The prostate cancer news reports: Wednesday, May 6, 2009

In today’s new items we identified items dealing with:

  • New learnings about radical prostatectomy
  • Heated gold nanoparticles as treatment for solid tumors
  • A three-drug chemotherapy combination for HRPC

In the May issue of Lancet Oncology, Joel Nelson of the University of Pittsburgh reviews the topic “Radical prostatectomy: what have we learned.” Unfortunately the entire article does require a subscription to Lancet Oncology.

Von Maltzahn and colleagues at MIT have recently published two papers on the use of  gold nanoparticles heated with an infrared laser as a means to eliminate cancer cells in mice. Brief reports on this work appear in Science Daily and in the MIT online news. The original papers appear in Cancer Research and in Advanced Materials. While these two studies are not specific to prostate cancer, the data published by this group do appear to indicate the strong potential of nanoparticles as a vehicle to carry a therapeutic “golden bullet” to targeted cancer cells with a significant degree of accuracy.

A recent paper has reported the use of docetaxel + vinorelbine + estramustine in treatment of 52 patients with metastatic, hormone-resistant prostate cancer. It states that median overall survival in this group of patients was 18.2 months, with 33 percent having grade 3 or grade 4 neutropenia and/or exhibiting febrile neutropenia, grade 3 thrombocytopenia, grade 3 neuropathy, grade 3 fatigue, grade 3 edema, and thromboembolism. The authors conclude that this drug combination “is a well-tolerated regimen with high biochemical and objective response rates.” By contrast, The “New” Prostate Cancer InfoLink cannot see that this regimen appears to be any more effective than docetaxel + prednisone, and it appears to have a noticeably higher risk for adverse events.

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