Thursday, 29 June 2017

Advance in Prostate Cancer Surgery from New Zealand

New Zealand’s Kathleen Kilgour Centre (KKC) has treated the country’s first patient with Augmenix‘s SpaceOAR system, a medical device that protects men from rectal complications after prostate cancer radiation therapy.
Because the prostate and the rectum are anatomically adjacent, radiation therapy targeting the prostate can injure the rectum and cause pain, discomfort or diarrhea.
The SpaceOAR system works by injecting an hydrogel into the space between the prostate and the rectum, generating a pressure force that pushes the organs further away from each other. As a result, during prostate radiation therapy, the rectum is out of the region affected by radiation and suffers less damage.
“KKC is dedicated to providing the best care for our patients and the introduction of SpaceOAR hydrogel for men with prostate cancer is yet another step in achieving this,” Dr. Leanne Tyrie, the KKC’s clinical director, said in a press release. “The significant decrease in bowel, urinary and sexual side effects following radiotherapy when SpaceOAR hydrogel is utilized made our decision to incorporate it as part of the standard of care for prostate cancer patients very easy.”
Besides increasing protection to the rectum, the hydrogel can also decrease radiation’s harmful side effects to urinary and sexual organs.
The hydrogel maintains spacing for three months and then gradually becomes a liquid which is cleared in urine through renal filtration about six months after injection.
“Recent clinical data show that SpaceOAR hydrogel helps to significantly reduce the risk of rectal and urinary side effects and loss of sexual function associated with radiation therapy in the treatment of prostate cancer,” said Augmenix CEO John Pedersen. “We are pleased that the first patient to be treated with SpaceOAR hydrogel in New Zealand took place at the Kathleen Kilgour Centre, which prides itself on offering high quality, multi-modality radiation therapy treatment options for men with a diagnosis of prostate cancer.”
Augmenix, based in Bedford, Massachusetts, sponsored a Phase 3 clinical trial in the United States (NCT01538628) to evaluate the system’s safety in men undergoing Image-guided intensity-modulated radiotherapy (IG-IMRT) and to assess whether using SpaceOAR hydrogel reduced radiation exposure to the rectum.
Results showed that the hydrogel spacer was safe and well tolerated. It significantly reduced rectum radiation injury with decreased reports of pain during treatment. One year after radiation, treatment decreased rectum complications by 71 percent and who had not been injected with the hydrogel were 3.5 times more likely to have rectal complications than those who received SpaceOAR.
Three years after treatment, patients treated with SpaceOAR had 73.5 percent less radiation in their rectum, as well as better urinary and sexual functions.
Men who received SpaceOAR were eight times less likely to experience significant declines in their quality of life and 78 percent of the men who were sexually active before receiving SpaceOAR treatment were more likely to retain sexual function three years later.

Monday, 19 June 2017

Surgery or Radiotherapy?

I chose surgery over radiotherapy for a far more basic reason. I preferred to think of the cancerous tissue, as it was thrown into the hospital incinerator, destroying what would have destroyed me. I didn't like the idea of having a radiated piece of gunk, sitting in my groin area, not knowing if it really was completely dead.

But you might see things differently?

Surgery Seen as Superior to Radiation Therapy in Younger Men with High-risk Prostate Cancer, Study Finds

Jun 16, 2017 06:23 am | Carolina Henriques


prostate cancer risk

Men under 60 with high-risk prostate cancer who underwent radical prostatectomy — or surgery to remove all or part of the prostate — as an initial treatment, showed significantly improved overall survival at four years than those given radiation therapy, a study found. Researchers used the National Cancer Database to analyze 16,944 high-risk prostate cancer patients, age 59 or younger.

Saturday, 10 June 2017

Do not trust your doctor...

A very useful article written by Dr Samadi, a renowned Urologic Oncologist from the USA. 

If you've just been diagnosed, he makes one statement here that should be flashing in lights at you....

"Every man needs to become his own health advocate by becoming familiar with the risk factors and possible signs and symptoms of prostate cancer." 

Before you read this article, know that I strongly disagree with one thing that Dr Samadi suggests, maybe he has more faith in the medical profession than I do.

I say DO NOT trust your doctor, it could cost you your life. Be your own case manager and research the hell out of everything   ( you would if you were buying a new laptop ),  including the abilities of those treating you. Don't think because they wear a white coat and Ralph Lauren glasses that they know everything about your condition, YOU need to help them.

Read on........

A diagnosis of prostate cancer is certainly up setting for any man. But if his knowledge of this type of cancer is limited, it can possibly set him on the wrong track of knowing how best to fight it.
Figuring out what needs to be known about prostate cancer can be overwhelming, with decisions to be made, treatment options to condider and not knowing what the future holds.
To beat back the second leading cause of cancer in American males behind only skin cancer, men need to arm themselves with adequate knowledge of what exactly prostate cancer is.
The more a man knows and understands what prostate cancer is and knows what he is dealing with, the more he can take charge of his condition and vastly improve his chances of defeating it in the end.
Prostate gland and prostate cancer statistics
The prostate is a gland of the male reproductive system which sits below the bladder and in front of the rectum. Its function is to produce a fluid that contributes to the formation of semen. Normally the size of a walnut in younger men, the prostate can grow much larger as a man ages.
Prostate cancer is when cells in the prostate gland grow uncontrollably. According to the National Cancer Institute (NCI) approximately 14% of men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer at some point during their lifetime, based on 2010-2012 data.
This cancer is considered a fairly common one for men, with estimates in 2017 of 161,360 new cases being diagnosed. An estimated 26,730 men will die from the disease.
However, if prostate cancer is discovered in its early stages, it has a 98.9% survival rate as reported from the NCI.
Treatment options
Each individual patient's prostate cancer treatment depends on many factors — the man's age, overall health, staging of the cancer and its location.
Tailoring a treatment plan best suited for each patient's unique needs is necessary to have the best outcome. When the options available are thoroughly explained, a man and his physician will be better prepared to choose the one right for him
The best defense is to have a game plan of good offense when it comes to prostate cancer.
Men need to have yearly exams to assess what is going on with their prostate. A simple rectal exam which takes less than a minute and a yearly PSA blood test starting at age 40 are good screening tools urologists use to detect any changes in the prostate gland.
Not getting screened is unwise, as a man will be missing his opportunity to catch any changes before it's too late
The outcome of the rectal exam and PSA blood test, will determine what the next steps are. While the PSA test and rectal exam are not perfect, when performed regularly they still remain the best way to detect prostate cancer.
If abnormalities are found with either the rectal exam or the PSA test, from there the doctor may decide to do a prostate biopsy in which a urologist obtains tissue samples from the prostate gland.
Those samples of tissue are sent to a pathologist to screen the size, shape, and pattern of growth of possible cancer cells, and he or she will assign what is called a Gleason score.
The Gleason score is used to describe the aggressiveness of the cancer cells and to predict prognosis and to determine what therapy is best for the patient.
Once the initial diagnostic findings (PSA, Gleason score, rectal exam) are sorted out, from there it will be determined if further imaging tests are required. The imaging tests could be the use of a computed tomography (CT) scan used to determine if cancer has spread outside of the prostate, particularly to the lymph nodes.
Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) is another imaging test using strong magnets to look for cancer that has spread through the edge of the prostate.
After any imaging testing is completed, treatment options will be decided depending on what stage the cancer is in. One option a man and his doctor may decide to pursue is called active surveillance. This is the decision not to treat prostate cancer at the time of diagnosis based on the man's age, health condition and the rate of growth of the cancer.
If the cancer needs to be treated more aggressively, there are several methods of therapy to consider, all depending again on each individual man's prostate cancer, the expected rate of growth, staging and other factors.
The doctor may decide to choose one type of therapy or a combination to beat back the cancer. His choices range from the da Vinci prostatectomy, radiation therapy, Cyberknife SBRT procedure, IMRT procedure, seed implant procedure, or hormone therapy.
Every man needs to become his own health advocate by becoming familiar with the risk factors and possible signs and symptoms of prostate cancer. If something doesn't seem right, men should seek out advice and help from their doctor.
The best way to fight off this potential killer is to get regular checkups, understand the prostate and prostate cancer, and to find a urologist who will guide you through the battle every step of the way.
Dr. Samadi is a board-certified urologic oncologist trained in open and traditional and laparoscopic surgery and is an expert in robotic prostate surgery. He is chairman of urology, chief of robotic surgery at Lenox Hill Hospital. He is a medical correspondent for the Fox News Channel's Medical A-Team. Follow Dr. Samadi on Twitter, Instagram, Pintrest, and Facebook

Monday, 5 June 2017

Promising Results from Prostate Cancer Trial

Extending the life of many men who have advanced prostate cancer...
Combining two existing prostate cancer therapies could extend the life of men with advanced, high-risk prostate cancer by 37%, according to a study presented at the world’s largest cancer conference. The new findings could change how doctors first approach treatment of prostate cancer.
“These are the most powerful results I’ve seen from a prostate cancer trial,” said Nicholas James, the lead author of the abstract presented as the American Society of Clinical Oncology. “It’s a once in a career feeling. This is one of the biggest reductions in death I’ve seen in any clinical trial for adult cancers.”
Researchers combined standard hormone therapy with a drug called abiraterone , which is typically used only for cancer patients whose disease has stopped responding to standard hormone therapy. The research was conducted as part of the Stampede trial, an ongoing randomized trial conducted in the UK and Switzerland. 
“Abiraterone not only prolonged life, but also lowered the chance of relapse by 70% and reduced the chance of serious bone complications by 50%,” James said. “Based on the magnitude of clinical benefit, we believe the upfront care for patients newly diagnosed with advanced prostate cancer should change.”
The study looked at a group of 2,000 men. Patients who received both abiraterone and normal hormone therapy were significantly less likely to die, compared to patients who received only hormone therapy. 
Comparatively, 83% of men assigned abiraterone therapy survived versus 76% of men on standard hormone therapy. Researchers also found that patients who received both medications had slightly stronger side effects, especially cardiovascular and liver problems. 
One patient who participated in the trial, Alfred Samuels, 59, was diagnosed with advanced prostate cancer in January 2012. “It felt like my world fell apart overnight,” Samuels said. “The doctors explained that surgery wasn’t an option for me because the cancer had spread beyond my prostate.”
“As part of the trial, I started taking abiraterone four times a day and had a hormone injection every eight weeks,” he said. “During the first six months, tests showed that the treatment was working. I’m still on the trial, which I find reassuring and, fortunately, my cancer is being managed well.”
More than 27,000 men in the US and 11,000 men in the UK die of prostate cancer each year, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prostate Cancer UK. In the US, aside from skin cancer, it is the most common cancer in men. 
“The potential benefits of giving some men abiraterone alongside hormone therapy are clearly impressive and we will be working with all relevant bodies to make sure this treatment becomes an option available for these men via the NHS,” said Dr Iain Frame, director of research at Prostate Cancer UK.