Friday’s news update: November 21, 2008

Today’s reports cover such topics as:

  • Diets high in fish and seafood and prostate cancer risk
  • Testosterone therapy and prostate cancer risk
  • A new, first-in-class drug enters prostate cancer trials
  • The science behind products like Provenge

Chavarro et al. have published an analysis of the relationship between a diet high in fish and seafood and prostate cancer based on 22-year follow-up of data from the Physician’s Health Study. According to their analysis, there appears to be no relationship between seafood consumption and risk for prostate cancer. There may, however, be less risk of prostate cancer-specific death among prostate cancer patients who eat a diet high in fish and seafood.

Dobs and Morgentaler have published another review suggesting that there is no association between testosterone therapy and prostate cancer progression. They recommend that testosterone therapy may be prescribed for men for whom it was historically not considered appropriate.

Synta Pharmaceuticals has initiated early stage (Phase I/II) clinical trials of a new, first-in-class agent called elesclomol in combination with docetaxel for the treatment of patients with metastatic, hormone-refractory prostate cancer. According to a company press release, elesclomol works by  further elevating the levels of reactive oxygen species (ROS) already normal in cancer cells. This increases oxidative stress on the cancer cells, triggering programmed cell death (apoptosis) while leaving normal cells relatively unaffected. Elesclomol is already in Phase III clinical trials for treatment of patients with malignant melanoma (a lethal form of skin cancer).

Lehrfeld and Lee have reviewed the science behind the potential of dendritic cell-based immunotherapeutics like sipleucel-T (Provenge) in the treatment of prostate cancer.

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