Prostate cancer news reports: Thursday, May 21, 2009

Today’s news reports cover items on:

  • “Elastography” in assessment of risk of prostate cancer
  • Ejaculatory function before and after brachytherapy
  • Hormone therapy for prostate cancer: a 20-year, single institution experience

Miyagawa et al. have published data from another study suggesting that “elastography” (a technique for detecting the stiffness of tissues) may be a useful technique for assessing prostate cancer risk and the need for a biopsy. In their data from a series of 311 patients, the diagnostic sensitivity for digital rectal examination (DRE) was 37.9 percent, for transrectal ultrasound it was 59.0 percent, for elastography it was 72.6 percent, and for the combination of TRUS and elastography it was 89.5 percent.

Huyghe et al. have reported data on the conservation of ejaculatory function after prostate brachytherapy. Their study enrolled 241 men with an average age of 65 years who had undergone prostate cancer treatment of 131I-based brachytherapy. These men were asked aboutfFive aspects of ejaculatory function pre- and post-teratment: frequency, volume, dry ejaculation, pleasure, and pain. While most of these men conserved ejaculatory function after prostate brachytherapy, it was also the case that most of these men experienced a reduction in ejaculatory volume and a deterioration in the perceived quality of orgasm.

Diblasio et al. have reported data on the overall survival (OS) and disease-specific survival (DSS) of 548 men receiving primary androgen-deprivation therapy (PADT) or salvage medical ADT (SADT) for prostate cancer at a single institution between July 1987 and June 2007. The mean age at diagnosis and ADT induction were 70.1 and 72.3 years, respectively, and 321 patients (58.6 percent) were African-American. ADT was administered continuously in 497 patients (90.7 percent); 342 patients (62.4 percent) received PADT; and 206 patients (37.6 percent) received SADT. At a mean follow-up of 81.8 months (range, 2.1-445 months), 98 deaths occurred and 31 of those 98 deaths (31.6 percent percent) were cancer-specific. Multivariate predictors of OS and DSS included age at diagnosis and at ADT induction, tumor stage, and PSA level at ADT induction. Progression to HRPC worsened OS and DSS. The authors conclude that, “PADT and SADT prolong survival in men with prostate cancer. HRPC portends a poor DSS. Age at diagnosis and ADT induction, PSA level before ADT, and disease stage predict both OS and DSS in this population. However, most men died from causes unrelated to prostate cancer, thus questioning the true value of ADT in prolonging patient survival.”

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