More weekend news: Sunday, November 30, 2008

There are a bunch of new but distinctly technical reports today that will probably be of limited interest to the majority of readers, but in the interests of knowledge please feel free to read on.

Pinkawa et al. have studied the displacement of the permanently implanted radioactive seeds used in some types of brachytherapy. They report that such seed displacement is associated more with placement of seeds in specific parts (most particularly the base) of the prostate.

In another brachytherapy study, Murakami et al. report that the base of the urethra appears to be particularly susceptible to radiation and the relative increase in the dose of radiation to this region can affect the patient’s International Prostate Symptom Score (IPSS) post-treatment. However, they were not able to determine whether the base urethral dose of radiation is directly associated with the incidence of late urinary side effects of treatment.

Studies by Langen et al. and by Bylund et al. have addressed issues related to the (very normal) movement of the prostate in the body during selected types of external beam radiotherapy (so-called intrafraction prostate motion).

Woods Ignatoski et al. have shown that, in men with advanced, androgen-independent prostate cancer, elevated interleukin-6 (IL-6) levels and reductions in IL-6 levels early in treatment may reflect ultimate clinical response to docetaxel-based regimens.

Dhar et al. have reported on a technical method to integrate cisplatin into nanoparticles that would possibly allow the use of cisplatin as a drug for the treatment of advanced prostate cancer. Cisplatin is highly effective in the treatment of many forms of cancer. However, its use in prostate cancer has been limited by low efficacy and high toxicity. The authors claim that their formulation is 10 times more active than free cisplatin on prosate cancer cells (but to date this formulation has not been tested in humans).

Finally, Festuccia et al. have reported that the dual inhibition of the TrkA and Her2 receptors may be useful in the treatment of prostate cancer in a subset of patients in which TrkA and Her2 are overexpressed and in whom the possibility of TrkA and Her2 protein-binding is high. Drugs are in development to act as inhibitors of these receptors.

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