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Prostate Cancer

Doctor’s Own Prostate Cancer Diagnosis Leads to Early Intervention and Positive Results with HIFU

Dr. Michael Lazar of California HIFU shares the story of how friend and fellow surgeon Dr. Robert Pugach underwent HIFU treatment for prostate cancer following an early diagnosis with the disease.

Dr. Robert Pugach

It’s the news no man wants to hear from a doctor, “… you have prostate cancer.” And when you are a practicing physician who receives this news, all the more room for concern. Dr. Robert Pugach, medical director of Pacific Coast Urology Medical Center was diagnosed with prostate cancer last year and opted to undergo HIFU treatment with urologist and prostate cancer specialist Dr. Michael Lazar of California HIFU earlier this month. What transpired is truly an inspirational account of one man’s journey from diagnosis to cure. Dr. Pugach has chronicled his experience in a series of blog posts featured on the HIFU Prostate Services Website.

Following a cancer diagnosis by an internist and a follow-up biopsy with Dr. Lazar, Dr. Pugach opted to forgo the wait and watch approach most commonly prescribed for men testing with low levels of PSA. “I’m not a gambler, especially when it comes to my health,” he says. “I plan to live a long, healthy life.”

As a prostate cancer expert himself, Dr. Puach was all too aware of the potential for permanent urinary incontinence and erectile dysfunction with more conventional treatments, and was adamant about avoiding radiation due to the likelihood of a cancer recurrence in the future. Bolstered by his own experience with HIFU combined with positive results viewed first-hand with his own brother who underwent HIFU almost a decade earlier, Dr. Pauch was in the perfect frame of mind for pursing HIFU for himself.

In the weeks leading up to the procedure with Dr. Lazar and California HIFU, Dr. Pauch reasoned that there was absolutely nothing to fear, having been diagnosed early and having confidence in his doctor gave him a sense of empowerment over the disease.

“I had complete and total confidence in my doctor. I had the luxury of knowing Dr. Lazar well for 10 years when we travelled out of the country with our patients to treat their cancers with HIFU. When you watch someone in the OR, a fellow doctor like me can tell instantly what his skill level is. In Michael Lazar’s case, he is as good as one can get and is a true professional,” he explains.

HIFU: Non-invasive Treatment for Prostate Cancer

HIFU is a FDA approved precise and targeted therapy for the treatment of prostate cancer, that reduces the risk of complications caused by surgery and radiation. HIFU uses ultrasound energy, or sound waves, to heat and destroy specifically targeted areas of tissue. During HIFU, the sound waves pass through healthy tissue without causing damage. At the focal point of the sound waves (like a magnifying glass focusing the rays of the sun to burn a leaf), the tissue temperature is raised only high enough to destroy the targeted tissue.

“Although recommendations are that most men opt to wait and watch when diagnosed with prostate cancer, HIFU is a treatment that is most effective for men who have early stage, localized prostate cancer that has not spread or metastasized outside the prostate,” explains Dr. Lazar. “As with Dr. Pugach the results are most promising when the cancer is caught while it is at the early, more treatable stage. That means; taking action relatively soon following the diagnosis.”

A happy ending to a terrifying diagnosis

On May 9th Dr. Pugach took a taxi to the San Francisco Surgery Center where Dr. Lazar performs HIFU. There the new patient was greeted by “… a wonderful and caring staff.” A short four hours later, the procedure is over and Dr. Lazar reported to the patient that all is well. “Dr. Lazar told me my procedure went perfectly – good words to hear!”

As most HIFU patients report, Dr. Pugach says there was no pain following the procedure and recovery was swift. “I learned that what I had always told my patients about how good they would feel afterwards was now proven to me to be true. Instead of having the common side effects of radical surgery, or contemplating seven weeks of radiation, I felt great…”

Dr. Pugach says he knows how good it feels to have a potentially serious or lethal disease diagnosed at a stage where it is less frightening to deal with. “I’ve learned how wonderful and enduring a good doctor-patient relationship can be and how a good bedside manner does more than many medications in helping a patient feel good.”

The moral of this story may well be to consider all of the options when dealing with prostate cancer, and although the temptation might be to put off routine screenings, early diagnosis might just save your life.

“Screening for prostate cancer is a simple process that allows us to look for cancer before any symptoms become obvious to the patient,” explains Dr. Lazar. “This process can help us discover the cancer at an earlier stage while the patient has the opportunity to take advantage of newer, less invasive options for treating prostate cancer such as HIFU.”

About California HIFU and Dr. Lazar

Dr. Michael Lazar is the only Northern California physician recognized as a leader in the use HIFU for prostate cancer. He has been successfully treating patients with HIFU since 2007. Dr. Lazar formed California HIFU in order to offer minimally invasive prostate cancer treatment to men with the Sonablate. For more information about HIFU treatment or to make an appointment call: (707) 546-5553 or visit our website: www.californiahifu.com.

Dr. Pugach’s full story “When the Doctor Becomes the Patient” may be viewed online in an ongoing series on the HIFU Prostate Services Website.

 

New blood test better at predicting prostate cancer risk than PSA

A new blood test known as IsoPSA detects prostate cancer more precisely than current tests in two crucial measures — distinguishing cancer from benign conditions, and identifying patients with high-risk disease. By identifying molecular changes in the PSA protein, the findings of this study suggest that once validated, use of IsoPSA may reduce the need for biopsy, and may lower the likelihood of overdetection and overtreatment of nonlethal prostate cancer.

A team of researchers from Cleveland Clinic, Louis Stokes Cleveland VA Medical Center, Kaiser Permanente Northwest, and other clinical sites have demonstrated that a new blood test known as IsoPSA detects prostate cancer more precisely than current tests in two crucial measures — distinguishing cancer from benign conditions, and identifying patients with high-risk disease.

By identifying molecular changes in the prostate specific antigen (PSA) protein, the findings, published online last month by European Urology, suggest that once validated, use of IsoPSA may substantially reduce the need for biopsy, and may thus lower the likelihood of overdetection and overtreatment of nonlethal prostate cancer.

The research team, led by Cleveland Clinic’s Eric Klein, M.D., conducted a multi center prospective study of 261 men scheduled for prostate biopsy at five academic and community centers in the U.S. enrolled between August 2015 and December 2016.

“Despite criticism, PSA has transformed the landscape of early detection, screening, and management of prostate cancer in the last few decades,” said Dr. Klein, chair of Cleveland Clinic’s Glickman Urological & Kidney Institute. “Unfortunately, PSA is tissue-specific but not cancer-specific, leading to overdiagnosis and overtreatment of biologically insignificant cancers, which is widely recognized as a key limitation in its clinical utility.”

The study directly compared the clinical performance of a new test based on PSA, called IsoPSA, to PSA itself with patients already scheduled for prostate biopsy. IsoPSA proved significantly superior to PSA in two key indications: discriminating between prostate cancer and benign conditions; and identifying patients with high-grade disease. The former indication is potentially useful for using IsoPSA for screening by primary care physicians, while the second is helpful for urologists in identifying patients who would benefit from curative intent therapy and other applications.

The results show that if validated and adopted clinically, IsoPSA could significantly reduce the rate of unnecessary biopsies by almost 50 percent. “The methodology used in the IsoPSA assay represents a significant departure from conventional ways to define biomarkers in blood, and may be applicable to improving other cancer biomarkers,” said Dr. Klein.

“Due to its inherent simplicity, requiring only a blood draw and presenting information to the physician in familiar context using a single number — just like PSA itself — we are quite hopeful in IsoPSA’s future utility after further validation studies,” said Mark Stovsky, M.D., co-author and staff member, Cleveland Clinic Glickman Urological & Kidney Institute.


Story Source: Materials provided by Cleveland Clinic.

Journal Reference: Eric A. Klein, Arnon Chait, Jason M. Hafron, Kenneth M. Kernen, Kannan Manickam, Andrew J. Stephenson, Mathew Wagner, Hui Zhu, Aimee Kestranek, Boris Zaslavsky, Mark Stovsky. The Single-parameter, Structure-based IsoPSA Assay Demonstrates Improved Diagnostic Accuracy for Detection of Any Prostate Cancer and High-grade Prostate Cancer Compared to a Concentration-based Assay of Total Prostate-specific Antigen: A Preliminary Repo. European Urology, 2017; DOI: 10.1016/j.eururo.2017.03.025

Read this article on Science Daily. “New blood test is more accurate in predicting prostate cancer risk than PSA: IsoPSA assay can help in determining the need for prostate biopsy for patients.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 15 May 2017. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/05/170515122149.htm.

By | May 16th, 2017|Dr. Michael Lazar, HIFU, News, Prostate Cancer|0 Comments

Focused ultrasound therapy is here: Are you ready?

A new, highly disruptive therapeutic technology called focused ultrasound is transforming – standards of care around the globe.

In this series, we asked speakers at the Milken Institute Global Conference to answer: How does one build a meaningful life in the age of technological disruption? Join the conversation by writing your own article here and including #MIGlobal.

A new, highly disruptive therapeutic technology called focused ultrasound is slowly but definitively influencing – and on the verge of transforming – standards of care around the globe. This game-changing, noninvasive treatment option for a wide variety of serious medical disorders has the potential to be an alternative or adjunct to surgery, radiation therapy, drug delivery, and cancer immunotherapy, while decreasing cost of care and improving outcomes for millions worldwide. If it sounds too good to be true, it isn’t. Focused ultrasound has been named one of the 50 greatest inventions by TIME magazine, credited with “changing medicine” by Fortune magazine, and just this month was named a top 10 clinical research achievement of 2016 by the Washington, DC-based Clinical Research Forum.

Innovation breeds innovation, but also, modification. Once fully developed and implemented – months to decades from now depending on the clinical indication – focused ultrasound will have widespread impact on healthcare constituents including physicians, treatment facilities, and manufacturers of legacy therapy equipment, among others. This process has in fact already begun. Focused ultrasound will also bring about major change to referral patterns, treatment paradigms, practice guidelines, and equipment acquisition as the technology transitions to a mainstream therapy.

In order to benefit from these changes, stakeholders – perhaps your organization or yourself – must be prepared to enter the field early on. And for many, “early on” means now.

What is focused ultrasound?

Focused ultrasound, or FUS, uses ultrasonic energy to target tissue deep in the body without incisions or radiation. With more than 22 regulatory approvals around the world to date, including five by the US Food and Drug Administration and more than 50 additional clinical indications in various (mostly early) stages of development, FUS may treat a disparate range of diseases including: Parkinson’s; Alzheimer’s; depression; obsessive-compulsive disorder; arthritis; back pain; and, tumors of the brain, breast, prostate, liver and pancreas. It has the potential to be as revolutionary to therapy as magnetic resonance scanning (MRI) has been to diagnosis.

The basic principle is analogous to using a magnifying glass to focus beams of sunlight on a single point to burn a hole in a leaf. With focused ultrasound, multiple intersecting beams of ultrasound energy are concentrated on a target deep in the body with extreme precision and accuracy (sparing adjacent normal tissue). Where each individual beam passes through the body there is no effect. But at the focal point where the beams converge, the focused ultrasound energy induces a variety of biologic effects including: destroying tissue, stimulating the body’s immune response, and enhancing the delivery of drugs. The location of the focal point and the treatment effect is guided and controlled in real time by ultrasound or MR imaging.

Besides patients, who will focused ultrasound affect?

Three healthcare industry groups will be particularly impacted by the widespread adoption of FUS. First, consider the manufacturers of legacy therapy equipment (e.g., linear accelerators for radiation therapy and robotic surgical devices) to which focused ultrasound is an existential threat. These manufacturers would be wise to begin redistributing resources from their traditional product lines now to invest in new FUS technology. Such companies are in fact well-positioned to do so as they already have the functioning sales, marketing, support and distribution channels in place. It is clear that once the medical community broadly understands the capabilities of focused ultrasound, many legacy therapy equipment options will quickly become obsolete.

Physicians will also benefit from entering the FUS field sooner rather than later. In the current environment, many physicians – not all – can unfortunately be motivated by money, time and outcome, in that order. As focused ultrasound advances, they will need to become educated and trained in utilizing FUS technology, and adopt it as part of their practice, even in cases where the economics on a per procedure basis are less favorable than current therapy alternatives. If they choose not to, patients seeking FUS – and demand is growing – will simply find a physician who will. Of note: focused ultrasound centers worldwide are reporting a backlog of several hundred essential tremor patients desiring FUS, and a nationwide study of nearly 1,000 US uterine fibroid sufferers (published in the October 2013 issues of both the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology and the Journal of Women’s Health) found that when presented with fibroid treatment descriptions, the majority surveyed (60%) rated focused ultrasound as their top treatment choice.

Finally, now is also the time for hospitals and clinics to consider becoming early adopters of focused ultrasound. Doing so will enhance their reputation as being on the leading edge of medical care, and will provide a competitive differential over institutions that have not yet acquired FUS technology (see above regarding patient demand and preference). Additionally, offering focused ultrasound will create a halo effect for the hospital or clinic when patients are referred for this cutting-edge treatment and found to not be a candidate; these patients will often choose to stay with the practice and receive an alternative treatment, increasing market share for the institution.

The future is now

We are all aware that medical device development and adoption occurs exponentially; with focused ultrasound we are right now at the beginning of the inflection point of the curve. Our goal is to treat hundreds of thousands of patients annually and we are well on our way, with 15,000 FUS treatments performed worldwide in 2014, approximately 25,000 treatments in 2015, and a more than double increase to 50,000-plus patients treated in 2016. In other words, focused ultrasound is about to evolve into a robust medical field, with the pace of research and development, publications, patient treatments and the number of device manufacturers all increasing rapidly in the past few years.

Still, there remains an enormous amount of work to be done, and many barriers to overcome, before the technology becomes a standard of care that can help millions of patients. But we are closer than ever. When the potential of focused ultrasound is realized and it becomes a mainstream therapy, it will result in changes that will benefit countless patients and impact physicians, payers/providers, manufacturers, hospitals/clinics, caretakers, etc., around the globe. It’s coming. It is reinventing care. Are you ready?

Find out more at www.fusfoundation.org

About the Author: Neal F. Kassell, M.D., is the founder and chairman of the Focused Ultrasound Foundation. He was a Professor of Neurosurgery at the University of Virginia from 1984 until 2016 and was the Co-Chairman of the department until 2006. He received both his undergraduate and medical education at the University of Pennsylvania. In April 2016, Dr. Kassell was appointed by Vice President Joe Biden to the National Cancer Institute’s Blue Ribbon Panel for Cancer Moonshot Initiative. Dr. Kassell has contributed more than 500 publications and book chapters to the literature and is a member of numerous medical societies in the United States and abroad.

The Focused Ultrasound Foundation is a medical research, education, and advocacy organization created as the catalyst to accelerate the development and adoption of FUS, shortening the time from laboratory research to widespread patient treatment. 

By | May 4th, 2017|HIFU, News, Prostate Cancer|0 Comments

Common Prostate Cancer Therapy May Trigger Dementia

A new analysis of patients who have undergone treatment for prostate cancer shows a connection between androgen deprivation therapy (ADT) — a testosterone-lowering therapy and a common treatment for the disease — and dementia, according to researchers from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. Their previous studies have shown men who undergo ADT may be at an increased risk of dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease, compared to men who were not treated with the therapy.

This new analysis — the largest of its kind ever performed on this topic — shows that all existing studies taken together support the link to dementia and show a possible link to Alzheimer’s. The findings are published this week in Prostate Cancer and Prostatic Diseases. “Since publishing our initial findings, there has been a lot of other research on this topic, and we wanted to see what that research was saying,” said the study’s lead author Kevin Nead, MD, MPhil, a resident in Radiation Oncology at Penn. “This analysis tells us that the composite message of existing studies is that androgen deprivation therapy is associated with dementia.”

The team compiled data from four different global databases looking at studies on ADT patients and dementia and Alzheimer’s. An analysis of more than 50,000 patients worldwide showed a consistent statistical link between men who underwent ADT for prostate cancer and men who developed dementia. Nead says the numbers show correlation, not causation at this point, but that there is evidence of a direct connection.

“Research shows androgens play a key role in neuron maintenance and growth, so the longer you undergo this therapy to decrease androgens, the more it may impact the brain’s normal functions,” Nead said.

The analysis was less conclusive on the question of Alzheimer’s. While there was still a connection, it was not as clearly defined as the link to dementia. Nead says evidence for a link between ADT and neurocognitive dysfunction is growing and should be part of the conversation between doctors and patients.

“There’s enough evidence of these links that patients should know about them when considering their options,” Nead said.


Story Source:

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

Journal Reference:

K T Nead, S Sinha, P L Nguyen. Androgen deprivation therapy for prostate cancer and dementia risk: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Prostate Cancer and Prostatic Diseases, 2017; DOI: 10.1038/pcan.2017.10

Read this on Science Daily: University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. “Link between common prostate cancer treatment, dementia detailed in new study: Analysis elaborates on correlation between dementia and testosterone-lowering therapy.” ScienceDaily, 30 March 2017. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/03/170330114954.htm.


HIFU has many proven advantages over traditional treatment modalities for prostate disease. More: www.californiahifu.com #prostatecancer #HIFU #prostate #menshealth #cancerresearch

By | April 4th, 2017|News, Prostate Cancer|0 Comments

Study reveals genetic connection to aggressive prostate cancer

An international study published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute has identified a genetic connection to the aggressive form of prostate cancer. The study showed a threefold increase in the risk of aggressive prostate cancer for men with the genetic mutation. The frequency of the gene variants varied from 6 to 14% of the population of men with prostate cancer.

Much like the association between BRCA gene mutation and the risk for breast cancer in women changed the approach to treatment/ prevention, the identification of the Kallikrein 6 gene region may change the course of prostate cancer care through a blood test developed by the Lunenfeld-Tanenbaum Research Institute.

The study was led by Dr. Alexandre Zlotta, Director of Uro-Oncology at Mount Sinai Hospital, and researcher with the Lunenfeld-Tanenbaum Research Institute, part of Sinai Health System in Toronto, Canada, and Dr. Paul Boutros, Principal Investigator, Informatics and Bio-computing, Ontario Institute for Cancer Research (OICR). The first author of the paper was Dr. Laurent Briollais, Senior Investigator, Lunenfeld-Tanenbaum Research Institute.

These findings are important because it is well established that most men will die with prostate cancer, and not from the disease. Dr. Zlotta was the lead author of a study in 2013 which revealed the unexpected high prevalence of indolent prostate cancer in men. Diagnosing the aggressive form of the disease is an important unmet need.

“As an oncologist I know firsthand how valuable it would be to have a genetic tool that could help choose the best course of action with my patients,” explains Zlotta. “It would help spare patients with indolent disease from unnecessary treatments and their side effects and aid in the diagnosis and directing patients with aggressive disease to the appropriate treatment.” Up until now, no single test could predict the severity of the cancer type- the current PSA test (Kallikrein 3), which is located near Kallikrein 6, only identifies the risk of prostate cancer, not the severity.

To identify the relevant mutations the scientists analyzed the blood samples of 1,858 men from three independent cohorts in Europe and North America: the Swiss arm of the European Randomized Study for Prostate Cancer Screening, the large American Screening trial, Prostate, Lung, Colorectal, and Ovarian (PLCO), Princess Margaret Cancer Centre (University Health Network) and Mount Sinai Hospital (Sinai Health System) in Toronto. The KLK6 variants also independently predicted treatment failure after surgery or radiation for prostate cancer in an independent cohort of 130 men from the International Cancer Genome Consortium (ICGC).


Story Source:

Materials provided by Lunenfeld-Tanenbaum Research Institute. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Laurent Briollais, Hilmi Ozcelik, Jingxiong Xu, Maciej Kwiatkowski, Emilie Lalonde, Dorota H. Sendorek, Neil E. Fleshner, Franz Recker, Cynthia Kuk, Ekaterina Olkhov-Mitsel, Tristan Juvet, Ioannis Prassas, John Trachtenberg, Ants Toi, Michael Fraser, Theodorus van der Kwast, Robert G. Bristow, Bharati Bapat, Eleftherios P. Diamandis, Paul C. Boutros, Alexandre R. Zlotta. Germline Mutations in the Kallikrein 6 Region and Predisposition for Aggressive Prostate Cancer. JNCI: Journal of the National Cancer Institute, 2017; 109 (4) DOI: 10.1093/jnci/djw258

Read this article on ScienceDaily:

“Genetic association with aggressive prostate cancer discovered: Study showed a threefold increase in the risk of aggressive prostate cancer for men with the genetic mutation..” 16 March 2017. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/03/170316141120.htm.

By | March 21st, 2017|Dr. Michael Lazar, HIFU, News, Prostate Cancer|0 Comments

Researchers target cholesterol to stop prostate cancer

Advanced prostate cancer and high blood cholesterol have long been known to be connected, but it has been a chicken-or-egg problem.

Now a team led by researchers at the Duke Cancer Institute have identified a cellular process that cancer cells hijack to hoard cholesterol and fuel their growth. Identifying this process could inform the development of better ways to control cholesterol accumulation in tumors, potentially leading to improved survival for prostate cancer patients.

The findings are published online this month in the journal Cancer Research.

“Prostate cancer cells, as well as some other solid tumors, have been shown to contain higher cholesterol levels than normal cells,” said senior author Donald McDonnell, Ph.D., chairman of the Department of Pharmacology and Cancer Biology at Duke. “All cells need cholesterol to grow, and too much of it can stimulate uncontrolled growth.

“Prostate cancer cells somehow bypass the cellular control switch that regulates the levels of cholesterol allowing them to accumulate this fat,” McDonnell said. “This process has not been well understood. In this study, we show how prostate cancer cells accomplish this.”

McDonnell and colleagues began by identifying genes involved in cholesterol regulation in prostate tumors. They homed in on a specific gene, CYP27A1, which is a key component of the machinery that governs the level of cholesterol within cells.

In patients with prostate cancer, the expression of the CYP27A1 gene in tumors is significantly lower, and this is especially true for men with aggressive cancers compared to the tumors in men with more benign disease. Downregulation of this gene basically shuts off the sensor that cells use to gauge when they have taken up enough cholesterol. This in turn allows accumulation of this fat in tumor cells. Access to more cholesterol gives prostate cancer cells a selective growth advantage.

“It remains to be determined how this regulatory activity can be restored and/or whether it’s possible to mitigate the effects of the increased cholesterol uptake that result from the loss of CYP27A1 expression,” McDonnell said.

He said statin use alone might help, but perhaps not enough, since tumors could simply rev up the regulation of the cholesterol manufacturing process in tumors to compensate.

McDonnell said is lab is continuing the research, including finding ways to induce cells to eject cholesterol, reverse the inhibition of CYP27A1 activity, or introduce compounds that interfere with cholesterol-production in the tumor.


Story Source:

Materials provided by Duke University Medical Center. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Mahmoud A Alfaqih, Erik R Nelson, Wen Liu, Rachid Safi, Jeff S Jasper, Everardo Macias, Joseph Geradts, Laura G Dubois, Will Thompson, Michael R Freeman, Ching-yi Chang, Jen-Tsan Chi, Donald P McDonnell, Stephen J. Freedland. CYP27A1 loss dysregulates cholesterol homeostasis in prostate cancer. Cancer Research, 2017; canres.2738.2016 DOI: 10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-16-2738

Duke University Medical Center. “Prostate cancer cells grow with malfunction of cholesterol control in cells: Shutting down this source at the root cause could improve cancer survival.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 21 February 2017. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/02/170221130703.htm.
By | March 1st, 2017|Dr. Michael Lazar, News, Prostate Cancer|0 Comments

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

Free HIFU Info Session Scheduled for February

Do you have prostate cancer?

There is now a non-invasive treatment option.

Join Dr. Michael Lazar of California HIFU for a special Prostate Cancer Treatment Information session scheduled for Thurs., Feb. 16, 2017 at 7 p.m. This free session will be held at the Friedman Event Center, 4676 Mayette Ave., Santa Rosa, CA 95405. Dr. Lazar will discuss how Sonablate HIFU can treat Prostate Cancer with lower risk of side effects such as impotence and incontinence. HIFU is radiation free – provides quick recovery – requires no chemotherapy and no surgery.

Free and open to the public. Call for reservations today Jennifer Radovich 707-546-5553.

Refreshments will be provided.

Brought to you by HIFU Prostate Services and California HIFU.

By | January 31st, 2017|Dr. Michael Lazar, HIFU, News, Prostate Cancer|0 Comments

Prostate Cancer Rates Take a Nose Dive Per Latest Statistics

Dr. Michael Lazar of California HIFU, Urologist and Prostate Cancer expert reflects on the latest American Cancer Society statics

The results from the American Cancer Society’s newest report on cancer rates is good news for everyone and particularly good news for prostate cancer patients: incidents of cancer is down as is the likelihood of prostate cancer patients dying from the diagnosis.

According to the report the cancer death rate has dropped from its peak of 215.1 in 1991 to 161.2 in 2014 (per 100K population), the most recent year for which data was available to analyze. Overall the decline in cancer is linked with decreases in smoking and advances in early detection and treatment. The four major cancer drops are:

  • lung (- 43% between 1990 and 2014 among males and -17% between 2002 and 2014 among females)
  • breast (-38% from 1989 to 2014)
  • prostate (-51% from 1993 to 2014)
  • colorectal (-51% from 1976 to 2014)

“This is really exciting news for anyone who specializes in prostate cancer,” says Michael Lazar, M.D. “And its particularly good news for our patients. When a man is diagnosed with cancer, whether it’s prostate cancer or some other cancer – the news is always difficult to accept. With the number of people being diagnosed with prostate cancer dropping steadily along with the expected death rates, patients are now more empowered to be optimistic about their treatment options.”

According to the American Cancer Society, the decline in new cancer rates for men can be attributed to the recent drop in prostate cancer diagnoses. This has to do with the fact that routine screening with the PSA blood test is no longer recommended out of concerns for over-diagnosis and treatment of positive results that are best left untreated. Therefore, fewer cases of prostate cancer are now being detected. But this does not need to lessen the importance of getting screened for prostate cancer when symptoms are apparent.

“Although this is really good news, men who are concerned about prostate cancer, and anyone in the high-risk group still needs to be to screened early and at regular intervals,” says Dr. Lazar. “Once cancer has advanced beyond the prostate gland, available treatment options become more radical.”

The highest risk groups for prostate cancer are men over the age of 50, African-American men, and men who have a father, brother or son who has had prostate cancer.

About Prostate Cancer

Most prostate cancers tend to grow slowly, and don’t cause obvious health problems for men who have received a diagnosis. In certain situations, prostate cancer can be managed conservatively, especially in elderly men. But one treatment that stands out among more invasive options for prostate cancer is High-intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU) and it is most effective for men who have been diagnose and are in the early stages of the disease. Therefore, this is one technology that requires vigilance at the early stages when HIFU would be most effective for prostate cancer eradication.

“For patients with prostate cancer, HIFU treatment is most effective in the early stages,” explains Dr. Lazar. “When the cancer is localized to the prostate treatment by HIFU is extremely effective. Unlike other treatments, this procedure preserves healthy tissue and nerves, so urine flow and erectile function is maintained in a high percent of cases, as compared to radical surgery or radiation.”

The oncological results for HIFU is comparable to more traditional prostate cancer treatments including radical surgery or radiation. But the side effects for HIFU patients have proven to be much less debilitating than more radical procedures.

About Dr. Lazar

Dr. Michael Lazar is the only Northern California physician recognized as a leader in the use of high-intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU) for prostate cancer. He has been successfully treating patients with HIFU since 2007. Dr. Lazar formed California HIFU to offer minimally invasive prostate cancer treatment to men with the Sonablate.

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.