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Publicly funded chemotherapy clinics in NZ have increased 25% in two years, to just over 57,000 outpatient sessions in public hospitals in the 2009/10 year, says Health Minister Tony Ryall. READ MORE>

REUTERS: British scientists say they have developed a lab test that can accurately distinguish prostate cancer from healthy tissue and other prostate conditions. READ MORE>

Researchers at a genetics and diagnostics firm Oxford Gene Technology say the set of biological signals, or biomarkers, they have identified was able to distinguish healthy tissue and benign prostate disease from prostate cancer with 90 percent accuracy in initial laboratory sample tests.

A full test for use in doctors’ clinics is likely to be at least five years off, they said, but their pilot study testing around 130 samples showed encouraging results in a disease area where more accurate diagnostic tests are sorely needed.

HEALTH NEWS TODAY: When combined with the erectile-dysfunction drug Viagra, a long-used chemotherapy drug called doxorubicin may be even more effective as a treatment for prostate cancer, according to a new study. READ MORE>

NEW PROSTATE CANCER INFOLINK: All that favourable publicity for pomegranate juice and its anti-prostate cancer properties may be in trouble – a US company has been accused of over-selling its benefits. READ MORE>

WASHINGTON EXAMINER.COM:  Here’s a well-written article on the current US debate about how much a life is worth – more specifically, how much the government Medicare scheme and health insurers pay out for cancer drugs that prolong life for a few months. READ MORE>

NEW PROSTATE CANCER INFOLINK: It has been well understood for some time that there is confusion among men in general and among members of the primary care community about appropriate use of PSA testing. READ MORE>

NEW PROSTATE CANCER INFOLINK: The debate about mass screening for prostate cancer has been moved on significantly by by some recent Swedish studies, writes Mike Scott:

Is there a simple take-away from these three Swedish studies that correlates to the data from the meta-analysis of the six major screening trials? We believe that there is, and it is based on a testable premise:

  • All men should get a PSA test every 5 years starting at age 40, each of which is likely to be able to project a 25-year risk for diagnosis of prostate cancer and/or clinically significant prostate cancer.
  • Men who are shown to be at no significant 25-year risk based on these 5-yearly PSA tests may not need to get interim PSA tests unless there are other reasons for them to do so (based on clinical signs and symptoms, ethnicity, genetics, and other known factors).
  • Men who are shown to be at significant 25-year risk based on any one of the 5-yearly PSA tests should be encouraged to monitor their PSA with care over time in consultation with a prostate cancer specialist and make appropriate clinical decisions based on their individual data.

READ MORE>

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