The Thursday news reports: March 19, 2009

There are six new reports in today’s news, of which the most immediately important would seem to be:

  • How men manage their “fear” while on active surveillance
  • “Cancer anxiety” and early use of hormonal therapy
  • Approval for a Phase III clinical trial of MDV3100

van der Heul-Nieuwenhuijsen et al. have investigated the possible association of so-called forkhead transcription or FOX factors in normal prostate and prostate diseases. FOX  family members have been implicated in a variety of cellular processes, including embryonic development and disease. They have shown that expression profiles of FOXF1 and FOXF2 suggest that these factors a role in epithelial to mesenchymal transition, while FOXA1 and FOXC1 expression may be linked to androgen-associated growth status of cancer.

Oliffe et al. have provided a qualitative report on strategies men use to manage their own uncertainty when applying active surveillance as a mechanism to manage a diagnosis of prostate cancer. Two basic strategies appear to be common: (a) stoicism and self-directed “pep talks” and (b) “doing something extra” to complement the active surveillance protocol, e.g., collaborating with their wives or partners to focus on diet as an adjunct therapy.

Morote et al. have shown that there is no association between free and total serum testosterone levels and risk for prostate cancer or tumor aggression. They also showed that hypogonadal patients (patients with very low testosterone levels) do not have a greater risk for prostate cancer or for tumor aggression.

Dale et al. have reported that cancer anxiety is an independent and strong predictor of early initiation of hormonal therapy in older men with biochemical recurrence. Because early initiation of hormone therapy may not change life expectancy and can negatively impact quality of life, they suggest that such anxiety is a potential target for a decision-making intervention.

Fiziazi et al. have published data from a randomized Phase II trial of denosumab in patients with bone metastases suggesting that this investigational drug reduces the risk for skeletal-related events (SREs) compared to treatment with intravenous bisphosphonates. Adverse events associated wioth the two types of drug occurred at similar rates.

A media release from Medivation, Inc. states that the company has received permission from the US Food and Drug Admininstration (FDA) to initiate a Phase III clinical trial of its investigational drug MDV3100 for treatment of men with castration-resistant prostate cancer who are not responding to prior docetaxel-based chemotherapy. The company has further stated that this trial will recruit approximately 1,200 patients, of whom 800 will be randomized to receive active drug and the remaining 400 will be randomized to receive a placebo. The date for initial recruitment of patients has not yet been announced.

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