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Researchers Find that blood samples may help predict prostate cancer spread

Researchers have found a group of circulating tumor cells in prostate cancer patient blood samples which are linked to the spread of the disease, according to new research presented at the National Cancer Research Institute (NCRI) Cancer Conference in Liverpool.

This is the first time these cell types have been shown to be a promising marker for prostate cancer spread.

In a study of around 80 samples from men with prostate cancer, scientists at the Barts Cancer Institute at Queen Mary University looked for cells that were gaining the ability to migrate and invade through the body.

Samples with more of these cells were more likely to come from patients whose cancer had spread or was more aggressive.

This means that, in the future, these particular cells could potentially be used as a marker to monitor prostate cancer patients and predict if the disease is going to spread — alongside other monitoring techniques.

There are around 46,500 new cases of prostate cancer each year in the UK, and around 11,000 people die from the disease each year.

Dr Yong-Jie Lu, lead author from QMUL’s Barts Cancer Institute, said: “Our research shows that the number of these specific cells in a patient’s sample is a good indicator of prostate cancer spreading. By identifying these cells, which have gained the ability to move through the body, we have found a potential new way to monitor the disease.

“If we’re able to replicate these studies in larger groups of people, we may be able to one day predict the risk of someone’s cancer spreading so they can make more informed treatment decisions.”

Dr Chris Parker, Chair of the NCRI’s Prostate Cancer Clinical Studies Group, said: “There’s a need to develop better tests to identify and monitor men with aggressive prostate cancer. This research has found a promising new marker that could one day make it to the clinic to guide treatment decisions.”

This research was funded by Orchid Cancer Appeal, ANGLE plc and Chinese Scholarship Council. The scientists used a highly innovative cell separation technology Parsortix™, developed by UK company ANGLE plc that is able to capture the circulating tumor cells.


High-intensity focused ultrasound or HIFU has many proven advantages over traditional treatment modalities for prostate disease. Visit our website to learn more: www.californiahifu.com or call (707) 546-5553 to make an appointment.


“Tumor cells in blood samples could predict prostate cancer spread.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 4 November 2016. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/11/161104102140.htm>.
By | November 15th, 2016|Dr. Michael Lazar, News|0 Comments

Researchers discover three novel intrinsic subtypes of prostate cancer

pipet-1440965In the largest study of its kind to date, researchers have identified and validated three distinct molecular subtypes of prostate cancer that correlate with distant metastasis-free survival and can assist in future research to determine how patients will respond to treatment, according to research presented at the 58th Annual Meeting of the American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO). Findings represent a step toward the implementation of personalized medicine in prostate cancer care.

To diagnose and determine treatment for prostate cancer, clinicians consider many factors, including a digital rectal exam, the prostate specific antigen (PSA) level in a patient’s blood and prostate tumor biopsy results. Molecular subtyping of tumor cells allows oncologists to individualize care and tailor treatment based on the actual biology of each patient’s individual disease.

“Tumors that appear similar under a microscope can behave very differently, from a clinical standpoint,” said Daniel E. Spratt, MD, lead author of the study and Chief of the Genitourinary Radiotherapy Program at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Michigan. “One promise of genomic analyses is to elucidate subtypes of cancer based on the genetics of the tumor rather than merely how they look or what size they are.”

To identify genomic profiles for prostate cancer, researchers analyzed RNA expression patterns in 4,236 samples from nine separate groups of men treated with radical prostatectomy for localized prostate cancer. In an effort to create “intrinsic” subtypes specific to the cancer itself rather than the associated surrounding tissue, data were refined to remove non-tumor genes from the training (i.e., identification not validation) dataset. Through K-median clustering analysis, researchers identified three molecular subtypes of prostate cancer that could be characterized through a profile of 100 distinct genes, named the Prostate Cancer 100 (PC100) by study investigators.

“We were surprised to find that prostate cancer subtyped into only three very distinct subtypes,” said Dr. Spratt. “We knew that primary prostate cancer was a relatively quiet tumor, genomically, but similar cancers that are endocrine-driven, like breast cancer, have been shown to be able to be clustered into a finite number of subtypes.”

Researchers validated the subtypes across six additional retrospective cohorts, representing a variety of RNA sequencing platforms and tissue storage methods, and two prospective cohorts comprising 2,610 patients. The intrinsic subtypes were associated with androgen receptor (AR) activity, expression of the ERG oncogene and other known drivers of prostate tumor growth and progression, but researchers did not find a link from mutations or genetic rearrangements to the subtypes.

Rates of distant metastasis-free survival (DMFS) at ten years varied significantly among the three subtype groups. DMFS rates were 57.1 percent for subtype A, 64.4 percent for subtype B, and 73.6 percent for subtype C (B vs. A: Cox Hazard Ratio (HR), 1.31, p = 0.02; C vs. A: HR, 1.65, p = 0.0001). After controlling for clinocopathologic variables, the profile remained independently associated with DMFS (B vs. A: Cox HR, 1.31, p = 0.026; C vs. A: HR, 1.33, p = 0.024). Additionally, multivariate interaction analysis determined that subtypes B and C shared a significant correlation with response to post-operative radiation therapy (RT) (Wald p = 0.0016).

“We have discovered and independently validated a highly stable 100-gene intrinsic molecular profile of prostate cancer that is both prognostic and predictive for radiation therapy,” said Dr. Spratt. “We believe that these subtypes reflect truly distinctive underlying biology and that this work represents a significant advance in our understanding of prostate cancer biology. Moreover, our findings identify numerous genes and enriched biologically active pathways in prostate cancer that have been underappreciated to date but may be potential targets to improve cure rates in this disease by developing new targeted therapies.”


Story Source:

Materials provided by American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO). Note: Content may be edited for style and length.


American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO). “Three novel intrinsic subtypes of prostate cancer identified.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 26 September 2016. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/09/160926100610.htm.
By | November 1st, 2016|Dr. Michael Lazar, HIFU, News, Prostate Cancer|0 Comments

New trial results encourage patients to weigh long-term impact of treatment options with their doctors

(Published on ScienceDaily – September 15, 2016)

In light of the findings from the Prostate Testing for Cancer and Treatment (ProtecT) trial published in the New England Journal of Medicine, the American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) would like to congratulate the authors and investigators for conceiving and completing a difficult clinical trial to randomize care for 2,664 men who volunteered to be a part of this study. Their paper emphasizes the importance of joint decision making between prostate cancer patients and their physicians when weighing treatment options for early stage disease. Findings from the ProtecT trial can help patients understand the full range of approaches to manage their disease, including the risks and benefits of active monitoring versus early treatment with radiation therapy (RT) or surgery.

Ten-year findings from the trial indicate that for men with early stage prostate cancer, there is no difference in mortality rates following active monitoring, surgery or RT, and moreover, that cancer-specific deaths at ten years following diagnosis averaged only one percent for all men enrolled in the trial.

Growth of the cancer outside of the prostate did vary between monitoring and treatment groups. Rates of both regional spread and distant metastases were significantly higher for men who were monitored rather than treated for their early stage disease. Progression did not vary, however, between the surgery and RT groups, although patients in the trial reported different side effects with each modality.

“These findings underscore the essential role of dialogue in treatment selection,” said ASTRO President David C. Beyer, MD, FASTRO. “Men with prostate cancer are all different, and the relative costs and benefits associated with the multiple options to treat it can vary substantially between individuals. The best treatment decisions for prostate cancer, or any cancer, take into consideration the specifics of each individual patient’s disease, expectations and preferences. These options can be confusing, and patients should always make these decisions after consultation with a radiation oncologist and urologist”

ASTRO, the American Urological Association (AUA) and the American Society for Clinical Oncology (ASCO) are currently developing updated guidelines for the management of clinically localized prostate cancer. The recommendations, which update a 2007 collaborative guideline issued by the societies, are scheduled for publication in mid-2017.


Story Source:

The above post is reprinted from materials provided by American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO). Note: Content may be edited for style and length.

By | September 20th, 2016|Dr. Michael Lazar, News, Prostate Cancer|0 Comments

Understanding Prostate Cancer; Know Your Cancer Risk Factors

Prostate cancer is the most common non-skin cancer in America, affecting 1 in 7 men. But who is most at risk of getting prostate cancer and why?

There are several major factors that influence risk, and some of them unfortunately cannot be changed.

Age: The older you are, the more likely you are to be diagnosed with prostate cancer. Although only 1 in 10,000 men under age 40 will be diagnosed, the rate shoots up to 1 in 38 for ages 40 to 59, and 1 in 14 for ages 60 to 69.

In fact, more than 65% of all prostate cancers are diagnosed in men over the age of 65. The average age at diagnosis of prostate cancer in the United States is 69 years. After that age, the chance of developing prostate cancer becomes more common than any other cancer in men or women.

Race: African American men are more likely to develop prostate cancer compared with Caucasian men and are nearly 2.5 times as likely to die from the disease. Conversely, Asian men who live in Asia have the lowest risk.

Read the full story here …

High-intensity focused ultrasound or HIFU has many proven advantages over traditional treatment modalities for prostate disease. For more information about HIFU treatment or to make an appointment call: (707) 546-5553 or visit our website: www.californiahifu.com

By | September 13th, 2016|Dr. Michael Lazar, News|0 Comments

How early can prostate cancer be detected?

Screening is testing to find cancer in people before they have symptoms. For some types of cancer, screening can help find cancers at an early stage, when they are likely to be easier to treat. According to the American Cancer Society, prostate cancer can often be found before symptoms arise by testing the amount of prostate-specific antigen (PSA) in a man’s blood. Another way to find prostate cancer is the digital rectal exam (DRE), in which the doctor puts a gloved, lubricated finger into the rectum to feel the prostate gland.

If the results of either one of these tests are abnormal, further testing is often done to see if a man has cancer. If prostate cancer is found as a result of screening with the PSA test or DRE, it will probably be at an earlier, more treatable stage than if no screening were done.There is no question that screening can help find many prostate cancers early, but there are still questions about whether the benefits of screening outweigh the risks for most men. There are clearly both pros and cons to the prostate cancer screening tests in use today.At this time, the American Cancer Society (ACS) recommends that men thinking about getting screened for prostate cancer should make informed decisions based on available information, discussion with their doctor, and their own views on the possible benefits, risks, and limits of prostate cancer screening. To learn more about prostate cancer screening and the current American Cancer Society’s screening guidelines, see Prostate Cancer Prevention and Early Detection.

High-intensity focused ultrasound or HIFU has many proven advantages over traditional treatment modalities for prostate disease. For more information about HIFU treatment or to make an appointment call: (707) 546-5553.

By | August 9th, 2016|Dr. Michael Lazar, HIFU, News|0 Comments

California HIFU is the Right Choice for Prostate Cancer Treatment

For the past five years, Chris Lockheed’s PSA numbers had been going up. Then, last November, a biopsy revealed that he had two tumors on his prostate. Chris, 68, started doing research into what kind of options for treatment were available to him. When a radiation specialist in Rohnert Park told him about Dr. Michael Lazar and the HIFU procedure, he did more homework. He found that Dr. Lazar had done hundreds of these procedures in Puerto Vallarta, and the treatment was given FDA approval last October.

“Dr. Lazar explained everything, and he’s done over 300 of the procedures, that’s why I went to him. I felt very confident. I looked at all of the choices and said ‘this is for me’.” In March, Chris, who lives in Santa Rosa, drove down to the San Francisco Surgery Center for the three
hour outpatient procedure. Afterwards, feeling no side affects, Chris got some take-out food and drove home. Chris also mentioned he needed no
pain medication. The only side affect he had was the catheter, which was “a little irritating.”

Chris is a pet supplies representative, and his travels take him from Marin to Eureka. He is also a professional drummer who has recorded with Epic, CBS/Columbia, Capitol, Universal, and independent labels. “To be careful, I took a week off from work, but I was still active.” A week after the procedure, he went back to Dr. Lazar to have the catheter taken out.

“There was no leaking urine issues or erectile dysfunction, everything was fine. After getting the catheter out, everything was totally normal.” A
week after the procedure Chris was back at work, drumming on the weekend, and working in the yard. Chris is so satisfied with the results he has been recommending Dr. Lazar and the HIFU procedure to other men as an option to prostate surgery.

Lazar testimonial jpg

For more information about HIFU treatment or to make an appointment call: (707) 546-5553.

Prostate cancer news: Laser ablation becomes viable treatment option

Prostate cancer news: Laser ablation becomes viable treatment option

lazer beamProstate cancer patients may soon have a new option to treat their disease: laser heat. UCLA researchers have found that focal laser ablation – the precise application of heat via laser to a tumor – is both feasible and safe in men with intermediate risk prostate cancer.

The Phase 1 study found no serious adverse effects or changes in urinary or sexual function six months after the procedure. The technique uses magnetic resonance imaging, or MRI, to guide the insertion of a laser fiber into cancerous tumors. When heated, the laser destroys the cancerous tissue.

A follow-up study, presented in a poster presentation at the American Urology Association meeting in May, showed the potential to transfer this treatment for the first time into a clinic setting, using a special device (Artemis) that combines both MRI and ultrasound for real-time imaging. The Artemis device arrived at UCLA in 2009. Since then, 2000 image-fusion biopsies have been performed – the most in the U.S. – and this large experience has paved the way for treatment to be done in the same way.

If the laser technique, known as MRI-guided focal laser ablation, proves effective in further studies — especially using the new MRI-ultrasound fusion machine — it could improve treatment options and outcomes for men treated for such cancers, said study senior author Dr. Leonard Marks, a professor of urology and director of the UCLA Active Surveillance Program. Historically, prostate cancer has been treated with surgery and radiation, which can result in serious side effects such as erectile dysfunction and urinary incontinence.

“Our feeling was that if you can see prostate cancer using the fusion MRI and can put a needle in the spot to biopsy it, why not stick a laser fiber in the tumor the same way to kill it,” Marks said. “This is akin to a lumpectomy for breast cancer. Instead of removing the whole organ, target just the cancer inside it. What we are doing with prostate cancer now is like using a sledgehammer to kill a flea.”

Read the full story here …

In the U.S. HIFU with the Sonablate® 500 has many proven advantages over traditional treatment modalities for prostate disease. For more information about HIFU treatment or to make an appointment call: (707) 546-5553.
By | July 14th, 2016|Dr. Michael Lazar, HIFU|0 Comments

Obesity and a high-fat diet promote prostate cancer progression

Metabolites from a fatty diet join forces with the cancer-driving gene MYC to reprogram prostate cancer cells to grow faster, finds new study. This discovery solidifies a direct link between obesity and lethal prostate cancer.

your-questions-answeredAt the 2016 Annual American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) Conference, Giorgia Zadra, PhD, of the Harvard: Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Brigham and Women’s Hospital, presented results from a study that helped to clarify the relationship between obesity and prostate cancer.

The skinny? Fat increases the activity of a critical cancer-driving gene called MYC.

Cancer is a greedy disease. Tumors plunder the body’s resources – vitamins and nutrients, energy and oxygen, and vital space as tumors grow to ultimately cause lethal damage. Worst of all, cancer steals precious time away from patients and their loved ones.

It follows then, that having a high-fat diet may be like pouring fuel on the fire, by providing cancer cells with even more of the resources they need. In fact, a number of recent population studies have linked obesity and a high-fat diet with an increased risk for advanced, lethal prostate cancer, especially among African-American men. Unfortunately, the exact biological reasons behind this phenomenon have remained elusive.

Investigating this important question required the intersection of four distinct fields of study: dietary metabolism, “epigenetics” (a mechanism of gene regulation), the biology of cancer-causing genes, and public health sciences.

To develop a comprehensive understanding of how obesity and a high-fat diet promote prostate cancer progression, Zadra, who studies cancer cell metabolism, teamed up with Prostate Cancer Foundation (PCF) Young Investigator David P. Labbé, PhD, of the Harvard: Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, who studies the regulation of gene expression in healthy and malignant cells by epigenetics.  Read the full story …

HIFU with the Sonablate® 500 has many proven advantages over traditional treatment modalities for prostate disease. For more information about HIFU treatment or to make an appointment call: (707) 546-5553.

By | July 5th, 2016|Dr. Michael Lazar, News, Prostate Cancer|0 Comments

Mayo Clinic: Tips on Prostate cancer prevention

There’s no proven prostate cancer prevention strategy. But one way to reduce the risk of prostate cancer is by making healthy choices, such as exercising and eating a healthy diet. Study results often conflict with each other and most studies aren’t designed to definitively prove whether something prevents prostate cancer. As a result, no clear ways to prevent prostate cancer have emerged.

In general, doctors recommend that men with an average risk of prostate cancer make choices that benefit their overall health if they’re interested in prostate cancer prevention.

Choose a healthy diet

There is some evidence that choosing a healthy diet that’s low in fat and full of fruits and vegetables may contribute to a lower risk of prostate cancer, though this hasn’t been proved concretely.

good-food-1328410

Choose a low-fat diet. Foods that contain fats include meats, nuts, oils and dairy products, such as milk and cheese.

In some studies, men who ate the highest amount of fat each day had an increased risk of prostate cancer. While this association doesn’t prove that excess fat causes prostate cancer, reducing the amount of fat you eat each day has other proven benefits, such as helping you control your weight and helping your heart.

To reduce the amount of fat you eat each day, limit fatty foods or choose low-fat varieties. For instance, reduce the amount of fat you add to foods when cooking, select leaner cuts of meat, and choose low-fat or reduced-fat dairy products.

Read the full story here …

HIFU with the Sonablate® 500 has many proven advantages over traditional treatment modalities for prostate disease. For more information about HIFU treatment or to make an appointment call: (707) 546-5553.

By | June 28th, 2016|Dr. Michael Lazar, HIFU, News, Prostate Cancer|0 Comments

Focal Therapy For Prostate Cancer

hifu mini article cropped-logo-square.jpgFocal therapy, often referred to as a “male lumpectomy,” is a general term for a variety of noninvasive techniques for destroying small tumors inside the prostate while leaving the gland intact and sparing most of its normal tissue

As technology has advanced, physicians now have the ability to diagnose patients with prostate cancer earlier which means that often times tumors within the prostate are small and contained to the prostate.

Advanced imaging techniques, allow doctors to pinpoint exactly where the tumor within the prostate is located using multi-parametric MRI and UroNav fusion biopsies, enabling them to target only the tumor within the prostate, leaving other tissue unharmed.

Focal therapy is being studied all over the world because of the large potential for reducing side effects such as urinary incontinence and erectile dysfunction. Additionally, due to the noninvasive nature of focal therapy, treatment and recovery times are dramatically reduced.

Read this article on HIFU Prostate Services.

For more information about HIFU treatment which is now available in San Francisco, or to make an appointment call: (707) 546-5553. Visit us online to learn more at: www.californiahifu.com.