New study looks to determine type of prostate cancer — dangerous or manageable

New study looks to determine type of prostate cancer — dangerous or manageable

Scientists at the University of York have found a way of distinguishing between fatal prostate cancer and manageable cancer, which could reduce unnecessary surgeries and radiotherapy. A recent study showed that more than 25 men were being unnecessarily treated with surgery or radiotherapy, for every single life saved. It is believed that success rates could be hindered as a result of treating all prostate cancers in the same way.

A team at the University of York and the University of British Columbia, Canada, however, have designed a test that can pick out life-threatening prostate cancers, with up to 92% accuracy. Professor Norman Maitland, from the University of York’s Department of Biology, said: “Unnecessary prostate treatment has both physical consequences for patients and their families, but is also a substantial financial burden.

“Cancers that are contained in the prostate, however, have the potential to be ‘actively monitored’ which is not only cheaper, but has far fewer negative side-effects in patients with non-life threatening cancer.”

It is now understood that to find the different levels of cancer, scientists have to identify genes that have been altered in different cancer types. The team analyzed more than 500 cancer tissue samples and compared them with non-cancer tissue to search for patterns of a chemical group that is added to part of the DNA molecule, altering gene expression.

A person’s age, what they eat and how they sleep, for example, impacts on chemical alterations to genes and which ones are turned on and off. This is part of the normal functioning of the human body and can tell individuals apart, but the process can sometimes go wrong, resulting in various diseases.

Professor Maitland said: “In some diseases, such as cancer, genes can be switched to an opposite state, causing major health issues and threat to life.

“The challenge in prostate cancer is how to look at all of these patterns within a cell, but hone in on the gene activity that suggests cancer, and not only this, what type of cancer — dangerous or manageable?

“To put it another way: how to do we distinguish the tiger cancer cells from the pussycat cancer cells, when there are millions of patterns of chemical alterations going on, many of which will be perfectly healthy?”

The team needed to eliminate the ‘noise’ of the genetic patterns that make individuals unique, to leave them with the patterns that indicate cancer. They were able to do this using a computer algorithm, which left the team with 17 possible genetic markers for prostate cancer.

Dr Davide Pellacani, who began these studies in York, before moving to the University of British Columbia, said: “Using this computer analysis, not only could we see which tissue samples had cancer and which didn’t, but also which cancers were dangerous and which ones less so.

“Out of almost a million markers studied, we were able to use our new tools to single out differences in cancer potency.”

To take this method out of the laboratory, the team are now investigating a further trial with new cancer samples, and hope to involve a commercial partner to allow this to be used for patients being treated in the NHS.


Story Source — Read this article on ScienceDaily: University of York. “Distinguishing fatal prostate cancer from ‘manageable’ cancer now possible.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 18 October 2018. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/10/181018095452.htm.


Using high energy ultrasound beams to destroy prostate cancer tumors may be as effective as surgery or radiotherapy, but with fewer side effects. Read more:

HIFU is an FDA approved precise and targeted therapy that reduces the risk of complications caused by surgery and radiation. HIFU may not be appropriate in every situation, but it is most effective for men who have early stage, localized prostate cancer that has not spread or metastasized outside the prostate.

Men treated with HIFU wake up and go home without pain or bleeding.  They are able to travel the same day, drive the next day, and resume normal activities within a few days.  Those with office based jobs can go back to work the next day.  A catheter is left in for 5 days to 3 weeks, depending on how much of the gland is treated and/or the degree of swelling.

Focal Therapy is not associated with incontinence, and erectile dysfunction is just under 10%.  Sparing of the urethra avoids scar tissue formation which, when present, may diminish the urinary stream.  The eventual need for additional therapy is now under 10%. Learn more … 

Dr. Lazar is part of Northern California Medical Associates (NCMA) and operates California HIFU in Santa Rosa. He is the medical director of HIFU Prostate Services, LLC, a leading provider of minimally-invasive prostate cancer treatments using High Intensity Focused Ultrasound (HIFU).Dr. Michael Lazar offers a HIFU Program in partnership with HIFU Prostate Services, LLC (HPS). HIFU Prostate Services, LLC (HPS) is a leading provider of minimally-invasive prostate cancer treatments using High Intensity Focused Ultrasound (HIFU). HIFU prostate treatments are performed at San Francisco Surgery Center (SFSC). SFSC offers patients a state-of-the-art facility that is convenient to hotels and the airport.

HIFU has many proven advantages over traditional treatment modalities for prostate disease. Call (707) 546-5553 to make an appointment with Dr. Lazar. Visit www.CaliforniaHIFU.com for more information. Fill out our online questionnaire to see if you qualify.

2018-11-20T07:52:53+00:00November 20th, 2018|
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