

Since the decision by the USPSTF in 2009 to change prostate cancer testing recommendations for men over the age of 75, no new research has been cited that would call for a drastic change in prostate cancer testing recommendations for all men.

Recent research confirms that the PSA test saves lives. The results of the Göteborg Randomized Population-based Prostate Cancer Screening Trial, released in July 2010, showed a 44 percent decline in prostate cancer deaths as a result of PSA testing. In this Swedish study, partially funded by the National Cancer Institute, an analysis of some 20,000 men was conducted during a 14-year period.

The PSA test and advances in treatment have led to a 40 percent reduction in prostate cancer deaths since the mid-1990s, and 90 percent of all prostate cancers are now discovered before they spread outside the gland. The five-year survival rate is nearly 100 percent when prostate cancer is detected early, while the tumor is still localized and hasn’t spread.

The decision on how best to test and treat for prostate cancer must be made between a man and his doctor and ZERO encourages men to continue to educate themselves and be active participants in their health care. In the absence of an improved test for the disease, ZERO believes that all men, especially those with risk factors, need to consider testing for prostate cancer in order to have the most information possible and make the best health decisions.

For more information on prostate cancer risk, testing and diagnosis, and treatment options, visit
(Editor's note: There were estimated 28,900 deaths attributed to prostate cancer in 2009. And continuing decline. About that time, the American Cancer Society shifted its recommendation from testing all men, to test only at-risk men. Others were instructed to consult their health care provider. Since that time, deaths due to prostate cancer have increase by around 10% to an estimate of 32,050 this year. (2012). Why the big shift? Is the suggestion to wait until there are symptoms the cause? Since the sign of simptoms is usually a sign that the cancer has spread outside the prostate and therefore much harder to treat and have survivors. It's interesting that there was no one on the panel that was trained and practices as a medical oncologist or urologist. Seems like asking the person who washes you care to replace the engine. I also wonder if anyone on the panel has been diagnosed with prostate cancer and what they did.)

Testing Recommendation May Kill You: CPCC Opposes US Task Force Prostate Cancer Testing Recommendation

The California Prostate Cancer Coalition (CPCC) is strongly opposing the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force’s (USPSTF) final recommendation against the use of prostate-specific antigen (PSA) testing for the early detection of prostate cancer. The PSA test, used in conjunction with a digital rectal examination (DRE), is the only method currently available to determine whether a man should proceed further to see whether or not he has prostate cancer.

The Task Force advises against the use of PSA testing in healthy men who “do not have symptoms that are highly suspicious for prostate cancer”. However, having symptoms usually indicates that the cancer is advanced and that the chance for cure is slim. CPCC condemns that recommendation as reckless. The PSA test has helped to dramatically lower the death rate from prostate cancer. “Knowledge is power, and early detection of potentially deadly prostate cancer saves lives and improves the quality of those lives”, said Merel Grey Nissenberg, Esq., President of CPCC and of the National Alliance of State Prostate Cancer Coalitions (NASPCC). “The Task Force recommendation means that physicians will stop offering the PSA test and men will stop requesting it. Next, insurers will stop paying for it.”

The California Prostate Cancer Coalition (CPCC) stands by its previous recommendation that beginning at age 40 (or beginning at age 35 for African-American men or men with a certain or indeterminate family history of prostate cancer) all men should be screened for prostate cancer. The PSA results can be the basis of informed discussions between a patient and his physician. By careful use of the PSA and other tests, an objectively informed man may be able to know his PSA and his risk for clinically significant disease without the downside of automatically undergoing treatment that in some cases may not be necessary. CPCC understands the need for more specific and sensitive biomarkers to determine when a man has potentially deadly prostate cancer, rather than insignificant disease.

The USPSTF placed heavy emphasis on the PLCO (Prostate, Lung, Colorectal and Ovarian) trial, whose prostate arm was flawed. Approximately half of the control arm received PSA testing one or more times as part of their routine care; and 15% of the screening arm patients were never screened, Additionally, African-American patients who have double the incidence of prostate cancer and more than double the death rate from it, only represented 4% of the study. Further, Dr. Gerald Andriole, Principal Investigator of the prostate arm of PLCO, stated last week during the PSA Town Hall at the AUA Meeting in Atlanta that the PLCO results do not reach a conclusion on “screening vs. no screening”.

The USPSTF also ignored data available at CDC, NCI, NIH, the VA, CMS and other agencies. For example, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) found that men with a family history of prostate cancer are 2-3 times more likely to develop the disease ( NCI modeling studies “suggest that between 45%-70% of the mortality decline…can be attributed to that stage-shift induced by screening.” (Presentation at the 7th Annual African-American Prostate Cancer Disparity Summit, September 2011).

According to the California Department of Public Health, after the introduction of the PSA test prostate cancer mortality rates in California declined steadily by 36 percent between 1988 and 2009 among all racial/ethnic groups. This corresponds to similar rates for an increase in PSA screenings over the same period. Clearly, when detected and diagnosed early, prostate cancer has one of the highest overall survival rates of any cancer. That is especially true for the early detection of aggressive disease. The PSA test remains the best tool available today for early detection of potentially lethal disease.

The USPSTF decision-making process was reached without consultation with other federal agencies such as the National Cancer Institute and without consultation with medical specialists, who are actually excluded from membership. Patient advocacy organizations are also excluded. For all the reasons stated above, The California Prostate Cancer Coalition believes the Task Force’s D recommendation is misguided and dangerous.


The California Prostate Cancer Coalition (CPCC) is a coalition of doctors, prostate cancer survivors (and families), nurses, support groups and others concerned about prostate cancer in California.

The National Alliance of State Prostate Cancer Coalitions (NASPCC) is an umbrella organization meant to encompass participation by all states - through their state prostate cancer coalitions, state prostate cancer task forces or state prostate cancer foundations.
Source: E-Mail

FDA Approval of PCA3 Could Reduce Unnecessary Prostate Biopsies

The Prostate Cancer Gene 3 (PCA3) Assay has recently been approved by the FDA and will serve as a compliment for the PSA test. The PCA3 Assay helps address the current PSA test debate, as it predicts which “needle” biopsies are really “needless” biopsies. Research has shown that nearly 50 percent of biopsies could have been avoided using this test. As a result, men can rest easy knowing they will not need to undergo painful and sometimes dangerous unnecessary biopsies.

Click Here to Watch a Video About the PCA3 Test

Teva, OncoGenex Amp up Phase III Fight Against Prostate Cancer

OncoGenex and Teva plan to start a new Phase III trial for the drug custirsen in combination with Sanofi's chemotherapy drug Jevtana with the goal of improving survival of prostate cancer patients. The developers are also boosting enrollment from 800 patients to 1,000 patients in a separate Phase III trial called Synergy, which aims to test custirsen in combination with chemo in patients with castration-resistant prostate cancer.

Prostate Cancer Research at the National Institutes of Health: What it Means to You

ZERO believes that it is important to educate our constituents on the importance of prostate cancer research, and the budget and funding process, including how it all affects you and why you should get involved. Research is driving new technologies for treatment and diagnosis of prostate cancer at an increasingly rapid pace. However, with research budgets flatlining, that pace has already begun to slow down and will continue to do so until federal investment in research can keep up with inflationary costs. Learn more about the important research being done at the National Institutes for Health and help ZERO protect this important funding.

Prostate Cancer Pony Express Rides Into Your Town
The Prostate Cancer Pony Express is a national motorcycle rally organized by the Prostate Cancer Awareness Project. This year's rally will visit many of the 50 states and their capitals to increase awareness of prostate cancer and promote free testing. The Pony Express will conclude at ZERO's Summit to End Prostate Cancer in Washington, DC, in September.

Understanding and Managing Breakthrough Pain in Prostate Cancer

Pain is one of the most common and feared symptoms associated with cancer. While it may not be a major effect of treating local prostate cancer, between 70 and 85 percent of all men with advanced prostate cancer experience pain related to cancer.

Some of these individuals may work with their oncologist to manage any persistent background pain, but many still struggle with a poorly understood and frequently misdiagnosed condition: breakthrough pain in cancer.

A Urine Test to Catch Prostate Cancer?

Catching prostate cancer before it progresses could soon be as easy as a trip to the urinal. Scientists at the University of Parma in Italy have developed a chip that’s able to detect a suspected marker of aggressive prostate cancer, called sarcosine, in urine. Previous research has linked elevated levels of sarcosine—an amino acid produced by the metabolism of creatine in muscles—to more aggressive forms of the disease.

Cancer: Solving an Age-Old Problem

Cancer has been around since before the first humans walked the Earth. Fossilized dinosaur bones show evidence of tumors, and archaeologists have discovered a 2,700-year-old human skeleton with evidence of prostate cancer that had spread through its bones.

But was cancer common in ancient times, or is it largely a product of our modern industrial age? Can the latest biology and high-tech genomics research help us devise treatments that target each cancer's vulnerabilities or, better yet, can they prevent the disease?

A Commonsense Guide to Experimental Cancer Therapies and Clinical Trials

The book Cancer Clinical Trials: A Commonsense Guide to Experimental Cancer Therapies and Clinical Trials is a no-nonsense, readable guide for anyone who is considering therapeutic options in addition to standard cancer therapy.

The book's authors aim to share knowledge about cancer clinical trials with people living with cancer, their families and loved ones. It will help readers decide if a clinical trial is a good option for them, to choose an appropriate trial, and to navigate through the clinical trial process. It includes lists of questions to ask, things to look for, things to watch out for, and places to look for information.

Hormone therapy for prostate cancer risky

A new study links hormone therapy for prostate cancer with a higher risk of death in older men who have had serious heart problems. Hormone therapy suppresses the amount of testosterone produced, in turn causing prostate tumors to shrink or grow more slowly. The treatment, which involves injections in a doctor's office, can help men with more advanced disease when used with surgery or radiation. But the side effects are troubling: impotence, bone loss, hot flashes, memory problems, fatigue and an increased risk for diabetes and heart disease. For the study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, researchers followed more than 5,000 men with prostate cancer that hadn't spread. The men, most of them in their 60s and 70s, were followed an average of five years.
Source: USA Today, 8/26/09

Herbal May Promote Apoptosis In Prostate Cells

Discovering drugs that spark apoptosis?cancer cell self-destruction?is a holy grail of cancer research. Now, researchers at Columbia University may be one step closer to finding it. When they added Zyflamend, a supplement containing 10 herbal extracts including rosemary, turmeric, ginger, holy basil, and green tea, to a culture dish of prostate cancer cells, 78% of the cells committed suicide within 3 days. The herbs may inhibit an inflammatory enzyme. Human studies could start later this year. Meanwhile, the researchers are suggesting Zyflamend to prostate cancer survivors to help prevent recurrence.
Source: Dr. Sara Altshul

Simple Model Predicts Prostate Cancer Type

It could help doctors design patient-tailored treaments. Researchers concluded that physicians could use three clinical variables -- age, digital rectal exam results, and PSA density -- to predict the presence of high-risk prostate cancer.

Soy Products

For those who are at an increased risk of breast or prostate cancer, you may want to skip too much of soy - its phyto-estrogens can act similarly to the body’s own estrogen (which has been shown to feed some hormone-dependent tumors).

Fast Surgery Not Needed for Prostate Cancer

After a positive biopsy result for prostate cancer, surgery does not need to be performed immediately, at least as far as the risk of recurrence is concerned, according to a report in the urology journal BJU International. Researchers followed 4000 men after radical prostatectomy, and found no relationship between how long men waited before surgery and risk of recurrence, even for men at high risk of recurrence.
Related link:

Mega Multivitamins and Prostate Cancer

Men who take too many multivitamins may be increasing their risk of dying from prostate cancer, according to new research from the National Cancer Institute.

Taking a multivitamin more than seven times a week was associated with a 30% increased risk of advanced prostate cancer and a doubling of the risk of death from the disease in the study.

Regular multivitamin use (one to six times a week) did not appear to increase cancer risk, and excessive vitamin use was not associated with an increased risk of early, or localized, prostate cancer.

But there was also no evidence to suggest that taking multivitamins at any dosage helped prevent prostate cancer.

NCI researcher Michael F. Leitzmann, MD, PhD, tells WebMD that more research is needed to confirm the association and understand how vitamin and other dietary supplements affect cancer risk.

“Based on our findings, we would recommend that men adhere to recommendations for dietary supplements and consult with their physician before taking supplements in excessive doses,” he says.

More Questions About Safety

The new research is one of several recent studies suggesting a potential downside to vitamin supplementation in people who are generally well-nourished.

An analysis of 47 studies assessing antioxidant supplementation, published earlier this year, found a slight increase in deaths among people who took beta-carotene, vitamin E, or vitamin A supplements.

Christian Gluud, MD, who co-authored the analysis, tells WebMD that there is little evidence of a benefit for antioxidant supplementation and mounting evidence of potential harm.

“The idea that you can prevent disease by taking an antioxidant supplement is very attractive,” he says. “People want to believe it, and there is a great deal of marketing devoted to making them believe it.”

In the latest study, Leitzmann, co-author Karla Lawson, PhD, and NCI colleagues followed slightly more than 295,000 men enrolled in a diet and health study for five years.

During this time, 8,765 men in the study were diagnosed with localized prostate cancer (cancer that hasn't spread beyond the prostate) and 1,476 with advanced prostate cancer (cancer that has spread beyond the prostate).

No link was seen between multivitamin use and localized prostate cancer.

The increase in advanced and fatal cancers was seen in men who took multivitamins more than seven times a week. The link was strongest among men with a family history of prostate cancer and men who also took selenium, beta-carotene, or zinc supplements.

Because the researchers had information on the use of some individual supplements but not others, they were not able to identify individual vitamins or doses associated with increased risk.

The study appears in the May 16 issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

Good Free Radicals?

In an editorial accompanying the study, Gluud and colleague Goran Bjelakovic, both of Copenhagen University Hospital, offer an intriguing hypothesis on the role of free radicals and antioxidant supplements in the promotion and prevention of disease.

The thinking has been that antioxidant vitamins protect against diseases like cancer and heart disease by reducing the free radicals that are thought to promote these conditions through oxidative stress.

But Gluud and Bjelakovic suggest that free radicals may do some good by targeting and killing harmful cells, such as those that cause cancers to grow.

“Antioxidant supplements [which decrease free radicals] may actually cause some harm,” they write. “Our diets typically contain safe levels of vitamins, but high-level antioxidant supplements could potentially upset an important physiologic balance.”

Though just a theory at this point, Gluud tells WebMD that it is one that deserves further study.

SOURCES: Lawson, K.A. Journal of the National Cancer Institute, May 16, 2007; vol 99: pp 754-764. Michael F. Leitzmann, MD, PhD, researcher, Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics, National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, Md. Christian Gluud, MD, DrMedSci, Copenhagen University Hospital, Denmark. Bjelakovic, G. The Journal of the American Medical Association, Feb 28, 2007; vol 297: pp 842-857.

How Advanced Prostate Cancer Affects the Family

Patients aren't the only ones affected by prostate cancer. The disease also has a significant impact on those closest to them -- most often spouses. More than half of spouses told researchers in a recent survey that they take an active role in their husbands' experience. This includes boosting their husbands' morale, making sure treatments are taken properly, and assisting in treatment decisions.


Preliminary tests show that betulonic acid, made from betulinol, may discourage human prostate cancer cells from dividing, and spur those cells to die. That's the early word based on research in mice. The compound, called betulinol, hasn't been tested on people.

Medical Guesswork and Evidence Based Medicine

Dr. David Eddy, a doctor and mathematician, educates the Health Care industry on what we don't actually know about medical treatment. He investigates the sources of doctors' opinions about what works and what doesn't, often finding there is no basis for commonly held opinions.

Dr. Eddy advocates for something he calls "evidence-based medicine", which involves using mathematical models to analyze treatment outcomes, and educating doctors and patients about what really works.

Researchers Make Vitamin E Offshoot a Potent Cancer Killer

Researchers have learned how a derivative of vitamin E can cause the death of cancer cells. The researchers then used that knowledge to make the agent an even more potent cancer killer.

The compound, called vitamin E succinate, or alpha tocopheryl succinate, is taken by some people as a nutritional supplement, mainly for its antioxidant properties. In addition, it has a weak ability to kill cancer cells, and it has been tested as a cancer chemopreventive agent.

Researchers found the substance was capable of attaching itself to excess Bcl-xL proteins, which exist normally, but are found in excess amounts in cancer tissue. After scientists changed the form of vitamin E to be able to attach to Bcl-xL at a higher rate, the substance killed cancer cells in lab samples at ten times the rate of normal vitamin E.

Prostate Cancer Detected Early With RECAF Blood Test

RECAF cancer test detects initial stages of prostate cancer with 75% sensitivity and 100% specificity when compared to healthy individuals; and 68% sensitivity with 97% specificity when compared to men with benign prostate conditions.

Sensitivity is the ability of a test to detect existing cancers (if all patients who have a cancer test positive = 100% sensitivity.) Specificity represents how well the test avoids false positives (no false positives = 100% specificity.)

The makers of the RECAF test hope to develop easy blood tests doctors can use to find or rule out a wide range of cancers during a routine annual screening.

First Ever Prostate Cancer 'Report Card' for States

Alabama, Arkansas, Idaho, Mississippi and Wisconsin -- failed the first-ever prostate cancer report cards issued by the National Prostate Cancer Coalition. California, Connecticut, Kansas and New York received the best grades. On the report cards, the states are rated based on current prostate cancer screening rates, death rates, and whether they have laws guaranteeing insurance coverage for prostate cancer testing.

Fear Factor Sways Men With Prostate Cancer

We've all acted out of fear at one time or another, and that can be especially true for men making treatment decisions. Sound familiar?

PSMA Predicts Prostate Cancer Recurrence

Levels of PSMA, prostate-specific membrane antigen, appear to have a strong relationship to recurrent prostate cancer after initial treatment. PSMA is like PSA, prostate-specific antigen, only it indicates the presence of the membrane proteins on the surface of prostate cancer cells.

Screening tests based on PSMA may increase the ability to predict which prostate cancers may return after treatment. PSMA has also been investigated as a possible target for delivering antibodies directly to cancer cells.

FDA Limits Tomato-related Health Claims

Producers of tomatoes, tomato sauce and dietary supplements containing lycopene - the substance that makes tomatoes red - will not be allowed to advertise claims that they reduce the risk of manuy forms of cancer. The FDA said it will allow a few heavily qualified health claims to appear on packages of tomatoes and tomato sauce. It has been claimed that the lycopene in tomatoes reduces the risk of several cancers, including prostate, color and breat cancer. FDA said many of the studies submitted as evidence were not conclusive.
Source: USA Today

Money Matters: Beating Prostate Cancer

Some men are more likely to survive prostate cancer than others. Find out why wealth could be a deciding factor.

What is Orchiectomy Surgery

Orchiectomy is removal of the testicles, the male body's main source of testosterone, which prostate cancer usually needs to continue growing. Orchiectomy can be done as an outpatient procedure or with a short hospital stay. Regular activities are usually resumed within 1 to 2 weeks, and a full recovery can be expected within 2 to 4 weeks.

Radiation: Is High Dose Better?

Increasing the dose of radiation therapy may lower the chances of prostate cancer's return.

Bone Loss Prevention Drug Showing Promise In Advanced Prostate Cancer

Oral sodium clodronate may slow the development of symptomatic bone metastases and reduce the risk of death in men with advanced prostate cancer, according to a randomized controlled trial in the September 3 issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.
Source: Journal of the National Cancer Institute,

Prevent Cancer with Watermelon

One slice of watermelon is a sweet pick for your morning fruit serving. Because it contains so much water, watermelon is low in calories. One cup has only 50 calories! It is also packed with disease-fighting vitamins such as A, B65 and C, along with magnesium, folate and potassium - all important heart disease and cancer fighters. Folate also prevents birth defects. Finally, watermelon contains lots of lycopene, an important plant chemical that can lower your risk of certain cancers and help fight heart disease. (Note: The rine might be the best part. Juice it for the many nutrients it contains.)
Source: Jorge Cruise's 8 Minutes in the Morning,

Researchers Find Better Predictor Of Prostate Cancer Risk: Statistical Model Could Mean Fewer Biopsies

Performing a simple set of calculations for men who have abnormal PSA tests could help up to 24% of these men avoid an unnecessary biopsy of the prostate gland.

Daily Red Wine Cuts Prostate Cancer Risk By Half

An apple a day keeps the doctor away and now drinking a glass of wine a day could keep prostate cancer at bay. Find out how just one glass of red wine a day could reduce the risk of prostate cancer by 50 percent.

Rise in PSA Level May Predict Cancer Death

There's a new red flag for men facing prostate cancer surgery: It's called PSA velocity.

Popular Painkiller May Slow Prostate Cancer

A commonly prescribed painkiller may slow prostate cancer growth, new research shows. Learn more.

Disposable Miniature X-Ray Tubes for Brachytherapy

New disposable, miniature x-ray tubes are being developed for use in electronic brachytherapy, a local accelerated form of radiation therapy.

Several forms of brachytherapy are used to treat prostate and breast cancer. They offer safety and patient convenience, enabling patients to be treated in as little as one to five days. Conventional radiation therapy, in contrast, requires daily therapy for five to seven weeks. The new disposable miniature x-ray tubes are designed to offer even greater safety and ease of use by removing exposure to the radioactive isotopes now used.

Because the miniature x-ray tube is portable, does not require radiation-shielding, and may be turned on and off at the flip of a switch, it can provide radiation treatments in a typical operating room during surgery, states the company.

Investigators at Stanford University Medical Center have begun a clinical study that examines several approaches to the use of shorter courses of radiation therapy, including single-fraction, intra-operative radiation therapy. Results to date of intra-operative radiotherapy or five day courses of local radiation therapy in early-stage breast cancer suggest safety and efficacy may be equivalent to longer courses of radiation therapy, said Frederick M. Dirbas, M.D., assistant professor of surgery at Stanford.

High Dose Radiation for Prostate Cancer

High doses of radiation may be recommended for men with clinically localized prostate cancer. In a 10-year study at the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, researchers found men treated with heavy doses of 3-D conformal radiation therapy remained relapse-free with minimal side effects. "Radiation dose has a significant impact on the outcome of patients. ... We continue to observe that even higher doses have further improved cure rates for patients with localized prostate cancer," said radiation oncologist Dr. Steven Leibel. The lack of severe and cumulative side effects, such as rectal or bladder injury, is most significant for men suffering from the disease and faced with ongoing treatment choices. "This dispels the notion that as time goes on the side effects become more noticeable and patients are more at risk for developing long-term damage years out from treatment," said Dr. Michael Zelefsky.

More Fruit, Veggies Key to Cancer Fight: Survey

Cancers of the mouth, throat, esophagus, stomach, colon, rectum pancreas, larynx, lungs and bladder all have "convincing or probable evidence for prevention by vegetable and fruit consumption," Cancer Care Ontario says. Esophagus, colon, rectum, breast, uterus and kidney cancers seem to be positively affected by maintaining a healthy body weight, and physical activity may combat cancer of the colon, rectum, breast, uterus and prostate. Cancers of the mouth, throat, esophagus, stomach, colon, rectum pancreas, larynx, lungs and bladder all have "convincing or probable evidence for prevention by vegetable and fruit consumption," Cancer Care Ontario says. Esophagus, colon, rectum, breast, uterus and kidney cancers seem to be positively affected by maintaining a healthy body weight, and physical activity may combat cancer of the colon, rectum, breast, uterus and prostate.

A Disappointing Distinction

The following are remarks by John R. Seffrin, Ph.D., chief executive officer, American Cancer Society, and president, International Union Against Cancer at the National Press Club

“We must also help more people get regular screenings for breast cancer, cervical cancer, colorectal cancer, and increase the number of men who have access to information about the benefits and risks of prostate cancer screening.”

So, ACS is all for promoting helping people get regular screening for breast, cervical and colorectal (no problem with that) but only increasing ‘access to information’ about screening for prostate cancer? Very disappointing to see such a continued huge distinction?

Developing a Model Diet
Dr. Harvey B. Simon, founding editor of the Harvard Men's Health Watch and a primary care physician at Massachusetts General Hospital, was questioned about a diet for healthy living. Simon's father was diagnosed with prostate cancer at age 52, and his mother and uncles died of heart disease in their early 40s. The diet Simon follows includes: avoidance of animal fat, consumption of fish three or four times a week, plenty of vegetables and whole grains. He has bran cereal for breakfast and hummus on whole wheat bread for lunch. He takes a multivitamin, 81 milligrams of aspirin and 200 micrograms of selenium daily.

From biodefense to prostate cancer offense

Two molecular geneticists at the UC Davis Cancer Center have won $1.1 million in grants to turn biodefense technology into a new prostate cancer offense. The grants were awarded by the U.S. Department of Defense Prostate Cancer Research Program.

More Sexual Partners may Increase Risk of Prostate Cancer

Men should already know that sex with multiple partners, especially unprotected sex, can increase their risk of contracting HIV and various venereal diseases. They also can add that it may raise their odds of getting prostate cancer in middle age, according to a study published in a recent issue of the American Journal of Epidemiology.

Vasectomy Does Not Increase Prostate Cancer Risk

Contrary to some earlier studies, a new study funded in part by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) found that men who undergo vasectomies are no more likely to develop prostate cancer than are men who do not.

Hot flashes aren't just for menopausal women these days

Hot flashes no longer discriminate because of age or gender. New-wave drugs that tweak hormones - estrogen and its male cousin, testosterone - have turned up the heat on an age-old phenomenon. Men and women getting medical treatment for a variety of reasons - breast and prostate cancer prevention and fertility enhancement, for example - now break out in a sweat when they least expect it.

Selenium may slow advanced prostate cancer

Men with higher levels of a nutritional mineral in their blood appear to have a lower risk of advanced prostate cancer, according to a new study. The researchers led by Dr. Haojie Li of Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School, showed that higher levels of the mineral selenium in the blood are associated with a decreased risk of advanced prostate cancer, indicating that selenium could slow prostate cancer tumor progression.

Prostate Cancer Clinical Research Study

Call 1-888-742-7876 to find out more information about a clinical research study to reduce the incidence of prostate cancer in men who are at increased risk.

Calculate Your Odds Against Prostate Cancer

Researchers have created an online calculator that provides prostate cancer patients with personalized 10-year survival predictions. Developed by the Josephine Ford Cancer Center and the Artificial Neural Networks in Prostate Cancer Project, the calculator makes its prognosis based on a patient's age, race, clinical measures and the kind of prostate cancer treatment he's receiving. Survival probability estimates are based on data from over 1600 men with clinically localized prostate cancer.

Valera Seeks FDA Approval for Prostate Cancer Implant

Valera Pharmaceuticals has submitted a New Drug Application (NDA) to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for Vantas(TM), Valera's long-acting implant for treating prostate cancer. Vantas(TM) has been designed for the continuous 12-month administration of Histrelin, a luteinizing hormone releasing hormone (LHRH) for the palliative treatment of metastatic prostate cancer.

Masturbation and Prostate Cancer

To the delight of junior-high booys and overworked male porn stars, a study from the Cancer Council of Melbourne has found that men who ejaculated more than five times a week had a decreased incidence of prostate cancer. The scientists believe frequent sruirts sweep out cancer-casusing carcinogens - like flushing out the lines when switching a keg.
Source: FHM, April 2004

Doctors Praise Robotics' Role In Prostate Procedure

Sitting in front of a screen several feet from the operating table, Dr. David Lee grasped the hand controls of what looked like a video game as he began removing his patient's prostate.

Older Prostate Cancer Patients May Face Age Bias

When it comes to deciding what kind of treatment a man with prostate cancer receives, the person's age trumps life expectancy, according to a new study from the University Health Network.

Prostate Cancer Awareness Events

Over 400 students, faculty and community members rocked against prostate cancer, Saturday Dec. 13, at the first annual “Blue Ribbon Bash” which was held at the Anita Tuvin Schlechter (ATS) auditorium on the Dickinson College campus in Carlisle, PA.

Aspirin a Day Can Do Wonders for the Aged

Everyone over the age of 60 may soon be advised to take a regular dose of aspirin to try to stave off cancer, heart disease and even senile dementia, medical researchers in London contend. At conference on the uses of aspirin in preventing cancer, held recently in London, it was told that there was also strong evidence to suggest that it could help to prevent breast, prostate or bowel cancers.

Secretary of State Colin Powell has Surgery for Prostate Cancer

Secretary of State Colin Powell was undergoing surgery for prostate cancer Monday morning, December 15, 2003, the State Department announced. Powell, 66, was expected to remain at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington for several days after the surgery, State Department spokesman Richard Boucher said in a written statement. "He will be on a reduced schedule while he recovers from the operation, " Boucher said. Prostate cancer has roughly the same caseload as breast cancer, however, research funding levels lag significantly behind. Just on the federal level alone, breast cancer funding achieves about $655 million while prostate cancer ranks at about $400 million. The National Prostate Cancer Coalition (NPCC) announces that new information is on its website and has released a hotline number for people with questions about prostate cancer following the news: 888-245-9455.

Bone Loss Prevention Drug Showing Promise In Advanced Prostate Cancer

Oral sodium clodronate may slow the development of symptomatic bone metastases and reduce the risk of death in men with advanced prostate cancer, according to a randomized controlled trial in the September 3 issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.
Source: Journal of the National Cancer Institute,

Healthy Lifestyle Can Halt Prostate Cancer

Exercise and weight control affects disease progression, study finds.

Prostate Cancer Runs in Families

Having a brother with the disease boosts your risk the most.

American Cancer Society Examines Cancer Trends In Hispanic/Latino Americans

A report from the American Cancer Society finds Hispanic/Latino Americans -the largest and fastest-growing minority in the United States-have a unique cancer risk profile that requires a targeted approach to prevention. The report finds Hispanic/Latino Americans are less likely than non-Hispanic whites to develop and die from the most common cancers, but have higher rates of certain other cancers and are more likely to have cancer detected at a later stage.
Source: American Cancer Society,

Cancer Deaths Leveling Off

There's sobering news from the cancer front: Deaths appear to be leveling off after several years of decline. For several types of cancer, black patients are increasingly less likely to survive than whites.

Brothers of Those with Prostate Cancer Face Highest Risk

Men with brothers who've had prostate cancer may face the greatest hereditary risk for the disease.

That sobering news comes from a study published online Sept. 12 in the International Journal of Cancer.

The study, led by the Fox Chase Cancer Center in Philadelphia, found a much greater risk associated with having a brother with prostate cancer than having an affected father, or any other combination of affected relatives.

The researchers reviewed nearly two dozen studies and found an increased risk of prostate cancer for men with a family history of the disease. The increased risk was 1.8, 2.1 and 2.9 times greater if a man had a grandfather or uncle, father or brother, respectively, who had prostate cancer.

"This study is the first to report a statistically higher risk associated with having a brother with prostate cancer than having an affected father," the study authors write.

The researchers suggest this strong link between brothers may be related to environmental or occupational factors, dietary exposures, or age of onset, which may reveal a stronger genetic risk.
Source: Robert Preidt,

Deciphering Viagra's Heart Benefit

Study finds how impotence drug helps protect the heart.

Men Choose Prostate Over Colon for Cancer Screening

Many avoid colon screenings, although they save more lives.

Bone Loss Prevention Drug Showing Promise In Advanced Prostate Cancer

Oral sodium clodronate may slow the development of symptomatic bone metastases and reduce the risk of death in men with advanced prostate cancer, according to a randomized controlled trial in the September 3 issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.
Source: Journal of the National Cancer Institute,

Doctors Praise Robotics' Role In Prostate Procedure

Sitting in front of a screen several feet from the operating table Wednesday, Dr. David Lee grasped the hand controls of what looked like a video game as he began removing his patient's prostate.

Heavier Men May Have A Lower Risk Of Prostate Cancer

Under certain conditions, heavier men have a lower risk of developing prostate cancer than men who weigh less, according to a new study.
Source: Journal of the National Cancer Institute,

Herbs That Fight Prostate Cancer

A mixture of 10 herbs -- available commercially -- has been shown to fight prostate cancer in the test tube. Read on to get the full list of ingredients and to learn why they're important for men with high PSA levels and/or a family history of the disease.

Drug Prevents Prostate Cancer

Risk drops 25 percent with finasteride, say researchers, but there are side effects of more aggressive tumors, impotence.

A Gene That May Block Prostate Cancer's Spread

Finding could lead to genetic therapies to treat variety of cancers.

Lost Protein Key to Prostate Treatment?

Northwestern researchers have found that a protein made in the body is critical for normal prostate growth regulation and could hold a key to treating prostate cancer. Researchers Jennifer Doll and Veronica Stellmach found that mice that lack the protein pigment epithelium-derived factor (PEDF) develop an enlarged prostate. They then found little to no PEDF in human prostate cancer tissue samples. The researchers then examined the effects of PEDF on cultured prostate cancer cells. They found that PEDF triggered an increased rate of prostate cancer cell death. To read more, go to

Polymorphism May Be Associated With Prostate Cancer Risk

People who carry a polymorphism in the 102V allele of the PON1 gene may be at an increased risk of developing prostate cancer, according to a new study.
Source: Journal of the National Cancer Institute,

The average woman's chance of dying of prostate cancer - 0.001%

You read it right: Women have prostates. And they can even develop prostate cancer, although it's rarer than rare.
Source: Men's Health Magazine, 5/03 Read what the American Cancer Society says about this Men's Health magazine claim.

Lifestyle linked to prostate cancer risk

In a six-year study of 1,117 patients with localised prostate cancer, researchers from the University of Texas looked at prostate specific antigen levels, the aggressiveness of the cancer - measured by a biopsy Gleason score - and the size of the tumour. The researchers discovered that patients with a high risk of progression were significantly more likely to be obese, to exercise less than twice a week and to not undergo annual prostate screening. On the contrary, those with the lowest risk kept their weight down, undertook regular exercise and were screened regularly for signs of the disease. "What we are finding has positive implications for prostate cancer prevention," according to Dr Mfon Cyrus-David of the university's department of epidemiology. "It appears to be important that men maintain a low body mass index, exercise to the point of sweating at least two times a week, and are screened regularly for prostate cancer," he says. The researchers emphasise that their conclusions are preliminary and a follow-up study is needed to validate their findings.
Source: Health Media Ltd

Thalidomide used in cancer battle

Controversial drug thalidomide is proving a success helping scientists in their fight to find a cure for prostate cancer. Around 20 terminally ill men showed signs of improvement on the drug, which caused a national scandal in the 50s and 60s when thousands of children were born with horrendous defects, many missing limbs. Now researchers believe they are well on the way to finding a cure for the disease which is the biggest cancer killer of men and claims 8,000 lives a year. The team is only the second in the world to use the drug for prostate cancer - the first in America was unsuccessful as patients suffered serious side effects because the dose was too high. The Newcastle team now plan to use it on sufferers at an earlier stage of disease to see if it will cure them. Lead researcher Dr Marcus Drake, clinical lecturer in urology at the University of Newcastle, said: "We are very excited about these findings. "Lung cancer used to be the biggest killer of men but with smoking rates going down death rates are going down and prostate cancer has taken over.

Sea Slug could Save Lives in Britain's Fight Against Prostate Cancer

A drug that is derived from a Hawaiian mollusc could save lives from prostate cancer Experts from Cancer Research UK at Edinburgh University are investigating the sea slug's anti-cancer properties in order to understand how it could prove effective as a chemotherapy drug.
Source: The Scotsman,

HRT Patches Helping Men With Prostate Cancer

Hormone replacement patches normally used by menopausal women have proved an effective treatment for men with advanced prostate cancer. HRT led to a regression of disease in 20 patients and improved their quality of life, said researchers who carried out a preliminary study in London. Prostate cancer is fuelled by the male hormone testosterone. When the disease spreads doctors try to hold it back by reducing the impact of the hormone. Hormonal drugs are used to cut production of testosterone or block its effect, and as a last resort the testicles are removed. But these treatments have significant side effects, including hot flushes, impotence, oesteoporosis, anaemia and breast growth. Oestrogen pills can also reduce testosterone levels but are too dangerous to use because of the risk of blood clotting. Doctors at Hammersmith Hospital and Imperial College found that within three weeks HRT patches reduced testosterone levels in the men to a point normally achieved by castration. Blood flow was good and bone density significantly stabilised or increased. Symptoms of the "andropause" - the male equivalent of the female menopause - were prevented, and quality of life generally improved. Prostate cancer generally affects men in their sixties or seventies, but doctors are seeing increasing numbers of middle-aged patients. It is the second most common cancer in men, with 24,700 people diagnosed each year in Britain. Of these, about half will die from the disease.
Source: World Entertainment News Network

Power Over Prostate

Men with localised prostate cancer may be able to stop the disease progressing if they maintain normal weight, exercise strenuously at least twice a week and have routine screenings, according to the preliminary findings of a University of Texas M D Anderson Cancer Centre study which looked at the lifestyle of 1117 men over six years. Lead author Dr Mfon Cyrus-David says: ``What we are finding has positive implications for prostate cancer prevention.'' He stressed the results needed to be validated with a follow-up study.

Fosamax Type Osteoporosis Drugs Noted to Cause Serious Eye Problems

Drugs commonly prescribed to osteoporosis and cancer patients may cause serious inflammation in several regions of the eye in some patients. Researchers hope the finding will make physicians more likely to monitor patients for such eye problems as well as prompt drug companies to add warning labels to their products. Two medications in a class of drugs called bisphosphonates, which are often used to increase bone density in patients with osteoporosis, were found to cause the serious side effects in the eyes of some patients. The drugs are also prescribed to cancer patients, as lung, breast or prostate cancer that has spread to the bones can also decrease bone density. Researchers reviewed thousands of cases in which patients were prescribed bisphosphonates and tracked 314 patients who also reported eye problems. Although the side effects were rare and did not occur in most patients, some types of eye inflammation can lead to vision loss or blindness if left untreated. Of the patients who reported side effects, close to 100 suffered from blurred vision. Other problems included pain and swelling. Researchers noted that the side effects went away when patients stopped taking the medication. New England Journal Medicine March 20,2003;348(12):1187-8
Source: Optimal Wellness Center /

The role of endothelin axis in cancer therapy merits further investigation

According to recent research from the United States, "Collectively, the endothelins and their receptors-referred to as the endothelin (ET) axis-have key physiological functions in normal tissue, acting as modulators of vasomotor tone, tissue differentiation, development, cell proliferation and hormone production. "Based on new data, the ET axis also functions in the growth and progression of various tumors," wrote J. Nelson and colleagues, University of Pittsburgh, School of Medicine. The researchers concluded: "Preliminary results from clinical trials, such as those with atrasentan, an ETA-receptor antagonist in prostate cancer, are encouraging. The place of ETA-receptor antagonists in cancer therapy for a range of malignancies merits further investigation." Nelson and colleagues published their study in Nature Reviews. Cancer (The endothelin axis: Emerging role in cancer. Nature Rev Cancer, 2003;3(2):110-116).

A man thing

I am writing to ask your readers to join me and support Man Alive 2003 – Cancer Research UKs mens cancer awareness initiative, which will be running from May 12 until June 15, 2003.

The aim of this campaign is to raise £300,000 for research into cancers that affect men, as well as raising awareness among men about cancer and encouraging them to take care of their health.

One in three men in the UK will be diagnosed with cancer at some point in their lives – almost 130,000 every year, with prostate cancer the most common type. Cancer Research UK supports a broad programme of research into these cancers: their causes and development, prevention, early detection, treatment and quality of life of patients, funded almost entirely by public support and donations. Call 08701 602040 or register online at now to receive a fundraising pack and have fun raising money and saving lives. Sir Ian Holm, "Lord of the Rings" star.
Source: Newsquest (Wiltshire) Ltd

Sequence Matters When Using Novel Agent

An experimental agent that targets a cancer cell's protein shredding machinery (the proteasome) should be given either before or with taxane-based chemotherapy drugs, but not after, say researchers at The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center who conducted laboratory tests using prostate cancer cells. The finding is important because the new therapy, known as PS-341 (Velcade), will likely be tried as new treatment for a number of cancers due to its effectiveness in multiple myeloma, says Christos Papandreou, M.D., Ph.D., assistant professor in the department of Genitourinary Medical Oncology. "It appears PS-341 could become quite a hit as a novel proteasome inhibitor, a drug that increases the effectiveness of chemotherapy agents," Papandreou says. "We know that while the sequence it is used in doesn't matter with certain classes of chemotherapy drugs, it does with others. Hopefully, future clinical trials will reflect this new understanding." The findings were published in the Proceedings for the 2003 Annual Meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research
Source: NEWSWISE/Medical News

NASA's Solution for Urine Control Could Help Fighter Pilots Avoid Urinal Bags; New Product Helps Men Stay Dry Despite Circumstance or Incontinence

Flying faster than the speed of sound in a $23 million F-16, our fighter pilots have to saturate in a diaper (for women) or take aim at a urinal-type bag (for men). NASA astronauts have come up with a better way. Using a product produced by Tampa Bay-based BioDerm Inc., the astronauts can stay clean and dry and can go about their tasks. The External Continence Device (ECD) for men fits only to the tip of the penis with a special hydrocolloid material. Hydrocolloid is a skin-friendly material that bonds like a second skin and is typically used in treating wounds. The ECD seals gently yet very securely and adheres for approximately 24 hours. Urine immediately flows into a tube and then a leg bag. Skin stays dry. See "Our customers are NASA astronauts and men with spinal cord injury, multiple sclerosis, muscular dystrophy, recent surgery or other medical conditions who want to stay active," said Dr. Dennis Kay, CEO of BioDerm. "They are traveling salesmen, judges, engineers, executives and hunters. The product gives them freedom. And we can help fighter pilots, too."
Source: PR Newswire. For information, visit the or call 800.373.7006

New Results in Breast and Prostate Cancer Models Show Potential of ARIUS Antibodies-Tumor Suppression and Increased Survival Following Treatment ARIUS Research Inc.

ARIUS Research Inc. announced today that the proceedings of the 94th annual meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) will publish successful pre-clinical study results for three of their novel anti-cancer antibodies. AR7BD-33-11A and AR1A245.6 have met a number of significant endpoints including preventing development of breast and prostate cancers in tumor prevention models and halting tumor growth in a different, established tumor model. These antibodies also significantly improved survival in animal models of human cancer. A third antibody, AR7BDI-58, suppressed development of another kind of breast cancer.
Source: Canada NewsWire

Inhibitors of Novel Cancer Target Attack Tumor on Two Fronts-AACR Proceedings Highlight Research of LPAAT-beta Inhibition By Cell Therapeutics, Inc. in Human Cell Models

In a plenary minisymposium on intracellular signaling published in the April 2003 issue of the Proceedings of the Annual Meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research, Cell Therapeutics, Inc. presented data on a novel cancer target, LPAAT-beta. The data suggest that the inhibition of LPAAT-beta may impede the growth of tumors on two fronts, by restricting the growth of supporting tissues such as blood vessels and by removing a cofactor essential to tumor cell growth and proliferation. Existing therapies typically use a single mechanism to fight cancer, whereas, LPAAT-beta inhibitors appear to have a dual function. In the published proceedings, CTI highlighted research on signaling pathways which showed that inhibition of LPAAT-beta by genetic knockdown with RNAi or with specific inhibitors of the enzyme leads to tumor cell death through apoptosis. CTI's research also suggests the enzyme plays an important role in cell types that are critical in the formation of the support tissues (stroma) and the abnormal blood vessels which support tumor growth and provide tumor blood supply. "The discovery of a gene product that has critical functions in the regulation of the Raf and other cancer-related pathways as well as in the tissues supporting the tumor is intriguing and suggests LPAAT-beta inhibition may be particularly effective in treating cancer where therapies that use only a single mechanism for fighting cancer have failed," said Jack W. Singer, M.D. and Research Program Chair of CTI.
Source: PR Newswire

HRT Patches for Men: They help in prostate cancer fight

Hormone patches normally worn by women to relieve menopausal symptoms are helping men fight prostate cancer. They cut the supply of the male hormone testosterone, which can encourage the growth of cancer cells, according to experts.
Source: Daily Mail.

External Beam Radiotherapy can Relieve Metastatic Bone Pain

"We have performed a clinical study to evaluate the relationship of response to EBRT in terms of pain relief and improvement in quality of life (QoL). We were also interested in the incidence of acute toxicity with EBRT. We have prospectively evaluated 75 patients (median age 68 years, range 64-79 years) with bone metastases from prostate cancer treated with EBRT, radiographically documented from June 1999 to September 2000," wrote G. Di Lorenzo and colleagues, University of Naples.
Source: Cancer Weekly,

Prostate Cancer Patients with Highest Risk of Progression

Based on a large study of prostate cancer patients, researchers are finding that maintaining a normal body mass index, frequent physical activity and screening before diagnosis appear to be important in stopping prostate cancer from progressing.
Source: Newswise/ Medical News,

A New Photosensitizer Advances the Use of Photodynamic Therapy for Cancer

A new photosensitizer known as Pd-bacteriopheophorbide (TOOKAD) improves the efficacy of photodynamic therapy against small cell carcinoma of the prostate. "Small cell carcinoma of the prostate (SCCP), although relatively rare, is the most aggressive variant of prostate cancer, currently with no successful treatment," explained Natalia V. Koudinova and colleagues of the Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot, Israel.
Source: Angiogenesis Weekly,

Arthritis Drug Suppresses Cancer Deveopment by Stopping Action of Key Protein

Before this study, scientists had linked use of celecoxib capsules (commonly known as Celebrex) to prevention of cancer, but the way in which the medication acted in cancer cells was unknown. Now, investigators have found that celecoxib capsules stop a key transcription factor known as Sp1 from turning on multiple genes in cancer cells known to be associated with cancer growth. One of those genes triggers production of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), the predominant angiogenic factor that leads blood vessels to grow to feed tumors.
Source: Datamonitor Healthcare Newswire,

Emory University to Lead $10 million Project

The Winship Cancer Institute (WCI) of Emory University has been awarded a $10 million grant from the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) Prostate Cancer Research Program. The grant will fund development of a new prostate cancer research consortium consisting of 13 universities from eight states over 3 years. Led by Jonathan Simons, MD, director of the Winship Cancer Institute (WCI) and Leland Chung, PhD, director of Emory's Molecular Urology and Therapeutics Program and a Georgia Cancer Coalition Distinguished Scholar, the consortium will work to identify entirely new therapeutic targets and concepts for effective treatment of advanced prostate cancer.
Source: Cancer Weekly,

Pharmagenesis enters Agreement for Anticancer Drug based on Chinese Herbs

Pharmagenesis, Inc., has signed an agreement with Pierre Fabre Medicament (PFM), a European company that has pioneered the use of natural extracts for pharmaceutical and dermatological products, to license PG490-88Na, a patented derivative of a compound from a plant widely used in Chinese medicine. Preclinical studies have shown that using PG490-88Na can significantly inhibit growth of a broad range of human tumor cells.
Source: Pharma Business Week,

Researchers Detect the PSA-RP2 Variant in Prostate Tissue

"PSA (prostate-specific antigen), the most useful serum marker for prostate cancer, is encoded by the hKLK3 gene and is present in the serum as a mixture of several molecular species," researchers in France report.
Source: Cancer Weekly,

The Antioxidant Serum Micronutrient Gamma-Tocopherol Apperas to Lower Risk

Large cohorts of normal men were tested for serum micronutrients and followed for prostate cancer development; gamma-tocopherol concentrations in serum appeared protective.
Source: Cancer Weekly,

Insulin-Like Growth Factor-II is a Target for Cancer Gene Therapy

According to a study from the United States, "towards understanding the insulin-like growth factor (IGF) system during cancer growth and progression, progressive prostate cancer models, such as SV40 large T antigen immortalized human prostate epithelial cells (P69, M2182, M2205, and M12) and LNCaP sublines (C4, C4-2, and C4-2B4), were used." "IGF-II mRNA levels progressively increase as prostate cancer cells become more tumorigenic and metastatic, suggesting that IGF-II contributes in part to prostate cancer progression," said N. Guo and coauthors, City of Hope National Medical Center, Beckman Research Institute.
Source: Cancer Weekly,

Selective Inhibition of the ETS2 Gene shows the Potential for Stopping Cancer

"The transcription factor Ets2 has a role in cancer development and represents an attractive therapeutic target. In this study, we designed a triplex-forming oligonucleotide (TFO) directed to a homopurine:homopyrimidine sequence in the Ets2 promoter. Transcription factors of the Sp family bound to this sequence and mutation of the Sp1 site reduced Ets2 promoter activity," according to recent research from the United States.
Source: Cancer Weekly,

Androgen Suppression Can be Discontinued in Some Prostate Cancer Patients

Withdrawing from hormonal therapy appears safe for elderly patients with advanced prostate cancer who are asymptomatic and have achieved an undetectable PSA level after prolonged androgen blockade, according to a report from the Washington Hospital Center in Washington, DC.
Source: Reuters Health

Hybrid Cancer Therapy

A group of scientists at the Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) has designed a "hybrid" anticancer compound by combining the potency of a traditional anticancer drug that targets cancer tumors with a long-lasting antibody.
Source: ScienceDaily

For Cancer Cures, the Future Starts Now

Key advances in drugs, vaccines, radiology treatment and genetics may eventually cure cancer. In the meantime, improved treatments are helping make many cancers manageable diseases instead of death sentences.
Source: Miami Herald

A New Way to Target Cancer Cells

Researchers from the University of Utah and the National Cancer Institute developed an experimental drug that reacts with a substance inside cancer cells, releasing nitric oxide to kill the cells or slow their growth without harming healthy cells.
Source: Newswise

Study Offers New Insights Into Angiogenesis Inhibitors

In working to halt the overgrowth of blood vessels that feed cancerous tumors, the antiangiogenic molecules endostatin and tumstatin take two distinct and very different tactics, according to a study from the Center for Matrix Biology at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC). The findings suggest these two agents combined may prove more effective in battling cancer than either one used separately.
Source: Newswise

Can Genetic Research Yield Cancer Cure?

Scientists can now isolate the genetic markers of cancer to find the ones that trigger the tumor. By testing drugs against those trigger genes to see how they react, scientists may create individualized cancer treatments and find the shared genetic characteristics between such diseases as lung, colon and breast cancer. This type of research has already led to the development of the highly effective leukemia drug Gleevec, which targets cancer cells, while leaving healthy tissue intact and causing few side effects.
Source:  HealthScoutNews Reporter

The Prostate Workout

"Use it or lose it" is good advice when it comes to keeping your mental skills sharp and your body in shape, but can you buff up your prostate with frequent, regular ejaculations?

The Truth About the Tests You'd Rather Skip

PSAs and colonoscopies -- no guy looks forward to these screenings. A new study says which of these two tests is more effective -- and it's not the one you're most likely to get.

Idea for Prostate Treatment Based on Breast Cancer Discovery

This study is based on earlier findings that tumor cells exposed to very low levels of oxygen become resistant to the killing effects of anticancer drugs. Reduced oxygen levels contribute to the drug resistance by blocking the production of nitric oxide (NO) in the tumor cells.

Fighting Cancer with a Vaccine?

In a new approach to fighting cancer, researchers are working to develop vaccines to stimulate the immune system to destroy malignant cells, without the severe side effects that often accompany radiation and chemotherapy. Clinical trials are under way to test dozens of vaccines for melanoma, lymphoma, leukemia and cancers of the colon, breast, prostate, kidney and pancreas. No cancer vaccines are in general use yet, but several are in the final stages of testing before they go before the federal Food and Drug Administration for approval. One vaccine already has been approved in Canada.

Causes of Prostate Cancer Still "Poorly Understood"

Professor Henrik Gronberg, from Sweden's Umea University, raised his concerns in a review of the epidemiology of prostate cancer, published in The Lancet. Describing the difficulties in understanding the disease, Prof Gronberg said many epidemiological studies relating to diet were "mostly conflicting and negative". However, he said there was some consensus over the relationship between diet and prostate cancer, with an association made between high intakes of alpha-linolenic acid - a polyunsaturated fatty acid found in vegetables and diary products - and calcium.

A Very Male Dilemma

When it comes to prostate cancer, the cure can be worse than the disease. It's left doctors divided and the public confused, writes Julie Robotham. ON THE face of it, there is nothing to argue about. From medicine's conservatives right through to its most gung-ho experimentalists, everyone says the same thing: a prostate cancer screening-test should be available to any man who wants it, but that nobody should be urged to take it because its possible benefits are not sufficiently clear, especially when weighed against the side effects of treatment. So what caused the extraordinary feud that reignited this week over the question of just how much information a man needs before he can soundly make that decision?

Freedom WITH Incontenence - External Incontinence Device Available

According to studies at the University of Washington and New York University Medical Center, urinary incontinence is a long-term problem for more than ten percent of patients who have a radical prostatectomy.1, 2 That percentage is probably low because many men struggle on their own without consulting their doctors. How much do doctors really understand about the day-to-day challenges and stress of living with incontinence? And it is not much comfort knowing that more than seven percent of all adults are incontinent. For the full story:

Androgen Independent Prostate Cancer (AIPC)

A study designed to evaluate the effectiveness of an innovative new treatment (an endothelin receptor antagonist) in reducing bone pain experienced by men with AIPC, who are currently taking narcotic pain medication, yet despite this, are still experiencing pain.

Men who are interested and eligible (upon medical assessment) to take part in the treatment study will also be asked to keep a pain and medication diary, and complete questionnaires to contribute towards a better understanding, and hopefully improved treatments, for others suffering from the pain resulting from AIPC. Call 866 837 9335.

Yearly Prostate Cancer Testing Not Necessary For Millions Of Men With Low Readings

A common blood-scanning test for prostate cancer, an annual medical ritual for millions of older men, can safely be done less frequently for the majority who have low readings, a major study concludes.

Editor's Warning Label: I have a test every year. At 60 everything was fine. At 61, my PSA was elevated and I had a biopsy. No trace of cancer. At 62 it was elevated again. I had another biopsy, it was in four nodes and I had a Gleason of 3+3. Most states require a doctor to sign the order to draw blood. In Oregon, it costs $12 to draw it at the hospital, and $38.00 to send it out to an outside lab and get results. A Free PSA is another $30, which, if your PSA is over 4.0 gives you another indicator of possible cancer. An AMAS blood test indicates whether or not it has metastasized and cost the drawing fee, an overnight shipping charge in dry ice (mine was $42 from Oregon to Boston), and $135 for the actual blood test. I'd say that's pretty cheap. If your under 70 and the medical community tells you that what they can do for you really won't improve your life or extend it much, and that chances are you'll die of something else first, get a second opinion. Alternative Medicine's have positive results. Surgery and radiation extend most men's lives 10 or more years. And, while men in the higher risk categories are, in fact, at higher risk, I understand that less than 10% of the men who die from prostate cancer, not a painless death, are not in the high risk category. I would recommend the following: If you're over 40, get a PSA test. If the reading is between zero and 1, get another test in five years.. If it's between 1-2, get another one in two years, if it's over 2.5, get a test every year. If it's over 4, have some other tests done, like the PSA Free, before a possible biopsy. And start gathering all the knowledge you can on your possible options. Source:

Greater Height Associated With Increased Risk Of Prostate Cancer Over Age 50

Greater height appeared to be positively associated with subsequent risk of prostate cancer in men over age 50, according to a study presented at the national meeting of the American College of Preventive Medicine Meeting in San Diego.
Source: American College of Preventive Medicine,

A Prospective Study Of Body Size Parameters And Risk Of Prostate Cancer

Using data from the Physicians Health Study of 22,071 men in the U.S., investigators looked at self-reports from 1,634 prostate cancer patients. They were trying to determine the relationship between body size parameters (height, weight, body mass index), plus age, to the risk of prostate cancer.
Source: American College of Preventive Medicine,

Japanese Emperor Admitted To Hospital

Emperor Akihito was admitted to a Tokyo hospital Thursday for an operation for prostate cancer this weekend, the Imperial Household Agency said.

Providers Need Increased Awareness Of Patients' "Self-Treating" With Supplements

A survey of more than 45,000 men and women suggests vitamin and mineral supplements are especially popular among certain groups of Americans, some of whom may be using them to self-treat health conditions.
Source: Center for the Advancement of Health,

Editor: We have a concern that the Center has more interest in controlling individuals self-care and may only want the information to bring those supplements under FDA approval, which means they will be taken off the market. It will effectively force us to go out of the control for reasonable health care concerning the prostate or forced to use the only treatment allowed by law - at least in California - surgery, radiation or hormone therapy.

Herbs That Fight Prostate Cancer

A mixture of 10 herbs -- available commercially -- has been shown to fight prostate cancer in the test tube. Read on to get the full list of ingredients and to learn why they're important for men with high PSA levels and/or a family history of the disease.

Emperor Akihito Diagnosed With Prostate Cancer

Emperor Akihito has been diagnosed with prostate cancer, and will undergo surgery next month, Japan's Imperial Household Agency announced

New Program Matches Newly Diagnosed with Survivors

The American Cancer Society has launched a new program, "One to One" in Collier County, FL. The program matches men newly diagnosed with prostate cancer with other prostate cancer survivors who can provide guidance.

Disability Benefit comes at Expense of Pension for Veterans

When a veteran is granted disability compensation, his pension is reduced by the same amount. Veterans groups are working to change this government policy.

Combining Therapies when Hormone Therapy Doesn't Work

Combination therapy in treating patients with advanced prostate cancer that has not responded to hormone therapy.

Hormone Therapy Following Radical Prostatectomy

Hormone therapy with or without mitoxantrone and prednisone in treating patients who have undergone radical prostatectomy for prostate cancer.

Combining Chemotherapy Followed by Surgery

Combination chemotherapy followed by surgery in treating patients with localized prostate cancer.

For Patients with Poor Prognosis Locally Advanced PC

Phase II study of neoadjuvant paclitaxel, estramustine, carboplatin, and androgen ablation followed by radiotherapy in patients with poor-prognosis locally advanced prostate cancer.

Incontinence Websites Provide Guidance

Incontinence, a possible side effect of prostate cancer treatment, can be controlled and helped. The Virginia Urology Center provides information on the different types of incontinence and how to alleviate them., which is run by a manufacturer of generic incontinence products, explains the different products available, including pads, shields, and fitted briefs.

Prostate Specific Antigen Bounce Phenomenon

Prostate specific antigen bounce phenomenon after external beam radiation for clinically localized prostate cancer.

Neoadjuvant therapy

Neoadjuvant therapy before radical prostatectomy for clinical T3/T4 carcinoma of the prostate: 5-year followup, Phase II Southwest Oncology Group study 9109.

Prevention of Cancer in the Older Person

Both primary and secondary cancer prevention may improve cancer control among older persons. Although chemoprevention of cancer is feasible, the agents currently used for chemoprevention have several complications. As a result, the use of these substances should be individualized based on risk-benefit ratio. It is reasonable to implement screening for cancer of the breast and of the large bowel in persons with a life expectancy of 5 years and longer. No definite recommendation may be issued at present related to screening for prostate, lung, and cervical cancer. Ongoing clinical trials may answer some of these questions.


Prostate targeting: PSP94 gene promoter/enhancer region directed prostate tissue-specific expression in a transgenic mouse prostate cancer model.

Flaxseed helps mice with prostate cancer

A diet rich in flaxseed seems to block the growth and development of prostate cancer in mice, claims a Duke University study printed in the November issue of the journal Urology. HealthScoutNews, November 12.

Breast Gene Fault Increases Prostate Cancer Risk

A genetic fault that makes women more susceptible to breast and ovarian cancer also raises a man's risk of developing prostate cancer, a British scientist said Wednesday. Dr. Ros Eeles, a medical geneticist at The Institute of Cancer Research in southern, England, told a medical conference that men with an inherited defect in the BRCA 2 gene have a five-to-seven fold increased risk of prostate cancer than those without the fault. She announced plans to launch a European-wide study of 500 men who have four or more close relatives who have developed breast cancer before the age of 60. They may have inherited the mutation and would be more likely to develop prostate cancer. "We are trying to see if you can identify a high-risk group (of men) that you can target for screening," Eeles told the first annual meeting of the medical charity Cancer Research UK. Forty percent of early onset, aggressive prostate cancers are linked to inherited factors. Some are due to alterations in the BRCA 2 gene, according to Eeles. The trial, which is due to begin in December or January, will be the among the first to use genetic screening to target men in this way. "The crucial thing about screening for prostate cancer is to identify those men with a high risk of an aggressive form of the disease," Eeles added.
Sources: and

Three Prostate Cancer Monotherapies Provide Equivalent Relapse-Free Survival

Three monotherapies for treating T1/T2 adenocarcinoma of the prostate provide similar rates of five-year biochemical relapse-free survival, suggesting that side effects, not efficacy, should be the main consideration in selecting a therapy. Dr. Louis Potters, chief of radiation oncology at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center's Mercy Hospital, New York, United States, and colleagues presented their findings Sunday at the American Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology (ASTRO) 44th Annual Meeting, in New Orleans, Louisiana. The researchers reviewed the biochemical relapse-free survival in 1,866 consecutive patients receiving permanent seed implantation (PI), external beam radiotherapy (EBRT) to a minimum 70 Gy, or radical prostatectomy (RP). All patients had clinically localized stage T1/T2 prostate cancer treated between 1992 and 1998. Three and forty eight of the patients were treated with EBRT, 783 were treated with RP, and 735 were treated PI. Over 90 percent of the patients in each treatment group were stage T1-T2a, and the rest were T2b. About three-fourths of the patients in each treatment group had an initial prostate-specific antigen (PSA) level of 10 ng/ml or less and a Gleason score of six or less. Median follow-up time was 54 months for all cases. Biochemical relapse was defined as any detectable PSA value greater than 0.2 ng/ml for patients receiving RP, or three consecutive PSA value rises for those receiving EBRT or PI. The 5-year biochemical relapse-free survival rates for cases treated with PI, EBRT, and RP were 82 percent, 77 percent, and 83 percent, respectively (p=0.082); the 7-year biochemical relapse-free survival rates were 74 percent, 77 percent and 79 percent, respectively. Multivariate analysis identified initial PSA (p<0.001), Gleason score (p<0.001), and clinical T stage (p=0.035) as independent predictors of biochemical relapse-free survival. In contrast, treatment modality, age, and race were not predictors. "We are encouraged that our results confirmed that of these others mined only monotherapy so that the results are unencumbered by adjuvant therapies such as hormones or the addition of radiation," he added. Dr. Potters continued to say that the treatment decision for a man with prostate cancer may be better based on side effects rather than that of biochemical outcome. "Further, the results imply excellent biochemical control regardless of which therapy is chosen," he added.

Man's Migraine Linked to Soy Consumption

A man who increased his soy intake hoping to relieve discomfort from his ailing prostate developed migraine headaches, according to a new report. As people age they become less likely to have migraines, and new-onset migraine in older people is particularly rare, according to Dr. Peter Engel of Albany Medical College in New York. He reports the case of a 57-year-old man who mysteriously developed migraine with aura in the October issue of Neurology.

Korean Red Ginseng May Treat Impotence

Korean red ginseng, a herb considered an aphrodisiac in some Asian countries, seems to be an effective treatment for erectile dysfunction, according to the results of a small study from Korea.

Cancer Test Shows 100% Sensitivity and Specificity

The results of multisite clinical trials have shown that a new blood test for cancer detection, based on molecular fingerprinting, correctly identified 177 patients known to have lung, breast, gastrointestinal, or prostate cancer; and also correctly ruled out cancer in each of the 72 control patients. The data were presented at Karolinska Institute (Solna, Sweden) by Dr. Toomas Neuman, chief scientific officer of CeMines, Inc. (Evergreen, CO, USA), which developed the test. Based on the data, Karolinska has initiated a 4,500 patient study of the cancer-detection technology. CeMines noninvasive molecular fingerprinting technology is extremely promising, and the idea behind this approach is brilliant, said Dr. Madis Metsis, principal investigator of the study now under way at Karolinska. The next step will be systematic and well-defined analyses of tumors in order to reach the ultimate goal of molecular fingerprinting--deciphering the molecular structure of individual tumors that will help us design specific diagnostic methods and drugs to treat cancer.

Reduced risk of prostate cancer among patients with diabetes mellitus

Although diabetes mellitus is associated with an increased risk of several malignancies, a negative association with prostate cancer is biologically most plausible. The epidemiologic evidence is, however, inconsistent, limited and based mostly on small studies. We present results from a large, population-based cohort study in Sweden, where we assessed prostate cancer risk among patients hospitalized for diabetes mellitus. We found no consistent trends in risk related to age at first hospitalization or to duration of follow-up. We did find a small, but significantly decreased risk of prostate cancer among men who had been hospitalized for diabetes mellitus.
Source: Int J Cancer 2002 Nov 20;102(3):258-61, Weiderpass E, Ye W, Vainio H, Kaaks R, Adami HO. Abstract:

Medarex Initiates Phase II Clinical Trials of MDX-010 for Metastatic Melanoma and Prostate Cancer

Medarex, Inc. (Nasdaq: MEDX) today announced the initiation of two Phase II clinical trials of MDX-010, one in patients with metastatic melanoma and one in patients with hormone refractory prostate cancer. The two randomized, multi-dose Phase II studies are designed to assess the potential anti-tumor activity of MDX-010. The metastatic melanoma Phase II trial will study MDX-010 both as a single agent and in combination with DTIC (dacarbazine). The trial is expected to initially accrue a total of 46 chemotherapy naive patients with metastatic disease. MDX-010 will be given in a regimen of four monthly intravenous infusions of 3.0 mg/kg alone or in combination with DTIC. Patients will be followed until tumor progression and will be evaluated based on objective tumor responses. Information For further information regarding MDX-010 and clinical trial information, please send an e-mail to

Clinical results on high intensity focused ultrasound presented at congresses

EDAP TMS S.A., a global leader in the development, marketing, and distribution of a portfolio of minimally invasive medical devices for the treatment of urological diseases, announced that its High Intensity Focused Ultrasound (HIFU) subsidiary, EDAP S.A., participated in three international congresses. The third congress, the World Congress on Endourology (WCE), was held in Genoa, Italy. HIFU technology, applied to the treatment of localized prostate cancer, is being included in the official program. Lectures were given by two Ablatherm users during plenary and main sessions, in addition to the five posters the company had accepted.

AVI's Combination Antisense Strategy Inhibits Tumor Growth In Human Prostate Cancer Models

AVI BioPharma, Inc. announced a novel combination strategy in treating advanced stage hormone-refractory prostate cancer using AVI's NEUGENE(R) antisense. The strategy, tested in preclinical research, is explained in the November issue of The Prostate, 53(3): 200-10. AVI scientists used NEUGENE antisense to target both the c-myc gene and human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG), a hormonal growth factor, both of which have been implicated in the growth of prostate cancer. NEUGENE antisense inhibition of hCG and c-myc in combination caused a significant reduction of growth of human prostate cancer cells in cultures. In addition, this combination antisense therapy also inhibited growth of tumors transplanted to susceptible mice.

Post-Treatment Impotence Widespread

Few aspects of prostate cancer treatment arouse as much confusion -- or controversy -- as the rates of sexual dysfunction after various therapies. The results of a large federally funded study published this month in the journal Cancer are certain to fuel the debate about the sexual side effects of surgery and radiation. The study of more than 1,200 men treated at the Cleveland Clinic between 1992 and 1999 paints a bleak portrait, concluding that "the great majority of men . . . do not achieve a return to functional sexual activity."

Online Insight for Men Who've Had a Prostatectomy

There's a new online calculator that helps forecast the future health of men who have had radical prostatectomy to treat localized prostate cancer. The calculator predicts the likelihood of a man's level of prostate-specific antigen (PSA) remaining low seven years after removal of the prostate gland. About 30 percent to 40 percent of men who have a prostatectomy experience an increase in their PSA level. That may indicate a recurrence of prostate cancer within five to 10 years after the surgery.

Vitamin D for Prostate Cancer

Though studies are not conclusive, researchers say vitamin D deficiency may play a role as a potential risk factor for prostate cancer. In fact, massive doses of the vitamin may help treat the disease. In a study out of Oregon Health & Science University, 25 percent of patients showed dramatic drops in their PSA levels. Most had their levels drop by 50 percent. Oncologist Tomasz Beer, M.D., tells Ivanhoe, "Taxotere alone works in about 40 percent of patients, we saw over 80 percent of patients respond to the combination, so we're very encouraged by those earlier results." In the next phase of the study, researchers are recruiting more than 200 patients at about 20 medical centers in the United States.

Cancer Therapy Causes Devastating Oral Complications

More than one million Americans will be diagnosed with cancer in the upcoming year, and approximately 40 percent, or 500,000, will develop serious oral complications as the result of their treatment. Although cancer therapies such as radiation, chemotherapy and bone marrow transplantation have become more powerful and therapeutically successful over the past 10 years, the cancer-fighting treatments affect healthy tissues as well. The mouth is a frequent site of acute and chronic side effects which can diminish quality of life for cancer patients and negatively affect treatment.

Herbal Extract May Compromise Prostate Cancer Chemotherapy Drug

PC-SPES, a dietary supplement taken by some men as a treatment for prostate cancer, may compromise the effectiveness of chemotherapeutic agents, such as paclitaxel, by interfering with microtubule polymerization, according to a study in the November 6 issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.
Source: Journal of the National Cancer Institute,

Biphosphonate Reduces Bone Complications From Spread Of Prostate Cancer

In patients with advanced prostate cancer, the disease often spreads to the bone, causing pain, fractures, and spinal cord compression.
Source: Journal of the National Cancer Institute,

Researchers Find Gene That May Signal Deadly Form Of Prostate Cancer

In a discovery that could someday help guide treatment of men suffering from early stages of prostate cancer, researchers studying DNA in tumors say they have found a gene that predicts whether the cancer will develop into its most lethal form.

Heart Disease Gene Linked to Prostate Cancer

Researchers at Johns Hopkins, Wake Forest, and The National Human Genome Research Institute have implicated mutations in a "heart disease gene" in hereditary prostate cancer. The findings, which offer new evidence that at least some cases of prostate cancer may begin with an infection and inflammatory response, were published online September 16, 2002, in Nature Genetics.
Sources: , ,

Wake Forest-John Hopkins Team Discovers Prostate Cancer Gene

Scientists have discovered a gene that "may play an important role in prostate cancer susceptibility in both African-American men and men of European descent."

Novel Gene Product Facilitates Suicide Gene Tracking in Male Cancers

Medical researchers at the University of California School of Medicine in Los Angeles have discovered a novel gene product that enables doctors to track prostate cancer suicide gene therapy with a noninvasive imaging technique.

Casodex Reduces Disease, Tumor Progressions

The first major publication of the overall results from the world's largest prostate cancer treatment program shows that addition of Casodex (bicalutamide) to standard care cuts the risk of tumor progression by almost a half.

Dietary Change May Prevent Disease Progression

A fat-laden diet and high calcium consumption are both well-known suspected risk factors for prostate cancer. However, new findings from the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center suggest that fat and calcium themselves may not cause prostate cancer, as previously thought, but instead may fuel its progression from localized to advanced disease.

Tackle Prostate Cancer

The Prostate Cancer Education Council (PCEC) and the National Football League are joining forces for a second year to "Tackle Prostate Cancer."

Prostate Cancer Awareness Week will be held September 15-21, 2002 at hundreds of sites across the country. That week free and low-cost prostate cancer screenings will be held at hospitals, clinics, health care centers, and private physicians' offices. The NFL will be publicizing the Week through a variety of media efforts For more information, visit

Louise Hay on the Prostate and Prostate Cancer

Louise Hay, in her book Heal Your Body, says that the prostate "Represents the masculine principle." And, to be healthy, one need "accept and rejoice in his masculinity." Where prostate problems come in is with one of the following beliefs: "Mental fears weaken the masculinity. Giving up. Sexual pressure and guilt. Belief in aging." To clear this dis-ease up requires one to truely believe one or more of the following new thought patterns: I love and approve of myself. I accept my own power. I am forever young in spirit."

Free or Low-Cost cPSA Tests During Prostate Cancer Awareness Week

Recent research shows that the use of the complexed prostate specific antigen (cPSA) test results in fewer false indications of prostate cancer than the traditional PSA test and could help avoid more than 44,000 unnecessary biopsies each year in the U.S. Men being screened during the 14th annual Prostate Cancer Awareness Week (PCAW), September 15-21, will have access to this additional form of the standard PSA blood test. During PCAW, more than 500 hospitals, clinics and private physicians will provide free or low-cost screenings to more than 100,000 men nationwide.

Prostate specific antigen (PSA), a protein produced by the cells in the prostate, has proven to be a useful marker for early detection of prostate cancer and in monitoring patients for disease progression and the effects of treatment. However, current PSA testing generates up to 60% "false positives" because PSA levels can also increase due to non-cancerous conditions of the prostate which are increasingly common as men get older. It can also generate "false negatives" since a significant number of cases of prostate cancer have been found in men whose PSA was "normal." Much research has focused on ways to improve the accuracy of PSA testing, and cPSA offers a new weapon in the fight against prostate cancer.

Golfer Bruce Fleisher Glad He Took Advantage of free PSA Test

Criticized by Hale Irwin and Tom Kite for withdrawing from the U.S. Open, Bruce Fleisher can live with his decision.

As it turned out, by not playing at Bethpage and then competing in the BellSouth Senior Classic in Nashville, Fleisher took advantage of a free physical exam at the tournament. The test revealed a high PSA (prostate specific antigen) number, three times higher than last year, which could indicate the presence of prostate cancer. Fleisher soon will undergo more tests.

"If I had not come here and done the exam, I probably would not have done it again until next year," Fleisher said, "and who knows what would have happened?"

Fleisher is the U.S. Senior Open champion, and Irwin and Kite said he should have represented the Senior Tour at Bethpage. But Fleisher disagreed.

"It's not copping out," Fleisher said. "I think Tom Kite and Hale Irwin gave an excellent representation of the Senior Tour, if that's what they want. Some guys call it ego. I call it very sensible."

Prostate Surgery Preserves Potency, But HMOs Are Putting Up Barriers

People contract with HMOs knowing that they are more restrictive than other forms of insurance. But whether an HMO meets its contractual obligations if its network doctors can't come close to matching the results of other surgeons is a tough question to answer "There is no legal or contractual requirement that the Health Plan send their members to an academic medical center or to an out-of-plan physician who has performed more procedures than a qualified physician,"

Into the Light - Survivors' groups and researchers raising awareness of prostate cancer

What a man doesn't know could hurt him. When it comes to prostate cancer, the No. 1 nonskin cancer among men, ignorance can be deadly. That's why so many survivors are working to push this stigmatized and misunderstood disease into the public consciousness.

An Update On Brachytherapy

There's a new Web site for people interested in learning more about brachytherapy, an internal radiation treatment for different kinds of cancer. Brachytherapy has been used for decades and involves planting of radioactive "seeds" inside the cancerous tissue to attack the cancer. The treatment often has fewer and less severe side effects than other therapies, according to the American Brachytherapy Society (ABS). Currently, brachytherapy is used primarily to treat prostate, breast and cervical cancers. Other methods of treating these cancers include surgery, chemotherapy and external beam radiation therapies. To see the site, go to the
Source: American Brachytherapy Society,

A patient's view

Hal Ackerman's graphic account of his encounter with prostate cancer in My Generation ($2.95) may make some men cringe, but it also may send them to their doctor for an exam. Ackerman, 50, opted for hormone-deprivation therapy _ ``chemical castration'' _ instead of surgery. ``Not only is the sex drive gone,'' he writes, ``but the desire for the sex drive is gone. Women whose bodies in the past would have stimulated longing and desire now generate no more response than the sight of uncovered furniture.'' That's the downside. The upside is that Ackerman has been cancer-free for more than a year after subsequent radiation treatment.

Vasectomy Link to Prostate Cancer Dismissed

Dr Brian Cox and colleagues from Dunedin School of Medicine, Wellington School of Medicine and the University of Otago in New Zealand looked at more than 2,000 men, almost half of whom were newly diagnosed prostate cancer patients, to examine whether a link between this cancer and vasectomy existed. New Zealand was considered to be an ideal country in which to conduct the investigation because of its high incidence of vasectomy and its mandatory policy on cancer reporting. The men, aged between 40 and 74, had all been married at some time and were interviewed via telephone about previous illnesses, vasectomies, smoking and alcohol consumption, prostate specific antigen testing, rectal examination, previous urological symptoms, family history of cancer and socio-demographic characteristics. The researchers found that there was no increased risk of the disease among men who had undergone a vasectomy 25 or more years before they were interviewed. Furthermore, vasectomy carried no greater risk of prostate cancer, even after adjusting for social class, geographic location, religion and family history. "Since vasectomy is so common in New Zealand and all new prostate cancers there must be reported to its National Cancer Registry, that's where you would expect to find a link between the two if one exists," said Dr Steven Kaufman of the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development's Contraception and Reproductive Health Branch. He added, "Also, although the study was more than large enough to detect an increased prostate cancer risk associated with vasectomy, none was found." The findings appear in the Journal of the American Medical Association

Modified tomato may protect against cancer

Scientists in the US have modified a tomato genetically so that it contains higher than normal levels of a chemical that may offer protection against cancer. It was developed at Purdue University in Indiana by accident as scientists sought higher quality strains of the fruit. Tomatoes contain various antioxidants, including lycopene, which is associated with reduced cancer risk. The new strain, which is modified with a yeast-derived gene, contains between two and three-and-a-half times the lycopene of the average tomato.

Return of Prostate Cancer First Seen by MRI, Not Biopsy

A study has found that dynamic magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) can detect prostate cancer recurrence even before it can be detected by biopsy. The finding was presented at the annual meeting of the American Roentgen Ray Society in Atlanta (GA, USA). The study, conducted by researchers at Sapporo Medical University (Sapporo, Japan), involved 21 patients who had a rising prostate-specific antigen (PSA) level following radical prostatectomy. All patients had an ultrasound-guided biopsy that came back negative, but the MR images in 17 of the 21 patients indicated local recurrence. Additional biopsies to confirm recurrence would have wasted precious time, during which patient PSA levels would have continued to rise. Therefore, the researchers conclude that prostate cancer patients with a rising PSA following prostatectomy should first have an MRI to determine if their cancer has returned. "MR is allowing us to detect the recurrence earlier, when the cancer can be more effectively treated with radiation therapy," says Miki Takeda, M.D., the lead author of the study. In fact, 15 of the 17 patients in the study were treated with radiation therapy, and seven are now considered cancer free. "Dynamic MR imaging contributed to these results," adds Dr. Takeda

Prostate Cancer Cell Growth Inhibited by Red Wine

Studies have suggested that environmental and dietary factors have an important influence on the development of prostate cancer, as witnessed by the higher rate of the malignancy among Japanese men living in the US compared to those in Japan. Mediterranean countries, where red wine is commonly consumed, have lower rates of prostate cancer than other western countries. Dr I Romero and colleagues from Getafe University Medical Centre in Spain investigated five polyphenols - quercetin, morin, rutin, gallic acid and tannic acid - found in red wine to determine whether they exerted an effect on the growth of the LNCaP cell line. LNCaP cells were obtained and cultured in vitro before each of the five polyphenols was added to separate dishes and incubated for 96 hours. Rates of proliferation and apoptosis were assessed using colorimetric and cell-death detection assays, respectively. The cultures were sampled at 24, 48 and 72 hours, and cell proliferation was also assessed after 96 hours. The researchers found that 5 and 10mol/l of gallic and tannic acid and quercetin, and 50 and 75mol/l of morin and rutin, all significantly reduced rates of cell proliferation compared to control plates. Rates of apoptosis inhibition varied between polyphenols, with gallic acid, tannic acid and rutin bringing about significantly greater rates of cell death compared to controls. The effects of morin were only observed at 72 hours, and those of quercetin within the first 48 hours. Dr Romero and colleagues conclude that these polyphenols, which are always present in red wine, significantly inhibit prostate cell proliferation and activate apoptosis. Writing in the BJU International, they add, "These results provide a rationale for studying the in-vivo effects of these nutrients, with the potential for formulating future recommendations about the intake of these substances as chemopreventive agents." Reference: Romero et al, BJU International 2002; 89:950-954

Cancer's Effect on Relationships under Scrutiny

The study, funded by Cancer Research UK and led by specialist cancer nurse Lynne Colbourne, will involve 30 patients with either prostate or testicular cancer and their partners. Ms Colbourne will follow the couples from diagnosis and assess how survivors feel their lives changed following successful treatment. The findings should help nurses and other health professionals give better support to prostate and testicular cancer patients and their families, says Ms Colbourne. An earlier, smaller study showed that men who survive testicular cancer tend to trivialise the event and want to return to normal life as soon as possible. In contrast, women preferred to discuss what was happening with their friends - an approach that often caused conflict within the relationship. "Recovering patients were constantly in fear of the cancer returning and they found that difficult enough without taking on board the fear of their partner," says Ms Colbourne. Patients also found it distressing that when they reported even the smallest abdominal pain, wives or partners would insist they had it checked, says Ms Colbourne. Some women said that their husbands had become short-tempered after cancer treatment and some experienced sexual difficulties, although cancer had not had a detrimental effect on the couples' sex lives in the majority of cases. Ms Colbourne's study will examine in greater depth the different coping strategies employed by men and women, and what adjustments are made to the relationship. Jamie Spencer, a 34-year-old quantity surveyor from Nottingham who was diagnosed with testicular cancer in 1995, says his experience put a strain on his relationship. "When I was going for monthly checkups I became very stressed for two weeks beforehand and then I would be elated for two weeks afterwards," he says. Although Jamie now feels that he has beaten his cancer, he says his wife worries that the cancer is returning at the slightest sign of any illness. According to Cancer Research UK, around 22,800 men are diagnosed each year with prostate cancer and the majority of cases occur in men over 70. Testicular cancer is the most common cancer in men aged between 15 and 45, with around 1,900 cases diagnosed in the UK each year.

Prostate Tissue Could Treat Bone Disease

A team from Ohio State University's Comprehensive Cancer Center point out that, unlike other cancers, when prostate cancer spreads to the bones it stimulates growth. When most other cancers spread to the bones, they cause them to crumble, resulting in pain and debilitation. Dr Tom Rosol, a vet at the centre, says that up till now it has been difficult to find out why prostate cancer has this effect on bone because of the problem of finding a suitable animal model. Whenever scientists put human prostate cells into animals they behave differently to the way they do in humans, he says. He decided to test whether healthy prostate tissue, in addition to cancerous tissue, was capable of sending growth signals to the bone. And he used dogs' healthy prostate tissue as a means of testing his hypothesis as they are the only animals, other than humans, that develop cancer of this gland. Small amounts of prostate tissue obtained from dogs were inserted under the skin of adult nude mice, which were observed for two weeks. The results left researchers "shocked", says Dr Rosol. Within two weeks the density of the skullcap or calvaria of the mice had almost doubled. "This was really exciting, not just because of the speed of the reaction, but because there are really very few things in nature that induce bone growth," says Dr Rosol. While he says it is unclear what causes the bone to form he suggests the probability is that it is a "complex mix of growth factors", such as a parathyroid hormone-like protein and endothelin-1, which act alongside receptive agents in the hosts' bone. His team is currently working with a drug designed to block endothelin-1 activity and they believe it may be working. Dr Rosol says that there is a need to develop new and workable animal models to improve understanding of cancer. But he says that a process such as prostate cancer metastasis may hold the clue to an effective treatment for diseases such as osteoporosis that involve bone destruction. "What is devastating for a prostate cancer patient may be a source of hope for someone with osteoporosis," adds Dr Rosol.
Source: The Prostate

Limiting PSA Testing To Men with a Family History of Prostate Cancer "Misses Most Prostate Cancers"

Researchers at the Finnish Cancer Registry in Helsinki say that, despite some evidence that men with a family history of prostate cancer are more likely to develop the disease, limiting screening efforts to these men will result in doctors missing many cases of the disease. Only six per cent of prostate cancer cases would have been detected in a study of more than 20,000 men, if testing for prostate specific antigen (PSA), a protein linked to prostate cancer, was restricted to men with a family history of the disease. The research is reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

Revolution in Prostate Therapy Led by Microwave Thermotherapy

One of the hottest areas in urological therapies comprises testing and treatment for both benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) and prostate cancer. This area, consisting of therapies that often can be used to treat both disorders, is effectively driving much of the U.S. urological products market, according the June 2002 issue of the widely read medtech industry publication, "MedMarkets."

Scientists Develop Tomato that Packs More Cancer-Fighting Punch

Forget the attack of the killer tomato, this is the attack of the healthy tomato: A team of scientists has developed a tomato that contains as much as three and a half time more of the cancer-fighting antioxidant lycopene.

Dogs Key to Understanding Advanced Prostate Cancer

When some of the most common cancers spread, they often head for the bones. Once there, they typically eat away the good, strong tissue, leaving a soft and crumbly structure in their wake. It is a painful and debilitating condition. But prostate cancer is different. Unlike any other cancer, when prostate cancer spreads to the bones - as it does in 80 percent of all advanced cases - it actually stimulates new bone to grow, not erodes it.

Zometa Effective for Debilitating Bone Complications

Zometa (zoledronic acid for injection) is effective for the treatment of potentially debilitating skeletal related events from bone metastases in prostate cancer patients, according to data presented at the 97th annual meeting of the American Urological Association (AUA) in Orlando, Florida.

Facing Fears: Prostate Cancer Screening

Screening for prostate cancer is crucial, since the disease often exhibits no symptoms, and is most effectively treated when caught early. Caucasian men are advised to visit their doctors for screening beginning at age 50, and African American men and men with a family history of prostate cancer, at age 40. Below, medical experts Dr. Daniel Shasha and Dr. Robert Salant review the two most important tests used for prostate screening-and describe what to expect when you go see your doctor.

BYU Study Finds Prognosis Is Worse for Prostate-Cancer Patients in Their 40s

Prostate cancer's deadly grip is worse for men in their 40s even though the disease is still considered rare in anyone younger than 50, according to a Utah-led study.

The findings raise more questions than answers, the authors say, because race and tumor stage made little difference in the poorer prognosis.

"It may be that younger men diagnosed with prostate cancer have a more difficult time adjusting to their diagnosis psychologically," says the study authors, Ray Merrill and Justin Bird, researchers at the Provo-based Brigham Young University.

Yet the BYU team, part of the College of Health and Human Performance, says more research is needed to discover exactly why prostate-cancer prognosis is worse in the 40-49 age group compared with the 50-79 group. Men 80 years and older, like the younger group, also had a poorer prospect of recovery.

The study appears in a recent issue of the journal Cancer Causes and Control. Data was gathered from nearly 300,000 prostate-cancer patients in five U.S. states (Utah, Connecticut, Hawaii, Iowa and New Mexico) and in four major cities (Atlanta, Detroit, San Francisco and Seattle).

Possibly "sexual potency may be a more important concern for men of younger ages, and this may deter them from selecting treatment, influence their treatment choice or delay initiation of treatment," the study says.

The disease signals an uncontrolled malignant growth of cells in the gland located just below the male bladder. In U.S. men, prostate cancer is the second leading cause of death; it can be diagnosed with a PSA test of the blood or through a physical exam called digital rectal exam or DRE.

Controversy surrounds the idea of encouraging prostate screening in younger men because data, including the BYU study, fails to show any early diagnostic benefit among the general male population, the authors said.

The American Cancer Society describes prostate cancer as a latent disease, hidden but waiting to develop. The group cautions against raising undue alarm by testing before age 50 unless there is father, brother, or son diagnosed with prostate cancer at a young age.

New Predictive Marker Found for Prostate and Colon Cancer

A protein that interacts with the gene for Huntington's disease could also help physicians diagnose and more effectively treat patients with two of the most common and deadly forms of cancer, according to a new University of Michigan study.

Absent in normal prostate and colon epithelial cells, but found in large amounts in prostate, colon and other tumor cells, it is called huntingtin interacting protein or HIP1. The protein has never before been associated with any type of cancer. (Editors: Note "huntingtin" is correct spelling.)

"Anytime you find a true marker for cancer, it's surprising," says Theodora S. Ross, M.D., Ph.D., an oncologist in the U-M's Comprehensive Cancer Center and an assistant professor of internal medicine in the U-M Medical School. "But HIP1 also is unusual, because it seems to be such a strong prognosticator, especially for prostate cancer."

Results of U-M research on HIP1's relationship to human prostate and colon cancer were published August 1 in the Journal of Clinical Investigation.

"We don't find significant HIP1 expression in normal prostate epithelial cells, but as prostate cancer develops and progresses, we see a steady increase in HIP1 expression," Ross explains. "HIP1 was expressed in 50 percent of tumors from patients in the earliest stages of cancer, 88 percent of tumors from patients with localized prostate cancer, and 100 percent of patients with metastatic prostate cancer."

"High levels of HIP1 were present in every stage of colon cancer," Ross adds. "In melanoma, breast and ovarian cancers, the expression patterns varied, but HIP1 was consistently over-expressed."

During her post-doctoral fellowship at Boston's Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Ross cloned the protein from bone marrow cells of a patient with leukemia. Since joining the U-M Medical School three years ago, she has focused on nothing but HIP1 and its relationship to an important cellular trafficking and signaling system called the clathrin-mediated trafficking pathway. Cells use this system to remove old receptors and signaling molecules on cell surfaces and replace them with new molecules.

The HIP1 protein appears to be involved in this process, according to Ross, along with another protein called htt, which is expressed by the mutated gene responsible for Huntington's disease -- an inherited, progressive form of dementia. Although both proteins are found in parts of the cell where movement of material occurs, their exact role is unknown. The connection to the Huntington's gene could be significant, however, "because people with Huntington's rarely get cancer," Ross adds.

"This is a new pathway in tumorigenesis; no one else is working with it in this context," Ross says. "Our paper is the first demonstration of a connection between tumor formation and a protein involved in this cell trafficking pathway."

Ross' laboratory is now trying to understand the relationship between HIP1 and cancer cells. "Originally, I thought HIP1 was a tumor suppressor gene, but it could be a survival factor that prevents cancerous cells from dying or an oncogene causing normal cells to become cancerous. It could have varying effects, depending on the cell or tissue type. More research is needed to know for sure," she says.

Results included in the JCI paper showed that when U-M researchers created a mutant version of HIP1 by knocking off one segment of the protein, the result was massive cell death. "When we made a mutant that interfered with the function of the normal protein, the cells died, which suggests that HIP1 is necessary for cell survival," she says.

If scientists can discover the functional relationship between HIP1 and cancer, Ross believes it should be possible to develop agents that could kill prostate and colon tumor cells without harming the normal epithelial cells lining the inside of these organs.

In her study, Ross first measured levels of HIP1 expression in 60 cancer cell lines and a tissue microarray of primary tumors from the National Cancer Institute, which included hundreds of tissue samples from colon, breast, melanoma, ovarian, prostate, kidney and lung cancer. "We never could have looked at all these different tumors without the NCI microarray; it's an amazing resource for investigators," Ross says.

To quantify HIP1 expression in different stages of prostate cancer, U-M researchers used tissue samples from the U-M Prostate Specialized Program of Research Excellence (SPORE) tumor bank, funded by the National Cancer Institute. Tissue samples of various stages of colon cancer were provided and interpreted by Peter C. Lucas, M.D., Ph.D., U-M lecturer in pathology.

Research on the genetic and molecular profile of prostate cancer is part of a major initiative underway in the U-M Comprehensive Cancer Center. Its goal is to link molecular genetics and proteomics with clinical outcome for all types of cancer.

The research study was funded by the Huntington's Disease Society of America, the National Institute of General Medical Sciences and the Cancer Research Fund of the Damon Runyon Foundation.

Dinesh S. Rao, Ph.D., a U-M post-doctoral fellow, is first author of the study. In addition to Lucas, other U-M Medical School collaborators include Martin G. Sanda, M.D., associate professor of surgery and of internal medicine; Mark A. Rubin, M.D., associate professor of pathology and surgery; Ikuko F. Mizukami, Ph.D., research associate; and graduate students Teresa S. Hyun and Priti D. Kumar.

Winning His Battle

Speaking from his 10th-floor, ocean-side San Diego condo Tuesday, Jerry Tarkanian was, well, Jerry Tarkanian.

Alert and optimistic, the former Fresno State coach didn't sound like a 71-year-old in his second week of radiation treatment for prostate cancer. An all-encompassing conversation roamed from his health to the latest basketball gossip to books. Yes, books.

"I'm trying to read a book called 'The Trust Fund'," Tarkanian said. "I used to only read [basketball] books. I'm not like that anymore."

He didn't even bring any UNLV or Fresno State game tapes to his Southern California home, where he will spend weekdays for the next seven weeks recovering from treatment. Each morning, Tarkanian receives about 15 minutes of treatment at a Scripps medical facility in San Diego.

Then he retreats to his condo to read and rest.

"I feel good," he said. "After the treatment I get tired and usually take an afternoon nap. But that's OK."

Tarkanian was warned of potential prostate cancer in August, but initially didn't worry about it. Then, after the season, he decided to tend to it while the prostate cancer -- the leading cause of cancer deaths in men aged 55 or more -- was in the early stages.

Many luminaries in the basketball world have expressed sympathy for the man who viewed himself as the NCAA's No. 1 target. NBA personality Charles Barkley wished Tarkanian well on the national TNT broadcast of the NBA draft after former Fresno State center Melvin Ely was selected. Adidas bigwig Sonny Vaccaro said last week his thoughts and prayers were with his friend.

"The treatment is going fine," said son and former Bulldogs assistant Danny Tarkanian, who now lives in Las Vegas. "Doctors told him they think it is contained in the prostate. My dad says he is not feeling any pain."

Asked if he felt apprehension about receiving treatment, Tarkanian said. "At my age, you expect something [to be wrong with you]. ... They said they got it early. This is supposed to cure it."

Tarkanian also said he and his two sons, Danny and George, will establish a youth basketball academy in Las Vegas. The Tarkanians will hold camps for elementary school-aged kids this month to raise money for the academy.

Helping out will be former UNLV players, including Sam Smith, Robert Smith and Freddie Banks.

Tarkanian has his weekends free to visit relatives and friends. He said he will be in Fresno in two weeks.

He also said he has plans to attend the Oct. 26 Florida State-Notre Dame football game in Tallahassee, Fla., with friends.

"He is doing well," George Tarkanian said. "The treatment is not really affecting him too much."
Source: or the reporter can be reached at

Got Soy? New Research Focusing on Soy Role in Prevention of Prostate Cancer in U.S. Males.

Parade Magazine, the weekly newspaper supplement, is the latest publication to report favorably on the role of soyfoods in helping prevent prostate cancer. Health columnist Dr. Isadore Rosenfeld, writing on "Medical News That Matters," says "several recent and current studies have focused on preventing prostate cancer," with soy intake featured in the research.

Genetic Link to Prostate Cancer Found

The genetic make-up of a man's immune system can have a direct bearing on his chances of developing prostate cancer, researchers say.

Prostate Cancer Isn't Just a Guy Thing

Helping your mate cope with prostate cancer can include far more than just holding his hand for comfort. From encouraging him to get tested for prostate cancer to helping him get the best care if he does have the disease, a woman can immeasurably improve the quality of her partner's life. That's the opinion of Desiree Lyon Howe of Houston, whose husband, Richard Howe, is a prostate cancer survivor and one of the country's leading lay experts on the disease.

Study Shows Cancer Cells are Vulnerable in New Ways

Vitamin E, a compound suspected of playing a role in preventing prostate cancer, interferes with two proteins that play a central role in the development of the disease. This is the report of scientists at the University of Rochester Medical Center who published their findings in the May 28, 2002, issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA.

Fighting Prostate Cancer: 'Go Get a Checkup'

With his three daughters all employed in the medical field, North Jacksonville resident Charles Sapp had a bit more than luck on his side more than a year ago when his prostate cancer was caught in the early stages.

TIG1 Identified As Tumor Suppressor Gene For Prostate Cancer

A new study has identified tazarotene-induced gene 1 (TIG1) as a possible tumor suppressor gene for prostate cancer, and experimental results suggest that decreased expression of the gene may play a role in the progression of prostate cancer.
Source: Journal of the National Cancer Institute,

Cancer, Vasectomy Connection Disproved

Undergoing a vasectomy does not increase a man's risk of contracting prostate cancer, a study forom New Zealand finds. Though some previous studies have produced mixed findings about a link between vasectomy and prostate cancer victims, researchers at the University of Otago-Dunedin say their two-year study of 923 prostate cancer victims and 1,224 "control" subjects showed no connection. "Our results are consistent with several recent studies that have not found a significant association between vasectomy and prostate cancer," says the study in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Group Wants Weedkiller Off Market

An environmental group asked the government to ban the use of atrazine, a weedkiller commonly sprayed on cornfields and lawns. The Natural Resources Defense Council filed a petition asking the EPA to take the chemical off the market, charging its leading manufacturer did not properly disclose that 17 workers had developed prostate cancer. The group also said the chemical had been linked to deformities in frogs. The petition also asks that the EPA and Justice Department investigate the manufacturer, Swiss-based Syngenta, the world's biggest agribusiness. The company's North American headquarters is in Greensboro, N.C.

Nurses Call for Improvement in Prostate Cancer Treatment

The survey of more than 200 nurses with a specialist interest in urology found that these healthcare professionals strongly believe treatment regimes involving side effects such as hot flushes have a negative impact on patients' quality of life. Half of those who responded to the survey said that the side effects of prostate cancer treatment diminishes patient outlook towards the disease prognosis. Although the majority of respondents believed that their patients were satisfied with their treatment, some said that they complained about "painful regimens". Almost all of the nurses said that they and their patients would be interested in new prostate cancer treatment regimes that produce lower levels of side effects. Patient comfort, said the nurses, must have a high priority when treating patients with prostate cancer. "Everyday there are advances being made that help make treatment regimens less painful or more tolerable," said Jean Lewis, president of the Society of Urologic Nurses and Associates. "Pain and side effects may be major issues for some prostate cancer patients, and it is important that healthcare providers and patients work together to determine which treatment regimen offers the most comfort," she added.
Source: Society of Urologic Nurses and Associates

Male Cancer on Increase

Prostate cancer is set to become the most common cancer in men within the next three years, experts have said. The Institute of Cancer Research said new figures show that cases of the disease have been rising steadily since 1971 and if trends continue it will overtake lung cancer before 2006. Despite this, the disease receives a fraction of the total spent on cancer research in the UK. The institute has called for more funding to help pay for research.

Bicalutamide Reduces Risk of Prostate Cancer Progression Regardless of Disease Stage, Lymph Node Status, Study Shows

Prostate cancer drug bicalutamide may significantly reduce the risk of disease progression regardless of disease stage or lymph node status, according to new findings. Researchers studied the efficacy of bicalutamide in an ongoing treatment program, which consists of 3 clinical trials including a total of more than 8,000 patients. In those studies, men were assigned to receive either 150 mg bicalutamide or placebo each day in addition to standard therapy. Standard therapies included radical prostatectomy and radiotherapy. Results from an overall analysis released last year showed bicalutamide therapy was associated with a 42% reduction in the risk of disease progression compared with placebo. In a new study, researchers found that compared with standard care alone, 150 mg of bicalutamide lowered the risk of disease progression by 71% in patients whose cancer had spread to the lymph nodes. Among patients whose cancer had not spread to the lymphInodes, or whose lymph node status was unknown, bicalutamide lowered the risk of disease progression by 41% and 40%, respectively. Data also revealed that bicalutamide significantly reduced the risk of PSA level progression regardless of disease stage or grade. Study data were presented at the American Urological Association's annual meeting in Orlando, Fla. (Iverson P, et al. 1355)

Men "Unwilling" to Discuss Cancer

The charity found that women are more than twice as likely as men to call its nurses for general advice about cancer. A breakdown of calls made to Cancer Research UK information nurses between 1999 and 2001 shows that men made an average of 2,531 calls each year, while 5,617 were made by women. Women were also responsible for 45 per cent of calls about prostate cancer and 40 per cent of calls about testicular cancer. Cancer Research UK's psychological oncology group, which is based at the University of Sussex, says the findings highlight a common communication problem between the sexes. Group director Professor Lesley Fallowfield said, "Feelings can be quite hard for men to discuss, particularly if it's about things like male cancers which are threatening to their masculinity and manhood. "There's also a cultural expectation that big boys don't cry' and many men do not actually ask about things that trouble them - even if it's anonymously and over a phone line. So we have to find new ways of reaching them because sharing concerns can be a real help," she added. Cancer Research UK has designated June as Men's Cancer Month and is launching a message board on its website to encourage men to discuss their experiences. Radio 5 Live sports presenter Russell Fuller, 29, who was diagnosed with testicular cancer in 1999, will be one of the first to post a message on the site. He discusses the uncertainty he experienced in the days leading up to diagnosis and urges other people to get unusual signs checked out. "Men generally don't like talking about their feelings as much and losing a testicle, like I did, can be embarrassing and almost like a loss of face," he said. "But I'm a very open person and talking about it was an invaluable help. My friends and family were very supportive, made a few jokes and did wonders for my state of mind!" The Cancer Research UK Men's Cancer Awareness Month message board can be reached at

Vitamin E Identified as Possible Prostate Cancer Treatment

A team from New York's Rochester University, led by Dr Shuyuan Yeh, say the vitamin interferes with both the prostate-specific antigen (PSA) chemical and the androgen receptor, which play a central role in the development of the disease. In the laboratory, vitamin E exposure led to a 25 to 50 per cent reduction in the number of cancer cells and, under certain conditions, killed about 90 per cent of malignant cells. Currently, many of the drugs used to treat prostate cancer work by inhibiting the production of testosterone or are "anti-androgens" that prevent the hormone from binding to the androgen receptor, thereby stopping the receptor from contributing to cell growth. The new research suggests a different way of disabling the receptor. Dr Yeh and her team believe that one day, instead of cutting off a man's testosterone supply to stop the androgen receptor supporting prostate cancer cells, doctors will be able to disable the receptor itself. The researchers warn that there are different types of vitamin E and that they vary in their effectiveness when treating prostate cancer. The type found to be effective in the laboratory was vitamin E succinate. The team also caution that until more is known about the mechanism by which the vitamin provides its protective role it will be difficult to develop new treatments that mimic its effect. "This is exciting and quite promising, but until we do further studies in people, we can't really recommend that every man take vitamin E to prevent the disease," said Dr Edward Messing, a co-author of the study. However, some studies in people have already shown that vitamin E may help prevent prostate cancer. In a study of 29,000 men in Finland, those who took vitamin E had about one-third fewer cases of prostate cancer than those who received no vitamin supplementation. Dr Yeh and her team believe that a new treatment for the disease may be found by mixing vitamin E with traditional anti-androgen drugs. In the future, Dr Yeh plans to study the effects of vitamin E in prostate cancer patients and Dr Messing is involved in a large trial that will test whether vitamin E or selenium alone, or in combination, can prevent prostate cancer.

Anterior Prostate Cancer Harder to Diagnose

It has been suggested that up to 30 per cent of neoplasms are missed by standard sextant biopsy; however, the success rate in terms of tumour location has not been clarified to date. Dr Simon Bott and colleagues from University College London investigated the rate of successful diagnosis of prostate cancer by sextant biopsy in a set of 123 excised prostates for which information regarding previous biopsy samples was available on a prostate cancer database. Sixty-two of the cases involved tumours with an anterior distribution and 61 had a posterior distribution and were used as a comparison. In total, 21 per cent of the cases of prostate cancer in the database had an anterior distribution. The researchers compared the number of sessions that were required before a diagnosis was made, the number of positive cores, tumour length and prostate gland weight between the anterior group and the posterior group. The number of biopsy sessions was one set in 47 cases and more than one set in 15 cases of anterior cancer compared to one set in 57 cases and more than one set in four cases of cancer distributed in the posterior area. The mean number of positive cores was also significantly less in the anterior group (1.8 versus 2.5) and tumour length was reduced (4.1 versus 7.8mm on average). However, gland weight and tumour volume did not differ significantly between groups. Dr Bott and colleagues concluded that prostate tumours with an anterior distribution, which comprise one-fifth of all prostate malignancies, require more biopsy sessions and yield fewer positive cores than those with a posterior distribution. Writing in the BJU International, they suggest, "If there is a high suspicion of cancerand biopsies are negative, the anterior gland should be targeted at subsequent biopsy." Reference: Bott et al, BJU International 2002;89:886-889

Prostate Predictor Less Reliable in Hispanic Than in White Populations

These are the findings of researchers at Columbia University's Presbyterian campus in the US who have called for the introduction of a different "cut-off" point when interpreting PSAD data taken from Hispanics. Speaking at the American Urological Association in Florida, the doctors involved in the study explained that, among Caucasian men, there is a cut-off point above which readings of PSAD levels have a 40 per cent likelihood of being associated with malignant forms of the disease. However, a study of 404 Hispanics and 341 non-Hispanic Caucasians with elevated PSA levels or an abnormal rectal examination has suggested that the cut-off point is less reliable when testing Hispanic individuals. Thirty-five per cent of the Hispanic men and just over 25 per cent of the Caucasians who took part in the study had cancer. The mean PSAD levels among Caucasian participants with malignant and benign tumours were 0.143 and 0.113 respectively. A significant difference in the mean PSAD was observed among those with malignant cancer. Hispanic men registered an average PSAD of 0.194, while for Caucasian men, the rate stood at 0.143. The study is the first of its kind to show that Hispanics with similar PSA levels to white men have higher PSAD readings. However, in interpreting the PSAD data for Hispanics, it was impossible to tell who would have malignant or benign forms of the disease. Researchers argue that while PSAD is able to differentiate between malignant and benign cancers in Caucasians, this is not the case for Hispanics. Dr Erik Goluboff, assistant professor of urology at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons and senior author of the study, said, "We don't know what it is, but we should probably have a different cut-off point for Hispanic men in interpreting the PSAD, or some other way of managing the Hispanic PSADs."
Source: American Urological Association

New Drug Delivery Works Against Prostate Cancer

A new way to deliver a tried-and-true treatment shows promising results against prostate cancer. The drug, injected under the skin and released over a month's time, helps reduce testosterone levels, limiting growth of the tumor and minimizing side effects, researchers said. The drug Eligard is injected under the skin, where it becomes a biodegradable implant that gradually releases the medication over 30 days. This system can deliver the drug in a way that produces very low level of the male hormone. Suppressing testosterone in prostate cancer patients may limit tumor growth and is thought to produce fewer side effects than do traditional therapies. In the study patients receiving this treatment, only 1 percent experienced severe hot flash and sweats, while 83 percent reported the symptoms were mild. "Many advances have been made in the hormonal treatment of prostate cancer," said Dr. A. Oliver Sartor, director of the Stanley S. Scott Cancer Center at Louisiana State University Medical School in New Orleans, La. "In particular, Eligard 7.5 mg utilizes a new delivery system for a proven drug that has been used in prostate cancer for more than a decade. This delivery system ... results in a consistently very low level of testosterone, thereby helping to optimally manage this difficult disease." The results were presented at the annual meeting of the American Urological Association in Orlando, Florida.

Location Plays Role in Cancer Survival

The survival rates of Canadians with cancer depends on what region of the country they live in, according to an official report. The report on health care in Canada released by the Canadian Institute for Health Information says that on average, Canadian women with breast cancer have an 82 percent chance of surviving five years after diagnosis. That number rises to 85 percent for women living in the western province of British Columbia, but drops to 76 percent in the eastern province of Newfoundland. The same pattern is repeated for men with prostate cancer. Nationally, there is an 87 percent survival rate. In the province of British Columbia, it's 91 percent but in the eastern province of Newfoundland it drops to 67 percent. Dr. Simon Sutcliffe, executive director of the British Columbia Cancer Agency said there could be several reasons for the discrepancy. Factors such as a greater health consciousness on the West Coast and the large number of Asian immigrants could be at work. "Because the rates for breast cancer and prostate cancer are less in Asian populations that could also provide a skew or a bias with respect to the results in British Columbia," said Sutcliffe.

Prostate Cancer Hormonal Therapy May Increase Sexual And Physical Problems

A new study suggests that men with early-stage prostate cancer who are treated with androgen deprivation therapy (ADT) may experience more physical discomfort and be twice as likely to experience sexual impairment compared with men who forgo such therapy.
Source: Journal of the National Cancer Institute ,

Effect Of Diet On Risk Of Benign Prostate Disease In Middle-Aged Men

Benign prostate disease is common among older men and is associated with problems ranging from lower urinary tract symptoms to the need for surgical resection of the prostate. Publishing in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Suzuki et al. explored the connections between nutrition and the risk of developing benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) in a large group of male health professionals. Men with the highest energy intakes and with high intakes of protein and certain fats were at greater risk for developing BPH.
Source: American Journal of Clinical Nutrition,

New Test Identifies Most Dangerous Prostate Cancers: Could help determine whether men need gland surgically removed

A new way of measuring the aggressiveness of prostate cancer could someday cut in half the number of men with the disease who have their prostates surgically removed. Whether a man with prostate cancer needs a prostatectomy often hinges on what's called his Gleason score, a test that grades the tumor based on its appearance under a microscope. The Gleason score, which has been used for decades, determines how advanced the cancer is, grading the malignancy on a score of 2 to 10. If the score is 6 or higher, the doctor is likely to perform a prostatectomy, removing the entire gland.

A prostatectomy is done to save lives, but it is an unpleasant experience because one of the possible adverse effects is impotence. But researchers at the University of Minnesota,where Dr. Donald F. Gleason first developed the test, have come up with a new test that could single out those who would benefit from a prostatectomy from those who wouldn't necessarily need the operation.

The new test determines how aggressively the cancer is growing and spreading through the body. Its assessment is based not on the appearance of cancer cells but on their biochemistry, Gleason says. It is actually two interlocked tests, measuring levels of two molecules produced by the cancer cells.

"One is an enzyme called cathepsin B," says the study's lead author, Akhouri A. Sinha, a professor of genetics, cell biology and development at the University of Minnesota Cancer Center. "It is produced in every solid tumor and has the ability to dissolve connective tissue, which stimulates spread of the cancer throughout the body.

"I have also looked at an inhibitor of cathepsin B, stefin A. What we have done is to take the ratio of cathepsin B to stefin A. If the ratio of cathepsin B to stefin A is high, the cancer is likely to grow and spread aggressively. This provides an excellent test to predict the progression of the cancer," he adds.

Sinha and his colleagues at the university and the Minneapolis Veterans Affairs Medical Center ran the test on 97 men whose prostate cancers graded 6 or higher on the Gleason test. They found an excellent correlation between the ratio of the two molecules and the progression of the disease, with differences among men whose Gleason scores were identical.

One existing way to judge a prostate cancer is to measure levels of prostate-specific antigen, PSA. If those levels rise after the prostate is removed, the chance of a recurrence is high. The new test predicted such recurrences before PSA levels rose, Sinha says.

What he sees in the future is use of the new test for all men with prostate cancer. "You can take a small biopsy and do the test in the hospital," he says. "Any competent clinical laboratory can do it."

And, more important, he adds, "If 100 men are diagnosed with a Gleason score 6, now all the prostates come out. Our projection is that 50 to 52 percent of them should not have a prostatectomy, because they do not have aggressive tumors. They can play golf and enjoy their lives. The others should have their prostate cancers treated very aggressively, because the tumors are likely to return in less than five years."

But the newly reported study is just the first step toward that future, Sinha says. "What we need to do now is a prospective study to correlate results with biopsy data. We are hoping that someone will want to do it, and we will help to set it up."

Discussions about such a study have already begun with researchers at another institute,Sinha says.

Gleason, who is an emeritus professor of pathology at Minnesota, is listed among the authors of the study, which is published in the journal Cancer. But he cheerfully admits that "I was lucky to have my name attached to it."

Retired for several years, he acknowledges that the Gleason test "made me famous. It is in use all over the world -- Russia, China, Japan."

You can get more information about prostate cancer from the National Cancer Institute or
Source: By Ed Edelson, HealthScoutNews Reporter

You Can Impact 2003 Govenment Spending toward Prostate Cancer Research. Act Now!

As appropriators begin to consider spending bills for Fiscal Year 2003, we need your help to remind them of the importance of prostate cancer research at the Congressionally Directed Medical Research Program (CDMRP) at the Department of Defense. Make sure your members appropriate at least $100 million, the appropriation needed to fund clinical trials. Click here to send them a letter and urge your friends and family to do so.

PSA debate highlighted in Pittsburg paper

Carl Frankel, retired general counsel for the United Steel Workers of America, presented his views on the PSA screening debate to the Pittsburg Post-Gazette and it published his opinion 6/10/02. Click here to read his remarks:

Information for men with advanced prostate cancer

Finding information about the later stages of prostate cancer may be difficult. Robert Young has collected a group of links at Phoenix 5 that may help you with issues related to dealing with your disease. Click here to read more.

Learn about constipation

Medications given to prostate cancer patients for pain often lead to constipation. This article lists many additional triggers for problems with bowel movements. Find out how your doctor will assess the problem and get informed about treatments. Some side effects include: Constipation, Delirium, Fatigue, Fever,, Chills and Sweats, Lymphedema, Nausea, Oral Complications, Radiation, Enteritis, Pruritus, and Sleep Disorders.

Stem cell injection offers hope for prostate patients

Dr. Ulf-Henrik Mellqvist, of the University of Gothenburg, is attacking tumours using immune cells from siblings. The first patient to have the treatment was given six months to live but is still alive 15 months later. Ananova, (6/8/02)

Accuracy of Prostate Cancer Test May be Influenced by Ethnicity

A preliminary study comparing the performance of prostate specific antigen (PSA) tests in Caucasian and Hispanic-American men has found that the PSA test may be more accurate at diagnosing malignant or benign prostate disease in Caucasians than in Hispanic-Americans.

Erik T. Goluboff of the Allen Pavilion of New York Presbyterian Hospital in New York and his colleagues reported these findings on May 27 at the annual meeting of the American Urological Association in Orlando.

Past studies have compared the performance of PSA tests in African-American and Caucasian men, but few have looked at PSA test performance in Hispanic-American men. In this study, 404 Hispanic-American men and 341 Caucasian men with elevated PSA levels underwent biopsies and prostate volume measurements.

Of these patients, 242 Hispanic-American men and 255 Caucasian men had PSA levels between 2.5 and 10 ng/ml. Based on the biopsy, 35% of the Hispanic men and 25.5% of the Caucasian men had cancer. The authors compared average PSA and PSA density levels among the men with cancer. (PSA density, or PSAD, measures the ratio of PSA to prostate volume. A PSAD reading of 0.15 or higher has a 40% likelihood of malignancy.)

The authors found no difference in mean PSA levels between Hispanics and Caucasians, or between men with malignant versus benign disease. However, average PSAD was higher in Hispanics with cancer (0.194) than Caucasians with cancer (0.143). These findings suggest that physicians may need to use different criteria to interpret PSAD results of Hispanics and Caucasians.

This study (Abstract #833) was presented last week at the 97th annual AUA meeting. More information is available from AUA at

For JNCI News articles on the PSA test, see "Value of Prostate-Specific Antigen: Are Higher Levels Meaningful?", "PSA as a Treatment Marker for Prostate Cancer?", and "Prostate Cancer: Numbers May Not Tell the Whole Story".

Vitamin E Disables Receptor Responsible for Prostate Cancer

Vitamin E supplements have been associated with a reduced risk of prostate cancer. Now, Yu Zhang and Shuyuan Yeh, of the University of Rochester in New York, have discovered how it actually works. These findings may lead to new targets for prostate cancer therapies, the researchers conclude in the 5/28/02 issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Traditionally, physicians treat early-stage prostate cancer patients with anti-androgen therapy. Androgen is a hormone associated with increased prostate cancer risk, and early stages of prostate cancer have responded well to this therapy. Over time, however, prostate cancer cells become resistant to anti-androgen.

In this study, Zhang, Yeh, and their colleagues used a prostate cancer cell line to study the mechanism of vitamin E succinate (VES), one form of vitamin E, in slowing the development of prostate cancer.

They found that VES decreased the levels of prostate-specific antigen and the blocked the formation of the androgen receptor, which is necessary for prostate cancer development. Moreover, VES was more effective at inhibiting prostate cancer cell growth than hydroxyflutamide, an anti-androgen used to treat prostate cancer patients. The combination of VES and hydroxyflutamide significantly inhibited prostate cancer cell growth.

The authors conclude: "This newly discovered mechanism could provide an opportunity for the combination of vitamin E with other natural products to coordinately suppress [androgen receptor] function and prevent prostate tumor progression."

The study (Zhang Y. et al. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 2002;99:7408-14) is available from PNAS at

For JNCI News articles on vitamins and cancer, see "Cancer Treatment And Vitamin C: The Debate Lingers", "Vitamin E Reduces Prostate Cancer Rates In Finnish Trial: U.S. Considers Follow-up", and "Whatever Happened to . . . ? Looking Back 10 Years".

Two-Drug Therapy Is Best For Symptomatic Prostate Enlargement

Two drugs commonly used to treat benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) are more effective in combination than alone to prevent progression of this condition, according to results of a multi-center National Institutes of Health clinical trial being presented at the American Urological Association (AUA) meeting in Orlando on 5/28/02.

Workplace Prostate Info Works

An innovative research project involving the Men’s Health Forum and Consignia has shown that talking to men about their health while they are at work increases their understanding of prostate health problems. After the project 88% of the employees involved knew that passing water more often, especially at night, was a possible symptom of prostate problems, up from 64% before the project. Also, 84% knew that difficulty in passing water was a possible symptom, up from 72%.

Prostate tumours 'kill one an hour'

Prostate cancer will become the most common cancer in men within the next three years, according to research. It will overtake lung cancer, which is becoming less common as men give up smoking. Much of the increase, especially the surge in recent years, is due to the use of a test that can detect early signs of the disease, the Institute of Cancer Research says. Everyman Male Cancer Awareness Month will feature posters of the comedian Frank Skinner urging men to take their health more seriously and issuing a warning that prostate cancer kills one man every hour.
Source: The London Times

Re-Reading Lessons: Seeking a Second View

According to a 1999 study by researchers at Johns Hopkins University, about 1.4 percent of tissue samples -- roughly 30,000 a year in the United States -- are misread so completely that their resulting pathology reports would have led to inappropriate medical care. Most of the cases involve cancer. The best protection is a second analysis of the biopsied cells, a process that requires the glass slide with the patient's cells to be shipped to a second pathologist.

The Prostate Plan

When John Stone found out he had prostate cancer, he researched the conventional interventions, including surgery and radiation, and quickly learned the harsh truth—they don’t always work, and can cause impotence and incontinence.

Fresh findings suggest that changes in diet and lifestyle may slow prostate cancer. If the results hold up, surgery and radiation won’t be the main choices
Source: Newsweek, 4/22/02 by David Noonan and Karen Springen. Review the complete article at:

New Prostate Cancer Vaccine to Be Tested

Dr David Peace and colleagues from the University of Illinois at Chicago speculate that the vaccine, which incorporates a fragment of the prostate specific antigen (PSA) protein, may be particularly effective in immunocompromised patients. After five years of research, the team have revealed that the vaccine causes the release of cytotoxic T lymphocytes that are selective for PSA-producing tumour cells. In-vitro experiments showed that such lymphocytes may be induced from both advanced prostate cancer patients and healthy controls. The vaccine has been developed to stimulate the immune systems of patients with a specific immune type common to half of western populations, and all those involved in the trial will be of this type. However, similar vaccines designed to target other immune types are currently under development. The clinical trial will involve prostate cancer patients at high risk of recurrence, those with rising PSA levels or those who are being treated for metastatic cancer. Participants will receive the vaccine either by subcutaneous injection or by intravenous injection and will continue any concurrent treatment throughout the study period. Dr Peace said, "The advantage of these kinds of vaccines is that they can be customised to each patient, based on his immune type. The specificity of the vaccine enables the immune system to target the tumour cells with exquisite precision, with minimal risk of damage to the body's normal tissues." He added that the technology might also be applicable for the treatment of certain types of breast cancer.
Source: Experimental Biology 2002 meeting, New Orleans, 4/21/02.

University Scientist Tests Prostate Cancer Vaccine

A University of Illinois at Chicago researcher has developed and is now clinically testing a vaccine that boosts the body's own immune system in an effort to cure prostate cancer. The trial, sponsored by the National Cancer Institute, will assess the effectiveness of the vaccine, created in the laboratory of Dr. David Peace, assistant professor of medicine, after five years of intensive research.

Red Meat Gene Linked with Prostate Cancer in Study

A gene involved in digesting red meat is also highly active in cells taken from prostate cancer (news - web sites) tumors--a finding that could lead to new dietary and chemical treatments to prevent the disease, researchers said on Wednesday.

Cells removed from prostate tumors showed a nine-fold increase in activity by a gene called AMACR as compared to healthy cells, a team of researchers at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore found.

The AMACR fatty acid molecule is found in high levels in dairy and beef products. The gene of the same name produces an enzyme that helps break down the fatty acid.

Previous studies have shown that diets high in red meat are linked with an increased risk of prostate cancer.

The researchers cautioned that it was too early to establish a link between eating beef and dairy products and prostate cancer, but said the findings offer a way for scientists to study the association.

"For years, many of us have believed that diet is somehow linked to prostate cancer, but we didn't have any molecular clues as to how this works," Dr. Angelo De Marzo, a cancer and urology specialist who co-authored the study with colleague William Isaacs, said in a telephone interview.

"This opens the question, is this gene (activated) because it is helping to drive prostate cancer growth?" he asked.

Writing in the journal Cancer Research, De Marzo and his colleagues said they studied more than 6,500 genes and found the AMACR gene active at unusually high levels in prostate cancer.

They later studied 168 prostate cancer tumors and found that 95% had high levels of activity by the gene, making it one of the main biological markers of the cancer.

De Marzo and Isaacs said the AMACR markers might be used to diagnose prostate cancer and reduce the number of needle biopsies that patients currently have to undergo.

A prostate biopsy involves inserting a needle via the rectum to get to the prostate. De Marzo estimated that as many as 15% of the procedures must be repeated.

It might also be possible to use scans to look for AMACR gene activity.

"It is a beautiful marker regardless of what role it is playing in the disease," said Isaacs.

Prostate cancer is the second most common cancer found in men, after lung cancer. The American Cancer Society (news - web sites) estimates that 189,000 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2002 and 30,000 will die of it.

San Diego-Based Biotech Firm Corvas Explores Using Anthrax to Fight Cancer

The infamous anthrax bacteria, which cut a terrifying swath through the United States last fall, is now showing promise as a potential weapon against cancer. One San Diego biotechnology company that is exploring that potential is Corvas International. The company is testing a new compound derived from the spore-forming bacteria Bacillus anthracis in animals, hoping to harness its tremendous killing power in the battle against breast, prostate and lung cancer.
Source: The San Diego Union-Tribune

Hopkins Scientists Find Genetic Link Between Diet and Prostate Cancer

Cells taken from prostate cancers show a nine-fold increase in expression by a gene called AMACR, a team of Hopkins investigators report in the April 15, 2002, issue of Cancer Research. "This gene appears to play an important role in breakdown of branched chain fatty acid molecules such as those found in dairy products and beef," said Dr William B Isaacs, professor of urology and oncology at the Brady Urological Institute and Kimmel Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins and senior author of this study. The Hopkins scientists caution that the link, if any, between increased expression of AMACR and eating beef and dairy foods is unclear and is the focus of ongoing research.

Can New Diet Fight Prostate Cancer?

A new study reports that a diet of fruits, vegetables, whole grains and beans, coupled with exercise and meditation, can help slow, stop, or even reverse prostate cancer for men in the early stages of the disease. Dr. Dean Ornish, a clinical professor of medicine at the University of California-San Francisco, led the study. Ornish, who is best known for his support of low-fat diets in reversing heart disease, is now contending that diet changes could also help reverse prostate cancer.

New Prostate Cancer Marker Tested

Cells taken from prostate cancer showed a ninefold increase in the expression of the gene AMACR (alpha-methylacyl-CoA racemase). The Johns Hopkins researchers say AMACR plays an important role in the metabolism of branched-chain fatty acids that are found in foods such as beef and dairy produce. Such foods have been linked to prostate cancer risk in the past. However, Dr William Isaacs and his team say it is too early to establish a clear link between increased AMACR expression and a diet high in these foods. The scientists performed a detailed immunohistochemical analysis of samples from 168 primary prostate cancer cases. Both prostate cancers and pre-malignant precursor lesions (high-grade prostatic intraepithelial neoplasia) expressed significantly higher levels of the gene than healthy prostate tissue. More than 95 per cent of the malignancies expressed AMACR, making this gene one of the most consistent biological markers known for prostate cancer. Furthermore, both untreated metastases and hormone refractory prostate cancers were strongly positive for AMACR. To extend the utility of this marker Dr Isaacs' team combined staining for AMACR with staining for a nuclear protein called p63. This nuclear protein is present in healthy prostate cells but absent in those that are malignant. On the basis of its consistency and magnitude for cancer-specific expression, the scientists believe that AMACR is an important new marker of prostate cancer and that its use in combination with p63 staining will form the basis for an improved staining method for the identification of prostate carcinomas. The team are hopeful that AMACR will open doors to preventative strategies. "What we've learned about AMACR could not only serve as an excellent early marker for prostate cancer but also could identify new dietary or chemical means of preventing the disease," said Dr Angelo De Marzo, co-author of the study. Reference: Luo et al, Cancer Research 2002;62:2220-2226

Prostatectomy Outcome Variation

Studies have previously shown that variation exists between hospitals and surgeons for cancer surgery outcome, but radical prostatectomy alone has received less attention. Dr Colin Begg and colleagues from the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York, the US, investigated a variety of health-related outcomes in men who underwent radical prostatectomy at a range of hospitals across the country. The researchers used information gleaned from the Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results-Medicare linked database, and subsequent Medicare claims records, in addition to details of the number of operations performed by individual surgeons and in individual hospitals. In total, 11,522 patients who underwent radical prostatectomy between 1992 and 1996 were involved in the study. Urinary complications occurring 31-365 days after the procedure and immediate post-operative complications were significantly less common in hospitals with very high volumes of operations and when performed by surgeons with very high volumes of patients. Morbidity rates were 27 and 26 per cent for the very high volume hospitals and surgeons, respectively, compared to 32 per cent for both the low volume hospitals and surgeons. Death rates were similar between hospitals and surgeons, however, and wide variation was observed between surgeons for measures of long-term continence preservation. Writing in The New England Journal of Medicine, the researchers conclude, "Our results suggest the need for more careful scrutiny of adverse outcomes so as to reduce the burden of suffering among patients who undergo surgery for prostate cancer. The existence of substantial variations in outcomes should stimulate more active educational efforts by professional societies to optimise the quality of surgical care." Reference: Begg et al, The New England Journal of Medicine 2002;346:1138-1144

Treatment Guidance for Prostate Cancer Patients

Developed by Dr Donald Novicki and colleagues at the Mayo Clinic, Rochester, the guide "Early-Stage Prostate Cancer: What's best for me?" looks at five common treatment options - external beam radiation, radioactive seed implantation, hormonal therapy, radical prostatectomy and watchful waiting. For each treatment option there is a personal account of a man who selected the therapy, and this can be viewed as a video or read as a story. The case study explains how the man made his choice and outlines the consequences of his treatment decision. Accompanying charts identify the pros and cons of each treatment choice. Also included in the hour-long guide is an interview with Dr Novicki, who summarises points to consider when deciding on a treatment and answers frequently asked questions about the therapies available for prostate cancer. A glossary of medical terms commonly used in discussion of prostate cancer is included at the end of the guide. The guide's developers recommend that the best course of action for most men faced with a treatment decision is to first educate themselves about the various treatment options. "There is no one best treatment for prostate cancer since every situation is a bit different and a certain degree of educated judgement is necessary in every decision-making process," explained Dr Novicki. He said that it is not unusual for men to feel alone when facing a diagnosis of prostate cancer. "This resource is a way to hear in detail from others in similar circumstances. It is a tool to use in conjunction with the advice of your physician." In the UK, over 21,700 new cases of prostate cancer are diagnosed each year, making it the second most common in men. Around 1 in 12 men will develop the disease at some point in their lives, according to Cancer Research UK. The guide is accessible on the Mayo Clinic website at

Antioxidants: No Magic Bullet

Was there anything vitamin C, vitamin E, and beta-carotene couldn't do? For years, people assumed that they could prevent everything from cancer to heart attacks, strokes, cataracts, and more. . . . . But some results - on prostate cancer and macular degeneration-are promising.

Neoadjuvant Androgen Deprivatoin before Radical Prostatectomy

Researchers suggested that induction androgen deprivation before radical prostatectomy is not indicated "[u]ntil studies document improvement in biochemical or clinical recurrence with longer periods of treatment."

Laparoscopic Pelvic Lymphadenectomy Justified in Select Patients with Locally Advanced Prostate Cancer

In a study assessing the role of laparoscopic lymph node sampling in patients with locally advanced prostate cancer before radical radiotherapy, researchers concluded that laparoscopic lymph nodes can be sampled safely by urologists with experience in laparoscopic surgery.

Homing in on Metastatic Prostate Cancer Cells

Few treatment choices exist for men with metastatic prostate cancer where androgen ablation therapy has failed. Furthermore, drugs that may be capable of killing metastatic cancer cells also kill normal noncancerous cells. Therefore, drugs and treatments that can specifically target and kill metastatic prostate tumor cells, wherever they are in the body, without causing damage to normal cells are urgently needed. Prostate Cancer Research Program researchers at the Johns Hopkins University, in collaboration with The Royal Danish School of Pharmacy, are addressing this critical issue. Their approach is to chemically transform active, cell-killing drugs into inactive forms (prodrugs) that will become activated only in areas of the body that contain the cancer cells. Specifically, these investigators are using a drug called thapsigargin that is a natural plant product that kills cells by inducing apoptosis. To target thapsigargin to kill only prostate cancer cells, the researchers have produced several different thapsigargin prodrugs that are activated into their active cell-killing forms by prostate-specific antigen and prostate-specific membrane antigen, proteins that are produced in high levels by prostate cancer cells. This work represents an exciting and promising approach to specifically target the potent cell-killing ability of a chemotherapeutic agent, thapsigargin, to prostate cancer cells while avoiding side effects to the rest of the body.

Source: Samuel R. Denmeade, M.D., The Johns Hopkins University.


Jakobsen CM, Denmeade SR, Isaacs JT, Gady A, Olsen CE, Christensen SB. 2001. Design, synthesis, and pharmacological evaluation of thapsigargin analogues for targeting apoptosis to prostatic cancer cells. J. Med. Chem. 44:4696-4703.

Khan SR and Denmeade SR. 2000. In vivo activity of a PSA-activated doxorubicin prodrug against PSA-producing human prostate cancer xenografts. Prostate 45: 80-83.

Technical Abstract: Enzymatic Activation of Proteasome Inhibitor Prodrugs by Prostate-Specific Antigen as Targeted Therapy for Metastatic Prostate Cancer

Public Abstract: Enzymatic Activation of Proteasome Inhibitor Prodrugs by Prostate-Specific Antigen as Targeted Therapy for Metastatic Prostate Cancer

Could an Aspirin a Day Help Keep Prostate Cancer Away?

A Mayo Clinic study suggests that regular use of aspirin, ibuprofen and other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) may help protect against prostate cancer. The study found that men age 60 and older who used NSAIDs daily reduced their risk of prostate cancer by as much as 60 percent. The study also suggested that the beneficial effect may increase with age. The findings are published in the March, 2002 issue of Mayo Clinic Proceedings. The 1,362 Caucasian men were followed for an average of five and one-half years. Of the 569 men who reported using NSAIDs daily, 23 developed prostate cancer, compared with 68 of 793 men in the same study who did not use NSAIDs daily and developed the disease. "These numbers mean the proportion of men who used NSAIDs daily and developed prostate cancer was about one-half that of men who did not use NSAIDs daily -- four percent compared to nine percent," says Dr. Rosebud Roberts, a Mayo Clinic epidemiologist. "Men should follow their doctor's advice on this, because there are also negative side effects of NSAIDs that need to be considered and monitored in people who take them on a daily basis."

Prostate Cancer, Breast Cancer Join To Build Awareness

For the first time, the National Prostate Cancer Coalition and the Linda Creed Breast Cancer Foundation have forged a partnership to battle cancer, hosting a joint fund-raiser on April 20 at the Hyatt Regency Penn's Landing in Philadelphia from 7 p.m. to midnight. Click here to read more.

Studies Show Soy Can Aid Both Sexes

Although soy-enriched products from cereal to milk have long been marketed toward women, new evidence suggests that it's just as important for men, if not more important. New studies have pointed toward soy as a way to reduce the recurrence of prostate cancer. Unlike similar research with breast cancer, the results of the prostate studies showed that isoflavons -- a component of soy -- might be beneficial in treating the disease. For the full article follow the article link at:

AFUD Offers Online Resource Guide For Dealing With Prostate Cancer

The American Foundation For Urologic Disease Web site provides information on the foundation and helpful tips for those with urologic disease. It is updating its resource guide, and help is needed from you. Please contact Anthony Caputi with correct information on support groups or resources you have found helpful in your community. Click here for contact information, and be sure to click here to read the guide.

Inspiration For A Prostate-Healthy Diet

Kitpath's Cooking Pages is a collection of tested recipes from several low-fat cookbooks. The site provides a user-friendly feature allowing visitors to browse other cooking sites. Click here to see the recipes

Vasectomy and Prostate Cancer

A vasectomy is an operation that prevents sperm from traveling from the testicles to the penis, says the Harvard Center for Cancer Prevention. It is one of the most popular forms of birth control in the US. Men who have vasectomies have a slightly higher risk of prostate cancer. Scientists aren't sure why.


Declining Deaths from Prostate Cancer

Originally published in the Harvard Men's Health Watch. For subscription information click here. (Updated:2002-02-01 09:00:51)

Since 1991, deaths from prostate cancer have declined steadily in the United States. That’s good news, but the explanation remains unclear. Many scientists credit the prostate specific antigen (PSA) test, which has been used for routine prostate cancer screening since the late 1980s. Find out more -

California Awards UCLA $50 Million to Administer Statewide Prostate Cancer Treatment Program

University and State officials announce today the establishment of a new statewide prostate cancer treatment program to help uninsured men with prostate cancer receive critical medical care. The initial three-year program, administered by UCLA, is funded with $50 million from the State of California. The new program is called IMPACT: Improving Access, Counseling and Treatment for Californians with Prostate Cancer. MORE

Source: or

Castration Alternative Works Well, Spares Libido

An alternative to castration appears to be just as effective in promoting survival in men with advanced prostate cancer while resulting in reduced side effects such as impotence, a new study reveals

The U.S. Senate passes SR 138, designating September as National Prostate Cancer Awareness Month


Designating the month of September as `National Prostate Cancer Awareness Month'.

Whereas over 1,000,000 American families live with prostate cancer;

Whereas 1 American man in 6 will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in his lifetime;

Whereas prostate cancer is the most commonly diagnosed nonskin cancer and the second most common cancer killer of American men;

Whereas 198,100 American men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer and 31,500 American men will die of prostate cancer in 2001, according to American Cancer Society estimates;

Whereas fully 1/4 of new cases of prostate cancer occur in men during their prime working years;

Whereas African Americans have the highest incidence and mortality rates of prostate cancer in the world;

Whereas screening by both digit rectal examination and prostate specific antigen blood test (PSA) can diagnose the disease in earlier and more treatable stages and have reduced prostate cancer mortality;

Whereas the research pipeline promises further improvements in prostate cancer prevention, early detection, and treatments; and

Whereas educating Americans, including health care providers, about prostate cancer and early detection strategies is crucial to saving men's lives and preserving and protecting our families: Now, therefore, be it Resolved, That the Senate--

(1) designates the month of September 2001 as `National Prostate Cancer Awareness Month';

(2) declares that the Federal Government has a responsibility--(A) to raise awareness about the importance of screening methods and treatment of prostate cancer; (B) to increase research funding that is commensurate with the burden of the disease so that the causes of, and improved screening, treatments, and a cure for, prostate cancer may be discovered; and (C) to continue to consider ways for improving access to, and the quality of, health care services for detecting and treating prostate cancer; and

(3) requests the President to issue a proclamation calling upon the people of the United States, interested groups, and affected persons to promote awareness of prostate cancer, to take an active role in the fight to end the devastating effects of prostate cancer on individuals, their families, and the economy and to observe the month of September 2001 with appropriate ceremonies and activities.

Amend the title so as to read: `Resolution designating the month of September 2001 as `National Prostate Cancer Awareness Month'.

Prostate Cancer Awareness Stamp Taken Off the Market

As of this Monday, July 16, 2001 there were 24.3 million Prostate Cancer Awareness stamps in inventory (of 78.1 million originally issued May 28, 1999.) As of September 30, 2001, it will be withdrawn from sale through the USA Philatelic mail order catalog and no longer be available. Some of the larger post offices that have Philatelic Centers for collectors may still have a very limited inventory of this stamp. Of course, non-postal stamp dealers and collectors will have some for sale.

Here's the latest information on sales of the Breast Cancer Research semipostal stamp. As of June 15, 2001, the U.S Postal Service sold 305 million of the stamps (40 cents each for a total gross revenue of $122 million), raising $21 million for research. 415 million total stamps have been printed. The stamp was first issued on July 29, 1998.
Source: Don Smeraldi, U.S. Postal Service, 202.268.6524

Prostate Cancer Research Institute Alert: Another Important Research Project May Fail If Men Don't Show Up

A crucial cancer research trial is about to fail. It will not fail because of lack of funding. The National Institute of Health is funding it. It will not fail because of the researchers, they are ready and waiting. It will not fail because the therapies fail. We won't know that until the trial is complete.

It will fail because of lack of patients. It will fail because the very men who will die and the families that will suffer the loss are not aware of the research and are not being made aware by their doctors.

What is it about men? What is it about this lethal form of cancer that men, even men who have been treated for it cannot and will not confront it? What is it about the doctors treating these men that they are not alert to the trial therapies that may save or extend their patient's lives?  

Is there something in the psychological nature of a man that prevents him from learning about his body and taking responsible preventive measures? Is there a failure in the American health system that does not sufficiently propagate crucial, live-saving information?

Is there a failure in medical education, in medical practice that biases doctors to their own specialty and blinds them to alternative a multidisciplinary approach to treatment?

African American men have one of the highest incidences of Pc. In general, they tend to present with a worse stage at DX which puts them at a high risk.

Therefore African American men need to be represented in this and other trials in order to better assess whether they benefit from the same interventions instead of extrapolating from trials where the majority of patients are white.

A thousand men are needed for this trial. Without treatment, statistically, from four to six hundred of these thousand men will have a reoccurrence and die of prostate cancer. Unnecessarily.

King Hussein, Francois Mitterand, Ayatolla Khomeini, The Shah of Iran, Steve Ross, Frank Zappa and millions of others have died of Prostate Cancer. These famous men, rich men, world leaders died unnecessarily.

Joe Torre, Norman Schwartzkopf, Jerry Lewis, Charlton Heston, Michael Milken, Dominic Dunne, Barry Bostwick, Mayor Rudolph Guiliani, Intel CEO Andy Grove, the new FBI Director Nominee and millions of others are living with it. Millions of others have it and don't yet know.

Prostate cancer kills 36,000 Americans a year, roughly equal to breast cancer. Prostate cancer receives less than one fourth of the research money of breast cancer. AIDS in the US kills approximately the same number each year, yet AIDS receives over ten times the research funds. 

One in two Americans will get cancer. One in six American men will develop prostate cancer in their lifetime. It is the second leading cause of death due to cancer in men.

Women are aware of the need for early detection. Men are in denial. Breast cancer and AIDS have been politicized. Prostate Cancer has not.  

New methods of detection have improved the chances of survival. Most men are unaware. A simple blood test can indicate cancer early, when aggressive treatment is most effective. The test tracks Prostate Specific Antigen in the blood. Few men are aware of their PSA level. Fewer know to track these levels yearly.

New treatments including radioactive seeds, hormone therapy, gene therapy, surgery, chemo and others are available. Few doctors can give a cogent answer to the question of what kind of treatments their patients should have. When attacked while contained in the prostate, prostate cancer is often curable. When it migrates out of the prostate, it is generally too late for a cure.  

Prostate cancer usually strikes men in their most productive years, at the peak of their earning power and their value to society. The financial cost to US society for all cancers has been pegged by the Milken Institute at 47 trillion dollars, roughly equal to the GNP.

We now know that defective genes cause cancer. We are within sight of a cure. It could happen within our lifetime, possibly within the next ten years. 

Because of the unique structure of prostate cancer cells a breakthrough here could have a profound effect on speeding the research in other forms of cancer.

The Prostate Cancer Research Institute is being formed at University of Washington in collaboration with The Fred Hutchinson Cancer Institute to speed up both research and treatment, through a multidisciplinary approach. New research will be speeded out of the lab into immediate clinical trials with the results directed back to the labs for refinement.  

One crucial trial by the Southwest Oncology Group is in danger of failure because not enough patients or their doctors know about it. The trial needs 1000 patients at high risk of recurrence after surgery. Statistically four to six hundred of these men will die or have their lives shortened dramatically by reoccurrence. This trial will offer new therapies to attempt to prevent this.

You can help. The researchers need to get the word out. People need to know about prostate cancer, as it not only affects men, but also their families, friends and society.

In the forties Franklin Roosevelt declared War on Polio. Today, Polio is no longer a threat to our children or ourselves.

The researchers are excited. The knowledge gained in the last few years is profound. There is no reason that our children and our children's children should live with or die from cancer. Our generation can find a cure. You can be a part of this. We need to get the word out. 

Dr. Celestia Higano, a world renown research oncologist and Dr. Maha Hussein two of the few women in prostate cancer research are available to appear on camera, either in person, via satellite or on tape. Tia has spoken before medical research groups across the US, in Europe and the Far East. She can speak on the immediate clinical trial crisis, current research breakthroughs and the Prostate Cancer Research Institute, of which she is a founder. 

Other possible on camera guests are Dr. Paul Lange of the University of Washington Medical School, a founder of the PCRI; and the above named survivors including Michael Milken. DV footage of Michael Milken's speech at the PCRI fundraiser is also available.

Contact:  Charles Proser, Prostate Cancer Research Institute - Media, 323.876.1885 or

Docs Don't Talk to Men about Prostate

Doctors are only talking to one in two men about prostate cancer, the second-leading cancer killer in men. What's more, it seems that some men could use the talk, as one in five report not knowing who exactly has a prostate, according to results of a new survey conducted by Men's Health Magazine

"People in healthcare hear a lot about prostate cancer and may take it for granted that most men are informed about the disease," said Ted Spiker, the articles editor at Men's Health.

Cancer of the prostate, a small gland located in the male reproductive system, is the second-leading cause of cancer deaths in American men after lung cancer. More than 180,000 new cases of prostate cancer will be diagnosed this year and nearly 32,000 men will die from the disease.

One thousand men aged 18 or older were interviewed by telephone between April 30 and May 9 of this year. The survey results are published in the July/August issue of Men's Health.

"Doctors are talking to one out of two male patients about prostate cancer and are not recommending testing in about a third of males with increased risk," the survey indicates.

Currently, the American Cancer Society recommends that men aged 50 and over be offered a rectal exam and prostate specific antigen (PSA) test to detect prostate cancer.

While it is known that African Americans and those with a family history of the disease are at increased risk, many men may overlook the fact that eating a high-fat diet and being over age 65 can also increase their risk.

Most alarming, however, is the fact that "a lot of men say that their doctors don't talk to them about their prostate and three-quarters of men say they haven't heard of a PSA test," Spiker said.

PSA is a protein found in blood that, when elevated, could be a sign of cancer. Men with a very low PSA test can have another PSA test and a digital rectal exam, a physical examination of the prostate, every 1 to 3 years. Men with normal but slightly elevated PSA levels should be retested every year.

"We want men to be more aware of important health issues and to talk to their doctors about possible tests and prevention," Spiker concluded.

Source: Keith Mulvihill

Men don't get full benefit from relatively new test

Many men aren't benefiting from a simple blood test for prostate cancer because their urologists aren't using the relatively new test, called a free-PSA.

That's the conclusion of a new survey of American urologists attending the American Urological Association's annual conference, held last week in Anaheim, Calif. The survey was conducted by the Men's Health Network (MHN), which released the results today during National Prostate Cancer Awareness week.

"The survey suggests many doctors are not yet taking advantage of the risk-assessment information that the free-PSA test provides about how likely prostatic biopsies are to show cancers in individual cases," said Dr. William J. Catalona, of the Washington University School of Medicine.

"That means patients may not have all the information they need to make an informed decision about whether or not to have a biopsy," says Catalona who authored a major study on the free-PSA test that established the test's role and effectiveness in detecting cancer while eliminating unnecessary biopsies.

PSA, which stands for prostate specific antigen, is a protein produced only by the prostate gland. Small amounts of this substance may get into the bloodstream and can be measured by the PSA test.

The free-PSA blood test is a follow-up test to the total PSA and improves the accuracy of prostate cancer testing. The prostate specific antigen can be "bound" to other particles or they can be unbound PSA molecules that float "freely" in the bloodstream. A free-PSA test measures these free PSA molecules.

The free-PSA test was FDA-approved in 1998, and clinically proven to help detect prostate cancer with great accuracy. Leading cancer researchers have concluded the test can eliminate 20 percent of unnecessary biopsies, among men who have moderately elevated levels of total PSA and a negative digital rectal exam (DRE).

Prostate biopsies, in which samples of prostate tissue are examined under a microsope to determine the presence of cancer, routinely cost more than $1,000, involve discomfort and anxiety, and can cause complications such as infection, fever, urinary retention and rectal bleeding.

But the Men's Health Network survey found most urologists do not perform a simple free-PSA blood test before referring these men for biopsy.

American Cancer Society guidelines clearly recognize the test's role in detecting cancer. The guidelines say restricting biopsy "to men with less than 20 percent PSA improves testing accuracy," and that proper use of the free-PSA test "may result in a lower biopsy rate compared with older strategies."

Nearly 90 percent of urologists reported that when they recommend a prostate biopsy, patients at least occasionally ask if there is an alternative.

Even though many urologists do not perform a free-PSA blood test before referring men with moderately elevated PSA levels for biopsy, most urologists do nonetheless employ the test to assess these patients' conditions.

The large majority of responding urologists recommends the test for men who have a negative DRE and moderately elevated PSA levels, and especially for men with moderately elevated PSA, a negative DRE and a negative biopsy.

"PSA is the best cancer tumor marker in all of medicine, but there has been understandable pressure to improve its accuracy," said Dr. Catalona. "Free-PSA is the best available way to improve the accuracy of total PSA tests."

Dr. David Gremillion, of the University of North Carolina School of Medicine, praised PSA and free-PSA testing as providing "an opportunity for men that can rival the benefits of regular preventive care that women receive when they go for their annual Pap smears and screening mammograms."

The survey of U.S. urologists was performed by representatives of the Men's Health Network from June 3-6, 2001. Beckman Coulter, which manufactures the Hybritech free-PSA test, provided an educational grant to conduct the survey.


Osteoporosis under-diagnosed in men

Typical osteoporosis screening is another example of the need for gender-based research and health outreach. Based of guidelines for the female body, traditional osteoporosis screening fails to diagnose most cases in men. One study found that the traditional screening method correctly diagnosed only 17% of men with osteoporosis, overlooking 83% of men with the condition. Osteoporosis is also of concern for men who are receiving treatment for prostate cancer.


Number of Sex Partners Linked to Prostate Cancer

Men's risk of prostate cancer may increase in tandem with the number of female sex partners they have had in their lifetime, according to the results of a new study.

This finding supports the theory that prostate cancer may be triggered by an infectious agent, because men with more sex partners tend to have an increased risk of exposure to infection, according to Karin A. Rosenblatt of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and her colleagues. The findings are published in the American Journal of Epidemiology.

Past studies have found links between certain sexually transmitted diseases--particularly gonorrhea--and prostate cancer. Some studies have also linked prostate cancer to human papillomavirus, the cause of genital warts and a major contributor to cervical cancer in women. However, other studies have found no link between sexually transmitted diseases and prostate cancer.

In the new study, the researchers looked at 753 men with prostate cancer and compared them with 703 men the same age who were cancer-free. All were between the ages of 40 and 64.

Men who reported having gonorrhea had a slightly increased risk of prostate cancer, although other types of sexually transmitted diseases did not appear to increase risk significantly.

Having two or more female sex partners during their teens, 20s, 40s and between age 50 to 64 increased men's risk of prostate cancer, compared with men who had sex with only one woman during each of these time periods, the investigators found. Also, men who had 30 or more sexual partners in their lifetime had an increased risk of more aggressive prostate cancer.

There was no link between the number of male partners a man had and cancer, and the frequency of sex did not affect cancer risk.

In contradiction of previous research, the study found that having sex for the first time at an earlier age was not associated with an increased risk of prostate cancer.

However, the study could not prove that a higher number of sex partners was the actual cause of prostate cancer. And more research is needed confirm the results--and find a reason why they might be true.

"In summary, our results support a role for sexual behavior and associated exposure to infectious agents in the etiology of prostate cancer," Rosenblatt and colleagues conclude. "Additional research will be required to identify specific exposures that may explain the observed link between the number of sexual partners and prostate cancer risk."

Source: American Journal of Epidemiology 2001;152:1152-1158.

Safeway Cares - Finally

Safeway grocery stores, after years of promoting single women as the father of the house, have at least opened up their "Safeway Cares" program for men.

In the back page of their "Father's Day Favorites!" ad specials insert for 6/13-19, 2001, there is a 4 3/4 by 3 3/8s ad promoting Prostate Cancer Awareness. It reads "Help Safeway and CaP CURE in the fight to cure prostate cancer. Every dollar contributed brings us one step closer to a cure. Ask your checker how you can give today!" And, "Visit the pharmacy at participating stores for a Free Prostate Cancer fact sheet." At check-out, you get a flier that says "Please present at check out to add a $100 contribution to your purchase." When given to the check out person, they charge your grocery purchase an extra dollar. The card has a line "A contribution is made in honor of:" and a line to write your name, supposedly to be posted somewhere in the store. I turned one in but have yet to see it or any others posted. Consumers never really supported the Prostate Cancer Awareness Stamp at the post office. Hopefully, more will support this program. Hopefully, men will wake up and help support prostate cancer awareness since there really isn't a cure or any treatment that improves a man's life, like there is for Breast Cancer. That's why the American Cancer Society isn't recommending annual check-ups like they recommend for women re: breast cancer. They only recommend that you talk with your health care professional. It takes awareness followed by action. Hey men, let's solve this thing before it's too late for us, our fathers, our grandfathers, and our sons. September 17-21, 2001 is Prostate Cancer Awareness Week. Spread the word.

Study Sheds Light on Prostate Cancer Screening

A new study has shed some light on how often a man should be screened for prostate cancer if he has a normal result on the prostate specific antigen (PSA) test.

But it remains unclear how often men with normal PSA levels should receive follow-up screening for prostate cancer. From 85% to 92% of men screened for prostate cancer will have PSA levels of 4.0 ng/ml or less.

The researchers conclude: ``In individuals with initial PSA levels lower than 1.0 ng/ml, it is recommended that DRE and PSA screening should be performed once every three years, and DRE is more useful than PSA. In individuals with initial PSA levels of 1.0 to 4.0 ng/ml, annual measurement of PSA was more useful than DRE, and it is recommended that PSA screening should be performed once a year.''


Black Fraternity Announces Two-Year Prostate Cancer Global Awanress Campaign

One year ago, Kappa Alpha Psi, the world's largest Black fraternity, launched the two-year Prostate Cancer Global Awareness Campaign. The campaign was started in recognition of the fact that prostate cancer death rates in African-American men are almost twice the rate among White men.

The campaign is endorsed by Harry Belafonte, a prostate cancer survivor, the Honorable Louis Stokes of Ohio, and Wellington Webb, mayor of Denver, CO.

The effort is being coordinated by Kappa Alpha Psi chapters around the world, and includes education and screening activities. One of the most important results of the campaign has been to encourage the U.S. Conference of Mayors to conduct a similar effort.

For more information, contact: Kappa Alpha Psi 2322-24 N. Broad Street Philadelphia, PA 19132

Clinical Trial in US With Prostate Cancer Patients Who Fail Hormone Therapy

There is a need for an improved therapy for prostate cancer patients, particularly for those whose cancer has spread; the need is urgent for those who have failed hormone therapy, as there is currently no approved drug for such patients and their outlook is grim. The number of new cases of prostate cancer in the US and Western Europe (WE) exceeds 370,000 annually; the number of existing prostate cancer cases in the US and WE is estimated to exceed 2,300,000.

The US FDA has allowed a clinical trial to treat prostate cancer patients who have failed hormone therapy (called hormone refractory patients), with a combination immuno-chemo therapy regimen comprised of Aphton's (Nasdaq/NM:APHT) immunogen, called GnRH pharmaccine, and the chemotherapeutic taxotere.

Such patients will likely have been treated with a GnRH agonist drug (to achieve a chemical castration) or an orchiectomy (a surgical castration), following therapy for the primary tumor, but will have metastases, relapsed and have a rising PSA.


Vitamin E may protect against prostate cancer

A form of vitamin E not usually found in vitamin supplements may help protect against prostate cancer, researchers have found. Recent studies have suggested certain antioxidants, including vitamin E, may fight prostate cancer.

Good Food & A Good Cause

At Whole Foods Market, our commitment to our community begins with the good, wholesome foods we offer. Beyond this primary interest of providing Mill Valley (CA) with the best quality foods available, we recognize and take seriously, our responsibility to our surrounding community. Our 5% Day is just one way we are able to help organizations and individuals that continually strive to make our community a healthier and happier place.

This time our 5% Day is going to be spread out over five days, giving 1% of total sales for five days in a row. The Prostate Awareness Foundation helps individuals all over the Bay Area and this will give them a chance to do their weekly shopping at Mill Valley’s Whole Foods. Thank you for shopping during these five days to increase the donation amount to the Prostate Awareness Foundation.

Whole Foods Market proudly supports The Prostate Awareness Foundation by donating 1% of our sales from January 8th through the 12th. Shop at Mill Valley. Monday through Friday to lend your support to The Prostate Awareness Foundation. PAF offers information, support, and education about the treatment options available to those with prostate cancer. The object is to lessen the trauma, impact, problems, and depression associated with the disease, and to encourage proactive responsibility for one’s own healing. The Prostate Awareness Foundation has been offering this service to Marin and the Greater Bay Area since 1995.

Whole Foods Market is proud to lend its support to the Prostate Cancer Climb up Mt. Aconcaugua in Argentina. We wish Ken Malik, climber and co-founder of PAF the best of luck on his climb!

Prostate Cancer Climb - Mount Aconcagua, Argentina

To raise $1,000,000 for research and public education about prostate cancer, corporate, community and indiviual pledges are being solicited for a climb to reach the top of Mt. Aconcagua which rises over 22,000 feet and is the highest peak outside of the Himalayas. Nine climbers and 12 trekkers will scale the mountain. All of them have been personally touched by prostate cancer. Journey with the climbers in spirit and let your spirit soar! A contribution of $25 or more in memory of a loved one or a prostate cancer survivor. A tribute flag will be personalized with their name and brought to the expedition. Team members will carry these flags to base camp where they will be flown proudly. You will also receive a blue prostate cancer pin to wear proudly during the climb. For more information (1/21-2/4/01)

Natural Medicine Online: Therapeutic Choices in BPM

This newsletter espouses a naturopathic approach to benign prostatic hypertrophy, and the information may be useful to many confronting this problem: "Diet appears to play a critical role in the health of the prostate. Key goals are are avoiding pesticides, decreasing alcohol consumption, increasing the intake of zinc and essential fatty acids, and ke!eping cholesterol levels below 200 mg/DL. Achieving ideal body weight and engaging in a regular exercise program are also important goals."

Saw Palmetto may Fight Prostate Cancer

Extract from the Saw Palmetto berry, a commonly used herbal supplement taken by men with enlarged prostates, may also have anti-cancer properties, researchers announced at The American Society for Cell Biology meeting.

Protein Linked to Prostate Cancer Risk in Black Men

The prostate tumors found in black men have more than 20 times the level of a certain cancer-promoting substance as the tumors found in white men researchers reported at The American Society for Cell Biology meeting.

Natural Medicine Online: Therapeutic Choices in BPH

This newsletter espouses a naturopathic approach to benign prostatic hypertrophy, and the information may be useful to many confronting this problem: "Diet appears to play a critical role in the health of the prostate. Key goals are are avoiding pesticides, decreasing alcohol consumption, increasing the intake of zinc and essential fatty acids, and keeping cholesterol levels below 200 mg/DL. Achieving ideal body weight and engaging in a regular exercise program are also important goals."

Are Men With Vasectomies At Greater Risk For Prostate Cancer?

Ellen: After researching vasectomies on your Web site, I am worried. On the National Cancer Institute's link I found a claim that vasectomies are associated with higher rates of prostate cancer. My husband is scheduled for a vasectomy tomorrow; there's nothing like last minute research!

Dr. Dean: It's funny that you're doing the research and he's not.

Ellen: Well, he asked me to.

Dr. Dean: Ah-ha, chicken. I can definitively say to you that vasectomies do not cause prostate cancer. He should have no fear whatsoever about that. But at one point there was research that suggested a connection.

A couple of studies did find that men with vasectomies had more prostate cancer. Of course, the National Cancer Institute was very interested in these studies, but once news goes into a database on the Internet, it can stay there forever.

Our Web site is huge. The last time I checked we had 40,000 pages, because we want to share information with you. However, keeping material updated can be a challenge.

With further searching, I think you will find that subsequent studies indicate that "detection bias" skewed the earlier reports. Here is how detection bias works.

A man getting a vasectomy will see a urologist. As part of the pre-vasectomy physical, the urologist is going to put his finger where the sun don't shine and examine the patient's prostate. Therefore, prostate cancer is going to be detected more often in men getting vasectomies than in other men. Thus, it appears that men getting vasectomies have more prostate cancer.

There is some research, that is still inconclusive, indicating that primates (monkeys) with vasectomies, may have higher cholesterol levels and greater risk factors for heart disease.

We have NOT found vasectomies to increase heart attacks in humans. Nevertheless, because primates are so close to us, the question, however minimal, lingers.

The question wouldn't stop me from having a vasectomy if I needed one. When I did need one, I didn't do it; and that's why I've got so many kids. And, of course, I'm glad I did.

I tell you in all honesty, Ellen, that when a couple wants permanent birth control, a vasectomy for a man is a much smarter way to go than for the woman to have a tubal ligation. So, I congratulate him.

The Prostate Cancer Research and Prevention Act passed as part of the Public Health Service Act. The Act reads, in part: "Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, may make grants to States and local health departments for the purpose of enabling such States and departments to carry out programs that may include the following:

1. To identify factors that influence the attitudes or levels of awareness of men and health care practitioners regarding screening for prostate cancer.
2. To evaluate. . . the effectiveness of screening strategies for prostate cancer.
3. To identify. . . related to the quality of life for men after prostrate cancer screening and followup.
4. To develop and disseminate public information and education programs for prostate cancer. . .
5. To improve surveillance for prostate cancer.
6. To address the needs of underserved and minority populations regarding prostate cancer.
7. Upon a determination . . .

a. to screen men for prostate cancer as a preventive health measure;
b. to provide appropriate referrals for the medical treatment of men who have been screened under subparagraph (A) and to ensure, to the extent practicable, the provision of appropriate followup services and support services such as case management;
c. to establish mechanisms through which State and local health departments can monitor the quality of screening procedures for prostate cancer. . .
d. to improve . . . the education, training, and skills of health practitioners (including appropriate allied health professionals) in the detection and control of prostate cancer."

Herbs Take a Whack at Prostate Cancer: Men with fewest options seem to benefit most

A mixture of Chinese herbs may offer hope to men with prostate cancer that hasn't responded to conventional medicine. Hundreds or perhaps thousands of men nationally are using the herbs, marketed as PC-SPES, say medical experts. PC stands for prostate cancer and SPES are the first four letters of the Latin word for hope. The herbs seem to work as well as conventional hormone therapies, which reduce testosterone and arrest the growth of prostate cancer, though with some dangerous side effects, says a new study by California researchers. But more exciting, they say, is that the herbs halted the growth of cancer for some men who previously had not responded to hormone therapy at all.

Mayors Launch Coalition for Prostate Cancer Awareness and Education

The United States Conference of Mayors (USCM) has recently launched the Coalition for Prostate Cancer Awareness and Education. Supported by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other organizations, the program will promote awareness and informed decision-making about prostate cancer, especially among African-Americans.

The Coalition was started thanks to the efforts of Denver Mayor Wellington E. Webb. For more information, contact Richard C. Johnson, Director of USCM Health Programs, 1620 Eye Street, NW, 3rd floor, Washington, DC 20006 or 202.861.6753 or

Prostate Cancer Climb - January, 2001

In early 2001, a group of men dedicated to fighting prostate cancer will climb Mount Aconcagua, Argentina , one of the highest peaks in the world. Located in Mendoza, Argentina, Mount Aconcagua rises 7,000 meters above sea level and offers climbers breathtaking beauty as well as serious climbing challenges.

Nine climbers and 12 trekkers will scale the mountain. All of them have been personally touched by prostate cancer. A few are prostate cancer survivors. Many have close friends or relatives in treatment for the disease. Several have lost loved ones to prostate cancer. All of them are "amateur" climbers - and are spending this year getting ready for this physically taxing challenge. The climb will take almost three weeks, and will be professionally led by SUMMITS Adventure Travel, a premier leader in the climbing industry.

The Prostate Cancer Climb is the inspiration of Dr. Terry Weyman, who lost his father to prostate cancer 10 years ago. The project is primarily a volunteer effort, and is affiliated with the Prostate Cancer Research Institute in order to provide the structure, accountability and recommendations on allocation of funding necessary for success.

Each climber will raise money to cover their individual costs for the climb, approximately $5,000 each. They will also solicit pledges for the "Prostate Cancer Climb" fund. Corporate, community and individual pledges are also being solicited to help reach our goal of raising $1,000,000 to help fight prostate cancer.

This is a low-overhead project, with the primary goal being to raise $1 million to benefit prostate cancer research and public education. The overall budget of the Prostate Cancer Climb is $1.3 million. It will take approximately $300,000 to produce the climb (inclusive of climbers' costs) and the remaining $1 million is the amount that will be donated to research and education about prostate cancer.

NFL Support Breast Cancer Research

On Tuesday, October 24, 2000 the NFL's Breast Cancer Awareness Day, the NFL will donate $5 for every person that logs onto and then clicks on "NFL For Her". They will donate up to $50,000 to the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation. (Editor: We appplaud this act by the NFL but sure wish they cared that much about the equal number of men who will die this year because there is no cure and very little funding of research regarding prostate cancer.) Learn More

Grosse Pointe is Gross

Grosse Pointe is a thinly veiled spoof of Beverly Hills 90210 from a behind-the-scenes viewpoint and airs on the WB Friday evenings. In the 10/13 episode one of the actors, who is played as being a bit too old for the character he plays, decides to become a spokesman for prostate cancer. He is seen showing off a poster for a benefit run with a picture of him on it. The name of the run is 'Lift Your Legs for Prostate Cancer'. Later in the show one of the female characters 'encourages' him by saying "Good luck with that ass cancer thing". Finally, there's a fake PSA at the end of the show where the male character and another male actor exchange the following dialogue:

Male Character: "The normal prostate is the size of an apple seed."

Male actor: "However, left unchecked, cancer can cause it to grow to the size of a peach pit."

This material offensive and insulting to men in general and prostate cancer sufferers in particular? The most galling thing about this is that the show thinks they are being edgy and offbeat by offering this kind of humor. Can you imagine the reaction if they had made similar jokes about breast cancer or AIDS? There would be no need for this email because the show would be off the air by now. Hal McCown

If you want to express your displeasure,

Prostate Cancer - What the choices are and how they can affect your life

A story in this issue of U.S. News & World Report talks about the dilemmas that early detection of prostate cancer brings with it a blessing and a burden, forcing more and younger men to weigh the difficult treatment options. (Editor:  Has the medical community stepped out of the fight as incident rates and deaths of men continue increasing?)

Urine Test Might Detect Prostate Cancer

With HMO's often recommending against tests for prostate cancer, and organizations like the American Cancer Society saying, discuss the options with your health care professional to see if it is appropriate, while they remain adiment that women get exams for breast cancer, research on a cancer that is expected to strike one out of every six men in the U.S. plods along, severily under-funded. A report, from the American Association for Cancer Research in San Francisco, however, reports on a project that is going on at Fox Chase Cancer Center in Philadelphia. "It is likely that there are cancer cells in the body fluids years before cancer is clinically detectable."  They have shown that finding cancer cells in urine is feasible and the technology used to detect small cancers when we have only a few cancer cells in the body is only going to get better.

Incontinence Resoures:


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The 1990 Unofficial Census reported more than 20.5 million Americans wear diapers.11 million of them adults.

Approvimately 90% of adults can be treated or cured of incontinence but haven't sought professional help.

Most people have at least 25 moles. More if you have a yard.

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