Friday’s news update: November 14, 2008

In today’s news there are reports on:

  • The impact of tea and coffee consumption on prostate cancer risk
  • Quality of life after radiotherapy compared to watchful waiting at 10 years of follow-up
  • The apparent impact of androgen deprivation on prostate cancer-specific mortality in men in different risk groups
  • Plumbagin as a potential agent for treatment of HRPC
  • Publication of the final results of RTOG 9902

Lee et al. have reviewed available data on the associations between consumption of tea and coffee and its relationship to risk for prostate cancer. They come to the somewhat uninspiring conclusion that, “Although evidence on the relationship between coffee, tea and prostate cancer is not complete, we consider it strong enough to recommend tea as a healthier alternative to coffee.”

Based on data from a small Swedish study, Fransson et al. suggest that at 10 years follow-up the treatment with external beam radiation therapy for localized prostate cancer had minimal impact on health-related quality of life compared with watchful waiting. There were, however, physiological differences in outcomes between the two patient cohorts.

D’Amico et al. have reported that in men receiving androgen deprivation therapy (ADT) in association with external beam radiation therapy (EBRT) as compared with men receiving salvage EBRT alone, prostate cancer-specific mortality in the two groups was 13 percent and 75 percent, respectively, at 8.4 years of follow-up. They report an increased risk of death in men with moderate to severe as compared with no or minimal comorbidity in men with newly diagnosed localized prostate cancer but not in men with recurrent prostate cancer. They go on to conclude that the ability to measure an increase in the risk of death in men with moderate to severe as compared with no or minimal comorbidity undergoing ADT decreases as the risk of prostate cancer-specific mortality increases, which may explain the discordance in the literature regarding the risk of cardiovascular death and the use of ADT.

Aziz et al. have reported that a product known as plumbagin (a natural medicinal product derived from the plant Plumbago zeylanica L.) inhibits the growth of prostate cancer cells and may have potential as a novel agent for the treatment of hormone-refractory prostate cancer.

Rosenthal et al. have published the results of RTOG 9902, a comparative Phase III multi-institutional trial of adjuvant chemotherapy with paclitaxel, estramustine, and oral etoposide combined with long-term androgen deprivation therapy and radiotherapy versus long-term androgen deprivation plus radiotherapy alone. This trial was stopped in 2004 because of the high levels opf toxicity in the chemotherapy arm.

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