The weekend prostate cancer news: October 25, 2008

Some interesting new reports today include:

  • An update on the Prostate Cancer Prevention Trial
  • Early data on the potential of a traditional Chinese herbal medication
  • Predictive value of PSA velocity in management of low-risk patients with low-dose brachytherapy
  • Reviews of emerging biomarkers and the role(s) of MRI

Sarvis and Thompson have provided an update on the results of the Prostate Cancer Prevention Trial (PCPT), with an emphasis on the safety and the effectiveness of finsteride in this population and a clear recommendation that “men aged 55 years or older should be informed of the opportunity to reduce their risk of prostate cancer with finasteride.”

Yu et al. have provided preliminary data on the possible activity of a traditional Chinese herbal medicine (an extract of Agaricus bazei Murill) as a prostate cancer preventive and therapeutic agent.

Rossi et al. have reported that a pre-treatment PSA velocity < 2 ng/ml/yr combined with a Gleason score  ≤ 6 is highly predictive of freedom from biochemical disease progression in men treated with low-dose brachytherapy at 6 years of follow-up. The question, of course, is whether most such men need treatment at all or could be appropriately managed with active surveillance.

Sardana et al. have reviewed available data on emerging biomarkers that may be appropriate for use in the diagnosis and management of prostate cancer, specifically including PCA3, kallikrein-related peptidase 2 (KLK2), early prostate cancer antigen (EPCA), hepsin, prostate stem cell antigen, and alpha-methylacyl-CoA racemase (AMACR).

Kurhanewicz and Vigneron have similarly reviewed available data on the role of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in the prognosis and management of prostate cancer, stating that, “The technology is becoming mature enough to begin assessing its clinical utility in selecting, planning, and following prostate cancer therapy.”

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