Several new developments have recently been reported in the area of prostate cancer research. We have chosen to highlight three this month:
A new way to separate the more serious forms of prostate cancer from the more slow-growing forms has been reported. A genetic variation within tumor cells, where a doubled TMPRSS2 and ERG gene fusion creates an alteration called 2+Edel, can assist surgeons in determining which form of prostate cancer each patient has and then whether surgery is necessary. The slow-growing forms of prostate cancer can be monitored over time without surgery and so this discovery is expected to reduce the number of radical prostatectomies that are done each year.
Surgeon's Experience Tied to Prostate Surgery Success
A new study published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute confirms surgeons that most often perform prostatectomies tend to have the best patient outcomes. Typically most patients are seen by surgeons with very little experience but at larger hospitals, particularly NCI-designated comprehensive cancer centers, patients can find surgeons that only perform prostatectomies. The more experience the surgeon has, the less likely the patient's cancer will reoccur. Patients whose physician had only done 10 operations had a 70 percent increase in reoccurrence within five years compared to physicians who had performed 250 or more operations.
To help assess a surgeon's experience level, patients should ask their potential surgeons how many cases they do in a week.
To Eat or Not Eat Tomatoes?
A new study published in the journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention finds that lycopene, an antioxidant found in tomatoes and ketchup that has previously been found to fight cancer, is ineffective in the prevention of prostate cancer. This study included 28,000 men who had had no history of prostate cancer. The men were screened at the beginning of the trial and then followed with regular screenings until the first occurrence of prostate cancer or death up to completion of the trial. The researchers found no significant difference in the levels of lycopene in participants' blood between men with prostate cancer and those without.
For more information about any cancer concern, contact:
Cancer Information Service
Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center
UI Hospitals and Clinics
200 Hawkins Drive, 4802 JPP
Iowa City, Iowa 52242