Predicting erectile dysfunction from prostate cancer treatment

September 27, 2012

Researchers have identified 12 DNA sequences that may help doctors determine which men will suffer from erectile dysfunction (ED) following radiation therapy for prostate cancer. Identifying these patients in advance of treatment may better inform men and their families as to which prostate cancer treatments are best for their specific cancer and lifestyle, according to a study to be published online September 27, 2012, in advance of the October 1, 2012 print issue, in the International Journal of Radiation Oncology.Biology.Physics (Red Journal), the official scientific journal of the American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO). The findings could also guide doctors in recommending the most effective treatments that carry the least risk of patients developing ED.

The main treatments for —surgery, brachytherapy () and external beam radiation therapy—are all very effective at curing prostate cancer. Unfortunately, each treatment places patients at risk for ED. Although many men will maintain their potency, doctors would like to identify which men are at greatest risk for the development of difficulty with sexual function.

In this multi-institutional, multi-national study, researchers from New York's Mount Sinai School of Medicine, Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University in Bronx, N.Y., New York University School of Medicine, Florida Radiation Oncology Group in Jacksonville, Fla., and Maastricht University Medical Center in Maastricht, the Netherlands, examined 593 men who were treated with brachytherapy and/or therapy and hormone therapy. Of them, 260 reported erectile dysfunction.

"Through a two-stage genome-wide association study, 12 single (SNPs) were identified that were associated with the development of erectile dysfunction after radiation treatment for prostate cancer," said Barry S. Rosenstein, PhD, department of radiation oncology at New York's Mount Sinai Medical School. "If validated further, these SNPs could provide the basis for a blood test that would enable radiation oncologists to predict more accurately which men are most likely to develop erectile dysfunction after prostate cancer radiation therapy."

"Prostate cancer screening and treatment are undergoing major shifts," said Harry Ostrer, MD, professor of pathology and genetics at Albert Einstein College of Medicine, director of genetic and genomic testing at Montefiore Medical Center and co-principal investigator of the study. "This is part of our ongoing effort to personalize and optimize treatment for prostate cancer."

Explore further: Proton therapy effective prostate cancer treatment

Related Stories

Proton therapy effective prostate cancer treatment

January 5, 2012
Proton therapy, a type of external beam radiation therapy, is a safe and effective treatment for prostate cancer, according to two new studies published in the January issue of the International Journal of Radiation Oncology•Biology•Physics ...

IMRT cuts GI side effects from prostate cancer in half vs. 3D-CRT

June 1, 2011
Intensity modulated radiation therapy, a newer, more precise form of radiation therapy, causes fewer gastrointestinal side effects when combined with hormone therapy than using three-dimensional radiation therapy, according ...

Recommended for you

Study suggests colon cancer cells carry bacteria with them when they metastasize

November 24, 2017
(Medical Xpress)—A team of researchers working at Harvard University has found evidence that suggests a certain type of bacteria found in colon cancer tumors makes its way to tumors in other body parts by traveling with ...

Promising new treatment for rare pregnancy cancer leads to remission in patients

November 24, 2017
An immunotherapy drug can be used to cure women of a rare type of cancer arising from pregnancy when existing treatments have failed.

Researchers unravel novel mechanism by which tumors grow resistant to radiotherapy

November 23, 2017
A Ludwig Cancer Research study has uncovered a key mechanism by which tumors develop resistance to radiation therapy and shown how such resistance might be overcome with drugs that are currently under development. The discovery ...

African Americans face highest risk for multiple myeloma yet underrepresented in research

November 23, 2017
Though African-American men are three times more likely to be diagnosed with multiple myeloma, a type of blood cancer, most scientific research on the disease has been based on people of European descent, according to a study ...

Encouraging oxygen's assault on iron may offer new way to kill lung cancer cells

November 22, 2017
Blocking the action of a key protein frees oxygen to damage iron-dependent proteins in lung and breast cancer cells, slowing their growth and making them easier to kill. This is the implication of a study led by researchers ...

One in four U.S. seniors with cancer has had it before

November 22, 2017
(HealthDay)—For a quarter of American seniors, a cancer diagnosis signals the return of an old foe, new research shows.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.