Prostate cancer news reports: Wednesday, August 19


Today’s news reports address:

  • Smoking and risk for prostate cancer
  • Assessing risk for a positive second biopsy after a prior negative biopsy
  • Smoking pot won’t cure your cancer but …
  • Pemetrexed not effective as a single agent in CRPC patients after docetaxel failure

A meta-analysis of 24 published studies by Huncharek et al. suggests that men who smoke heavily and men who have smoked for a long time are at significantly increased risk for prostate cancer compared to non-smokers. Based on this analysis, the heaviest smokers had a 24 to 30 percent greater risk of death from prostate cancer than did non-smokers.

Rochester et al. have reported the development and validation of a specific type of risk score for predicting the likelihood of positive repeat prostate biopsies in patients with a previous negative biopsy in a UK population. The predictive risk score model they have developed is based on the application of age, PSA, PSA velocity, free-to-total PSA ratio, prostate volume, and DRE findings. They have estimated that use of this model to identify high risk individuals would reduce repeat biopsies by 39 percent while identifying 90 percent of the men with histological evidence of prostate cancer.

An article in today’s Daily Telegraph in the UK based on a forthcoming article by Olea-Herrero et al., suggests that “Chemicals found in cannabis could be used to fight prostate cancer.” While we understand that this article offers hope to all those aging hippie-boomers out there, The “New” Prostate Cancer InfoLink hastens to emphasize a comment on this research by Dr Lesley Walker, from Cancer Research UK, who said: “This is interesting research which opens a new avenue to explore potential drug targets but it is at a very early stage – it absolutely isn’t the case that men might be able to fight prostate cancer by smoking cannabis.”

Hahn et al. have reported that, when used in the treatment of patients with castration-resistant prostate cancer who had had prior docetaxel-based chemotherapy, pemetrexed (Alimta®/Lilly) had only modest clinical activity. The authors concluded that, “Further investigation of pemetrexed as a single agent in a nonenriched CRPC population is unlikely to add significant clinical benefit over that seen with traditional second-line chemotherapy agents such as mitoxantrone.”

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