The Wednesday news reports: February 18, 2009

Today’s news reports contain two articles (on adjuvant radiotherapy in men progressing after first-line surgical treatment  and on thalidomide in combination with intermittent androgen deprivation) that were discussed last month on this blog. Two additional articles are of clinical interest, but most of today’s news reports again fall into the “dense” scientific category.Liu et al. have published further sophisticated work on the application of MRI segmentation imaging to better identify potential areas of prostate cancer localized within the prostate as an aid toward prostate cancer diagnosis.

A molecule called “Sprouty1” is a negative regulator of fibroblast growth factor signaling and  may have a tumor suppressor function in prostate cancer. Kwabi-Addo et al. have demonstrated that biochemical changes (“DNA methylation”) in the Sprouty1 promoter region of DNA is responsible for down-regulating Sprouty1 expression in prostate cancer.

Amin et al. have addressed the application of better methodologies for the direction and management of high-intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU) for treatment of localized disease. The article describes general and target-specific techniques and software tools for HIFU treatment planning using pre-therapy imaging, and monitoring and controlling the HIFU delivery and tissue lesion using one-, two-, and three-dimensional ultrasound imaging. Such techniques optimize high-precision HIFU applications for controlled ablation of the target tumor. They may also reduce the overall treatment duration and exposure of non-target tissues.

Heemers et al. have reported on the way in which inappropriate expression of so-called “coregulators” can be correlated with poor prognosis and aggressive disease. This latest publication on this topic from this group deals with the identification of several potential novel therapeutic targets for prostate cancer treatment based on understanding of the expression of coregulator genes.

On a more clinical level:

Based on study of 56 patients who underwent radical retropubic prostatectomies for clinically localized prostate cancer between June 2004 and July 2006, Altinova et al. have suggested that early healing of vesico-urethral anastomosis may allow early catheter removal with a resulting decrease in risk for urethral stricture formation.

Crespo et al. were unable to find any association between physical activity and risk for prostate cancer-specific mortality in a cohort of nearly 10,000 Puerto Rican men studied between 1965 and 2002.

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