More Wednesday news reports: March 25, 2009

Three additional study reports available today address:

  • Omega-3 fatty acids and risk for advanced prostate cancer
  • Predicting outcomes of salvage radiation therapy
  • Galectin-3 and its future potential in prostate cancer diagnosis and treatment

According to the American Association for Cancer Research, an article in this week’s issue of Clinical Cancer Research suggests that omega-3 fatty acids may be protective against advanced prostate cancer, and that this effect may be modified by a genetic variant in the COX-2 gene. Researchers compared data from 466 men diagnosed with aggressive prostate cancer and 478 healthy men. Men who consumed the highest amounts of long-chain omega-3 fatty acids had a 63 percent reduced risk of aggressive prostate cancer compared to men who ate the lowest amounts of long chain omega-3 fatty acids. According to John S. Witte (one of the study’s authors), “If you want to think of the overall inverse association in terms of fish, where omega-3 fatty acids are commonly derived, the strongest effect was seen from eating dark fish such as salmon one or more times per week.”

Wiegel et al. investigated whether it was possible to identify prognostic factors that could predict achievement of an undetectable PSA in the salvage radiation therapy (SRT) setting. Their analysis was based on data from 162 patients who received SRT at a single institution between 1997 and 2004. No patient had hormonal treatment before SRT and 90 percent of the patients (143/162) had an SRT dose of 66 Gy. Their data suggest that (a) achieving an undetectable PSA after SRT is an important prognosticator for a high chance of biochemical recurrence-free survival and (b) patients with a low PSA pre-SRT, positive surgical margins, and low tumor stage at the time of RP are the best candidates for SRT.

Wang et al. have reported that galectin-3 — a β-galactoside-binding protein — may be implicated in prostate cancer progression and suggest that galectin-3 has the potential to serve as a diagnostic marker and as a therapeutic target for future prostate cancer treatments.

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