Prostate cancer news reports: Monday, October 12, 2009


In today’s news reports we note items on:

  • DNA histone levels and adverse prognosis
  • Outcomes to active surveillance vs EBRT
  • The use of radiation therapy as first-line treatment over time
  • Prostate cancer-specific mortality, brachytherapy, and EBRT

Ellinger et al. have reported that the degree of modification of histone levels in patients’ DNA may help to identify patients with adverse prognosis, and may also represent a target for the future therapy of prostate cancer.

Thong et al. have carried out a relatively small study showing that patients with low risk prostate cancer managed expectantly at initial diagnosis (i.e., with active surveillance or AS) have comparable health-related quality of life (HRQOL ) and a lower symptom burden than similar patients treated with external beam radiation therapy for up to 10 years after their initial diagnosis.

Jani et al. have investigated treatment time trends in the use of surgery, radiotherapy (RT) and type of RT (external beam RT [EBRT], brachytherapy, or combination EBRT + brachytherapy [combo]). The overall use of RT increased steadily from 9.1 percent in 1973 to 26.0 percent in 2004. Over the same time period, EBRT use decreased from 99.3 to 59.3 percent, brachytherapy increased from 0.0 to 29.6 percent (P < 0.001), and combo use increased from 0.0 to 11.1 percent.

Nanda et al. sought to identify clinical factors associated with prostate cancer-specific mortality (PCSM) in elderly men with intermediate-risk prostate cancer treated with brachytherapy alone or in conjunction with external beam radiation therapy (EBRT). Their data are based on a study cohort of 1,978 men of median age 71 years with intermediate-risk disease. After follow-up for 3.2 years, cardiovascular disease at the time of treatment was significantly associated with a decreased risk of PCSM , whereas an increasing PSA level was significantly associated with an increased risk of PCSM.

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