Prostate cancer news reports: Friday, January 29, 2010


Today’s news reports address:

  • Statins and prostate cancer prevention
  • 10-year results of low-dose brachytherapy in a Spanish patient cohort
  • Selective nuclear androgen receptor exporters (SNAREs)

Murtola et al. have reported data from the Finnish patients in the European Randomized Prostate Cancer Screening Study showing that the overall prostate cancer incidence was significantly decreased among statin users. The overall incidence of prostate cancer was lowered among statin users when bias due to differential PSA testing between medication users and non-users was eliminated by systematical prostate cancer screening. Cholesterol-lowering with statins seems tro be beneficial for prostate cancer prevention.

Prada et al. have provided 10-year follow-up data on their series of 734 Spanish patients treated with low-dose brachytherapy as first line therapy (with or without 3-4 months of androgen deprivation). Their outcomes appear to be comparable to those from other long-term series, with low rates of biochemical recurrence, particularly for patients with Gleason scores of 6 or less and PSA levels of ≤ 10 ng/ml at the time of diagnosis. They do not comment on erectile function post-treatment, and they state that, “No patients reported incontinence after treatment.” However, The “New” Prostate Cancer InfoLink wonders whether there is a cultural aspect to relative silence on these two topics, since brachytherapy is certainly known to have effects on both continence and erectile function  over time.

Narayanan et al. have reported on the identification of a new class of antiandrogenic agents called “selective nuclear androgen receptor exporters” or SNAREs. Their initial report describes the ways in which SNARE-1 — presumably the first molecule in this class that they have tested — works to block androgen receptors from the prostate cancer cell nucleus. SNARE-1 clearly inhibits androgen receptor function by a mechanism that is quite different from those of the currently available antiandrogens. Whether this class of antiandrogenic agents can be shown to have clinical activity in an animal model and in man will take much longer to determine.

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