Men could be spared unnecessary treatment for prostate cancer with new detection method

April 6, 2016
Micrograph showing prostatic acinar adenocarcinoma (the most common form of prostate cancer) Credit: Wikipedia

Researchers are working to find a way to determine how serious prostate cancer is when first diagnosed to avoid unnecessary treatments, which can cause life long side effects and even death.

Very little is known about how starts and experts from St George's, University of London have developed models which mimic structures found in the prostate to study changes that lead to the progression of prostate cancer.

Dr Ferran Valderrama, of St George's University of London, said:

"The currently available prognostic tests for prostate cancer cannot conclusively tell us whether a tumour will rapidly progress and spread to other tissues or instead will remain confined to the limits of the prostate. As a result, there are a number of men newly diagnosed with prostate cancer that may not receive optimal treatment," he said.

"Improving current procedures for predicting the outcome of a prostate that presents with "suspicious" characteristics of prostate cancer are necessary. If we were able to determine that outcome in a consistent and conclusive manner, it would be easier to define the best approach for treatment for each individual case."

If successful, the experiments in Dr Valderrama's lab would increase the possibilities to intervene at very early times in cases that present features of a more life-threatening tumour.

"We are working towards this strategy and if our experiments continue being successful, we could have in place a new method to more accurately distinguish between high-risk and relatively low-risk disease.", Dr Valderrama said

Researchers in Dr Valderrama's lab have been looking at how cells derived from normal or cancerous prostates organize themselves into structures that look like the ones found in a prostate, known as acini. What they have seen is that, during this process, the more malignant the cells are, the more the acini they form differ from the normal ones and the more they resemble those observed in prostate cancer.

"Based on these cell culture models, we believe a test could be developed to assess how invasive a prostate cell could become when taken from a patient," Dr Valderrama said.

"We believe that this information would help to determine the appropriate treatment for the patient, reducing the burden derived from unnecessary over treatment and overall having a positive outcome in patient survival."

Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men and across the UK over 44,000 men are diagnosed with prostate cancer every year – that's more than 120 men every day.

Every hour one man dies from prostate cancer – that's more than 10,500 every year.

Explore further: Prostate cancer tied to higher colorectal cancer risk

Related Stories

Prostate cancer tied to higher colorectal cancer risk

March 1, 2016
(HealthDay)—The risk of colorectal cancer is increased after a diagnosis of prostate cancer, according to a study published online Feb. 25 in Cancer.

Active surveillance for prostate cancer can give men good quality of life

March 14, 2016
Choosing ongoing monitoring instead of immediate curative treatment (surgery or radiotherapy) leads to a better overall quality of life for men with low-risk prostate cancer. In fact, the Quality of life (QoL) is about the ...

Research breakthrough could lead to better prostate cancer treatment

November 19, 2015
Cancer researchers from the University of Glasgow and Royal Philips Cancer researchers have identified a gene which could help doctors to predict the aggressiveness of prostate cancer in patients.

Surgery improves survival rates for men with prostate cancer if radiation treatments fail

March 10, 2016
Approximately 14 percent of men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer at some point in their lifetimes, according to the National Institutes of Health. Radiation therapy traditionally has been a primary treatment for the ...

New genetic discovery advances understanding of prostate cancer

October 26, 2015
A new and important genetic discovery, which sheds light on how prostate cancers develop and spread, has been made by an international research team led by scientists at The University of Nottingham.

Targeted antibiotics may help protect against infections in men being tested for prostate cancer

February 1, 2016
A new review indicates that antimicrobial therapy given before clinicians take transrectal ultrasound-guided prostate biopsies to diagnose prostate cancer may lead to lower rates of sepsis, a potentially life-threatening ...

Recommended for you

Major study of genetics of breast cancer provides clues to mechanisms behind the disease

October 23, 2017
Seventy-two new genetic variants that contribute to the risk of developing breast cancer have been identified by a major international collaboration involving hundreds of researchers worldwide.

Proton therapy lowers treatment side effects in pediatric head and neck cancer patients

October 23, 2017
Pediatric patients with head and neck cancer can be treated with proton beam therapy (PBT) instead of traditional photon radiation, and it will result in similar outcomes with less impact on quality of life. Researchers from ...

New study shows how cells can be led down non-cancer path

October 23, 2017
As cells with a propensity for cancer break down food for energy, they reach a fork in the road: They can either continue energy production as healthy cells, or shift to the energy production profile of cancer cells. In a ...

Microbiologists contribute to possible new anti-TB treatment path

October 23, 2017
As part of the long effort to improve treatment of tuberculosis (TB), microbiologists led by Yasu Morita at the University of Massachusetts Amherst report that they have for the first time characterized a protein involved ...

Big Data shows how cancer interacts with its surroundings

October 23, 2017
By combining data from sources that at first seemed to be incompatible, UC San Francisco researchers have identified a molecular signature in tissue adjacent to tumors in eight of the most common cancers that suggests they ...

Symptom burden may increase hospital length of stay, readmission risk in advanced cancer

October 23, 2017
Hospitalized patients with advanced cancer who report more intense and numerous physical and psychological symptoms appear to be at risk for longer hospital stays and unplanned hospital readmissions. The report from a Massachusetts ...

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.