Men dangerously unaware of family link to prostate cancer

Two-thirds of men with a family history of prostate cancer are dangerously unaware of their increased risk of the disease and half of all UK men don’t know that a family link makes you two-and-a-half times more likely to get it, according to new research by Prostate Cancer UK.

It’s prompted urgent calls from the charity for men and their families to have a potentially life-saving talk about the disease with their relatives and doctor. Especially since an accompanying study  showed that only 1-in-10 GPs are likely to always ask a man whether any close relatives have had the disease. Although where men did take the lead and initiate a discussion with their doctor, it found their experiences were overwhelmingly positive.

Interactive prostate cancer guides

Prostate Cancer UK has launched interactive online guides relating to prostate cancer.  The guides are intended to support men who have symptoms or side effects from prostate cancer, prostatitis or their treatments.  Topics range from dealing with fatigue or urinary problems, to managing sex and relationships. The guides are interactive so tools and information can be tailored to the individual.

Starving prostate cancer with what you eat: Apple peels, red grapes, turmeric

New research from The University of Texas at Austin identifies several natural compounds found in food, including turmeric, apple peels and red grapes, as key ingredients that could thwart the growth of prostate cancer | ScienceDaily

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The new paper uses a novel analytical approach to screen numerous plant-based chemicals instead of testing a single agent as many studies do, discovering specific combinations that shrink prostate cancer tumors.

The researchers first tested 142 natural compounds on mouse and human cell lines to see which inhibited prostate cancer cell growth when administered alone or in combination with another nutrient. The most promising active ingredients were then tested on model animals: ursolic acid, a waxy natural chemical found in apple peels and rosemary; curcumin, the bright yellow plant compound in turmeric; and resveratrol, a natural compound common to red grapes or berries.

Cheap blood test could boost prostate cancer treatment

A cheap genetic test costing less than £50 has been developed that could help target treatment for men with advanced prostate cancer and help offset side effects from ineffective treatments | OnMedica

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Cancer researchers across Europe, including doctors from the Institute of Cancer Research (ICR) in London, analysed blood from 265 men with the disease and found those with multiple copies of a particular gene did not respond to abiraterone and enzalutamide – drugs commonly used to treat advanced cases.

About 46,000 men are diagnosed with prostate cancer in the UK every year, one in four of them at an advanced stage. For the study,* published in the journal Annals of Oncology, scientists took blood samples from patients taking part in three different clinical trials.

The team says that more trials are needed but they hope the test could prevent thousands of men undergoing unnecessary treatment and allow more personalised care. The drugs abiraterone and enzalutamide are given to men whose cancer is no longer responding to traditional hormone therapy and has started to spread.

Read the full commentary via OnMedica here

Read the full original research article here

Key issues affecting quality of life and patient-reported outcomes in prostate cancer

Msaouel P. et al. BMJ Supportive & Palliative Care. Published Online: 6 February 2017

Objective: Evidence-based quality of life (QL) questionnaires require the identification of issues of importance to patients. The primary aim of this study was to inform providers on patient-expressed issues while enhancing the content validity of instruments assessing QL and patient-reported outcomes (PROs) in prostate cancer. The study provided additional psychometric properties for the new PRO and QL instrument, the Prostate Cancer Symptom Scale (PCSS).

Conclusions: This is the largest survey providing patient-expressed background for content validity for QL and PRO measures. The findings of this study should aid development of newer practical questionnaires, such as the PCSS, which can be adapted to electronic platforms enhancing rapid and accurate PRO and QL evaluation.

Read the full article here

‘Huge leap’ in prostate cancer testing

The biggest leap in diagnosing prostate cancer “in decades” has been made using new scanning equipment, say doctors and campaigners | BBC News

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The trial, at 11 hospitals in the UK, used multi-parametric MRI on men with high PSA levels. It showed 27% of the men did not need a biopsy at all. And 93% of aggressive cancers were detected by using the MRI scan to guide the biopsy compared with just 48% when the biopsy was done at random.

Dr Ahmed, who works at University College London Hospitals, told the BBC News website:

“This is a significant step-change in the way we diagnose prostate cancer. We have to look at the long-term survival, but in my opinion by improving the detection of important cancers that are currently missed we could see a considerable impact. But that will need to be evaluated in future studies, and we may have to wait 10 to 15 years.”

Read the full news story here

Read the original research article here

Vitamin D3 Prevents Calcium-Induced Progression of Early-Stage Prostate Tumors

Bernichtein, S. et al. Cancer Research. Published online: 15 January 2017

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Active surveillance has emerged as an alternative to immediate treatment for men with low-risk prostate cancer. Accordingly, identification of environmental factors that facilitate progression to more aggressive stages is critical for disease prevention. Although calcium-enriched diets have been speculated to increase prostate cancer risk, their impact on early-stage tumors remains unexplored. In this study, we addressed this issue with a large interventional animal study.

Read the full abstract here