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Monthly Archives: February 2017

New discovery may lead to blood test predicting and preventing prostate cancer spread

University of Adelaide researchers have uncovered a new pathway which regulates the spread of prostate cancer around the body.

Published in the journal Cancer Research, the discovery has potential to lead to the development of a blood test that could predict whether cancer will spread from the prostate tumour to other parts of the body. The research also reveals potential new targets for drugs that may inhibit the spread of cancer.

“Prostate cancers only kill men after they have spread or ‘metastasised’ from the prostate,” says project leader Dr Luke Selth, Senior Research Fellow at the University of Adelaide’s Dame Roma Mitchell Cancer Research Laboratories and a member of the Freemasons Foundation Centre for Men’s Health.

“The identification of markers that accurately predict, at an early stage, prostate tumours that are likely to metastasise could guide the urgency and aggressiveness of treatment — and this could save lives.”

The international research team — led by the University of Adelaide and including members from the University of Michigan, Vancouver Prostate Centre, the Mayo Clinic and Johns Hopkins University — showed that a specific microRNA (a type of molecule involved in regulating the level and activity of genes) called miR-194 promotes cancer metastasis by inhibiting a key protein called SOCS2. SOCS2 can suppress the spread of cancer cells.

“In previous work, we had found that a high level of miR-194 in a patient’s blood was associated with rapid relapse of prostate cancer following surgical removal of the tumour,” says Dr Selth. “This new work explains why miR-194 is associated with a poor outcome, and in the process reveals a completely novel pathway regulating prostate cancer metastasis.

“Importantly, measuring miR-194 in a patient’s blood at the time of diagnosis could become a test for the likelihood of metastasis. Patients with high levels of miR-194 in their blood could receive more aggressive treatment to reduce the chance of the cancer spreading to other parts of the body.” Dr Selth’s team is currently testing this idea using larger patient groups to validate their findings.

Dr Selth says miR-194 also represents a potential therapeutic target. “There are currently no drugs that effectively inhibit the spread of prostate cancer,” he says. “We propose that inhibiting miR-194 could reduce rates of metastasis in patients with aggressive disease, but the development of a drug to achieve this goal is still a long way off.”

Story Source:

Materials provided by University of Adelaide. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.

Journal Reference:

  1. Rajdeep Das, Phillip A Gregory, Rayzel C Fernandes, Iza Denis, Qingqing Wang, Scott L Townley, Shuang G. Zhao, Adrienne Hanson, Marie A Pickering, Heather K Armstrong, Noor A Lokman, Esmaeil Ebrahimie, Elai Davicioni, Robert B. Jenkins, R. Jeffrey Karnes, Ashley E. Ross, Robert B Den, Eric A. Klein, Kim N. Chi, Hayley S Ramshaw, Elizabeth D Williams, Amina Zoubedi, Gregory J Goodall, Felix Y. Feng, Lisa M. Butler, Wayne D Tilley, Luke A Selth. MicroRNA-194 promotes prostate cancer metastasis by inhibiting SOCS2. Cancer Research, 2016; canres.2529.2016 DOI: 10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-16-2529

Read this article on ScienceDaily:

University of Adelaide. “Predicting and preventing prostate cancer spread.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 25 January 2017. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/01/170125091702.htm.
By | February 21st, 2017|HIFU, News, Prostate Cancer|0 Comments

Prostate Cancer News: Emotional distress may lead to more aggressive treatment

The anxiety many men experience after being diagnosed with prostate cancer may lead them to choose potentially unnecessary treatment options, researchers from the University at Buffalo and Roswell Park Cancer Institute report in a new study.

“Emotional distress may motivate men with low-risk prostate cancer to choose more aggressive treatment, such as choosing surgery over active surveillance,” said UB’s Heather Orom, the lead author on the study, published in the February issue of the Journal of Urology.

“It underscores what we have been pushing a long time for, which is, ‘Let’s make this decision as informed and supported as possible.’ If distress early on is influencing treatment choice, then maybe we help men by providing clearer information about prognosis and strategies for dealing with anxiety. We hope this will help improve the treatment decision making process and ultimately, the patient’s quality of life,” added Orom, PhD, associate professor of community health and health behavior in UB’s School of Public Health and Health Professions.

The study involved 1,531 men with newly diagnosed, clinically localized prostate cancer, meaning the disease hadn’t spread to other parts of the body.

Researchers measured participants’ emotional distress with the Distress Thermometer, an 11-point scale ranging from 0 (no distress) to 10 (extreme distress). The men were assessed after diagnosis and again as soon as they had made their treatment decision.

The majority of study participants had either low- or intermediate-risk disease, and were more likely to have been treated with surgery, followed by radiation and active surveillance.

“Men’s level of emotional distress shortly after diagnosis predicted greater likelihood of choosing surgery over active surveillance,” the researchers report. “Importantly, this was true among men with low-risk disease, for whom active surveillance may be a clinically viable option and side effects of surgery might be avoided.”

While prostate cancer is a major disease in the U.S., it is not a death sentence, according to the American Cancer Society, which estimates there are nearly 3 million prostate cancer survivors alive today.

However, overtreatment is a concern, and surgery and radiation therapy have side effects that include erectile dysfunction and incontinence, which, for the majority of men diagnosed with low-risk prostate cancer, can be avoided by instead choosing active surveillance to monitor the cancer and considering treatment if the disease progresses.

“There’s an interest in driving the decision-making experience to prevent overtreatment and ensure that men have full information about all the side effects so they can make a choice that’s preference and value driven,” Orom said. “We don’t want men to make a decision that they’ll regret later on.”

“The goal of most physicians treating men with prostate cancer is to help their patients and family members through a difficult process and help their patients receive appropriate treatment,” said Willie Underwood III, MD, MS, MPH, an associate professor in Roswell Park’s Department of Urology, and a paper co-author.

“To do so, it is helpful for physicians to better understand what is motivating men’s decisions and to address negative motivators such as emotional distress to prevent men from receiving a treatment that they don’t need or will later regret,” Underwood added.


Story Source:

Materials provided by University at Buffalo. Original written by David J. Hill. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Heather Orom, Willie Underwood, Caitlin Biddle. Emotional Distress Increases the Likelihood of Undergoing Surgery among Men with Localized Prostate Cancer. The Journal of Urology, 2017; 197 (2): 350 DOI: 10.1016/j.juro.2016.08.007

Read this article on ScienceDaily: University at Buffalo. “For men with prostate cancer, emotional distress may lead to more aggressive treatment.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 11 January 2017. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/01/170111103920.htm.
By | February 14th, 2017|Dr. Michael Lazar, News, Prostate Cancer|0 Comments