A prostate cancer Thanksgiving


So the last 12 months have been rather “bare” of truly exciting news for the prostate cancer community when it comes to things to “give thanks” for. However, there are things that are worth reminding our readers about.

  • The approval of high-intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU) for “ablation of prostate tissue” … but real thanks will only become appropriate when we know that HIFU can and will be used appropriately to treat well-characterized patients with prostate cancer who (a) actually need treatment and (b) can achieve long-term biochemical recurrence-free outcomes after such treatment.
  • The fact that the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force has started a process of reassessment of the potential value of prostate cancer screening which (hopefully) will take account of the significant amount of new data on thsi topic published since their last assessment in 2011-12.
  • The steadily increasing acceptance of active surveillance (which is not the same as “watchful waiting”) in the initial management of men with with very low-, low-, and favorable intermediate-risk forms of prostate cancer as a means to defer treatment and maintain quality of life.
  • The steadily increasing use of multiparametric MRI scans and MRI/TRUS fusion-guided biopsies in the diagnosis of prostate cancer.

By this time next year, our hope is that we might have at least one or maybe even a couple of new, additional drugs approved for the treatment of advanced forms of prostate cancer. Another thing we would hope to give thanks for next year would be abandonment of the current and outrageous proposal from CMS that physicians be discouraged from using the PSA test as a tool to evaluate risk for prostate cancer among asymptomatic patients.

9 Responses

  1. Whether it’s 5 new drugs for advanced cancer or 0, we are very thankful for all the work you do for this awesome site and what you provide to the countless men and women dealing with this disease. Your thoughtfulness and your work has helped so many men and women. (We don’t know the exact number because no one will fund a double-blinded study to determine your direct impact.). However, the impact goes way beyond what you’ll ever know. Many of which never post here and only absorb the information.

    Thanks for all your hard work…gobble, gobble and

    Happy Thanksgiving to you and every one dealing with PC.

  2. I second that emotion! (See above.)

  3. I add my thanks for your efforts on behalf of many of us. Synthesizing scientific data for the non-physicians who are patients is an enormous contribution. You always have summary data and it is in lay terms.

    Hope you can relax and enjoy a Holiday with your family.

  4. Heartfelt thanks, Mike.

  5. I’ll add my thanks to you Mike for doing so much of the heavy lifting that keeps many of us up-to-date.

    I would also like to add to your list of past year’s achievements the increasing adoption of genomic testing; and, where it applies to advanced disease, the occasional but welcome examples of personal medicine emerging in practice.

    Happy TurkeyGobbling to all!

  6. Continued Kudos, Mike.

    My hope is that sometime in the coming year Zytiga/abiraterone acetate, Xtandi/enzalutamide, and Provenge/sipuleucel-T are approved for men when hormone refractory prostate cancer/HRPC is apparent though metastases are not yet evident, rather than the patient having to let his prostate cancer advance wherein then metastases eventually occurs.

  7. Dear Chuck:

    Well … At least enzalutamide is being tested in a clinical trial (the EMBARK trial) that might fulfill your hope (although probably not before 2020).

    With regard to abiraterone acetate and sipuleucel-T … I see no signs that such trials will ever happen.

  8. Thank you for your work :):)

    ‘Tis too late for me, but with this gain of knowledge over the past year, hopefully my son will be better prepared and treated.

  9. I heartily agree with the posts. Mike, we patients are truly thankful for all your help.

    Bill

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