The Friday news reports: April 3, 2009

This morning’s news reports cover:

  • Decision making and prostate cancer testing among African Americans
  • Inflammation and prostate cancer etiology
  • Minimally invasive penile prosthesis surgery
  • High-intensity focused ultrasound in first-line treatment
  • Intermittent hormone therapy

Jones et al. interviewed a small group of African American men — including some from rural communities — to explore how and when they decided to undergo PSA and DRE testing for risk of  prostate cancer. Just over half of the men (9/17) said that they had undergone such testing. Three factors appear to be critical to the decision:  (1) these men had information on prostate cancer; (2) family and friends played an important role in the men’s decision-making process; and (3) for testing to occur, it was necessary for the men to have a trusting relationship with their health-care provider.

It is known that inflammation may play a significant role in prostate cancer etiology, but it has been unclear whether inflammatory markers such as C-reactive protein (CRP) and interleukin-6 (IL-6) are associated with risk for prostate cancer. Pierce et al. have now reported data from a carefully conducted study that suggest there is in fact no association between circulating CRP and IL-6 levels and prostate cancer risk — at least in men > 65 years of age.

A surgeon at the University of Maryland has described a minimally invasive procedure for the implantation of inflatable penile prostheses. At least at first sight this procedure may make implantation of penile prostheses more acceptable for men who have been unenthusiastic about standard implantation surgery.

Maestroni et al. have reported data from a small, initial series of Italian patients treated with high-intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU). These data appear to be consistent with reports from other centers.

Shaw and Oliver have reviewed recent data affecting the clinical application of intermittent hormone therapy and its place in the contemporary endocrine treatment of prostate cancer. Their article applears to support an increasingly strong argument for the use of intermittent hormone therapy as the standard of care for androgen deprivation therapy aas compared to continuous long-term therapy. However, they do discriminate carefully between types of intermittent therapy based on the patient’s clinical status.

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