Prostate cancer news reports: Sunday, July 12, 2009


This weekend’s news reports deal with:

  • A new epidemiological database for prostate cancer research
  • Phase II trial results for the “vaccine” PSA: 154-163 (155L)
  • The degree to which adding hormone therapy to radiotherapy affects outcomes in patients with localized prostate cancer
  • The possibility that zoledronic acid could be used just once a year to prevent bone loss and related events in men having androgen deprivation therapy

Hagel et al. have developed linkages between the National Prostate Cancer Register (NPCR) of Sweden, a population-based, nationwide quality database, and multiple other nationwide, Swedish, health-related databases. The outcome is a new database (PCBaSe Sweden) containing highly detailed information on 80,079 prostate cancer patients, diagnosed between 1 January 1996 and 31 December 2006 and with comprehensive data on inpatient and outpatient care, patterns of use of prescribed drugs. and socioeconomic and familial factors. The developers believe that this database will permit the investigation of specifc topics in clinical prostate cancer epidemiology.

Data reported by Kouiavskaia et al. from a Phase II clinical trial of an investigational prostate cancer immunotherapeutic (“vaccine’) known as agonist peptide PSA: 154-163 (155L) appears to suggest that this immunotherapeutic agent may not have the level of effectiveness hoped for in treatment of prostate cancer.

Bria et al. have carried out a meta-analysis of data from seven different trials including 4,387 patients in order to determine the benefit of adding hormone therapy (HT) to radiotherapy for treatment of locally advanced prostate cancer — as measured by assessing the relative risk (RR) of any specific event.  Their analysis shows that the addition of hormone suppression to radiotherapy significantly decreased biochemical failure rates (RR = 0.76), and increased clinical progression-free survival (RR = 0.81), cancer-specific survival (RR = 0.76), and overall survival (RR = 0.86) in this patient population. The occurrence of local and distant relapse were also significantly decreased by the addition of HT (by 36 and 28 percent, respectively), and no significant differences in toxicity were observed.

Data published by Satoh et al. suggest that a single 4-mg dose of zoledronic acid (as opposed to a dose every month) may be sufficient to prevent bone loss for a minimum of 12 months in hormone-naïve men starting on androgen deprivation. Larger studies are needed to confirm this initial finding.

5 Responses

  1. Umm, did you really mean “…hormone suppression significantly DECREASED … clinical progression-free survival (RR = 0.81)…” etc.?

  2. Thanks Larry … See modifications above.

  3. Maybe I don’t understand the lingo. I still see “… addition of hormone suppression to radiotherapy significantly decreased … clinical progression-free survival (RR = 0.81) …”

    I would have thought that it would increase survival.

  4. I think I’m becoming technologically challenged. The content management system only saved a part of the correction I had made the first time around. Try this.

  5. Better. Happy Monday.

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