Posts Tagged ‘prostate survival’

REUTERS: Men who show signs that their disease has returned after prostate cancer treatment are still more likely to die of other causes, a new study in US veterans shows. READ MORE>

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MODERN MEDICINE: Some men with prostate cancer may safely defer treatment for years without a higher risk of metastasis or cancer mortality than those who receive initial treatment. This, according to research published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, which also says it may not apply to younger men and those with high PSA. READ MORE>

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XCONOMY SEATTLE: Dendreon’s immune-stimulating therapy for prostate cancer, called Provenge, was able to improve median survival time by 4.1 months, and lowered the risk of death by 22.5 percent, according to long-awaited clinical trial results presented at the American Urological Association annual meeting today. READ MORE> and HERE>

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World debate on whether we should have prostate cancer screening – using the PSA blood test and digital exams – has flared in the past month following publication of two big studies, which now appear seriously flawed.

The studies – one in the US and another in Europe – are being reported as not providing a convincing case for screening.

We’ve seen no public debate about all this in New Zealand yet. However, across the Tasman, the Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia website has published some analysis from the American Cancer Society.

It suggests the studies were limited by the following weaknesses:

  • They were not conducted over a long enough period (longer than 10 years) to show conclusive outcomes in terms of survival.
  • The US one studied two groups – those getting “regular” health care, and those getting annual prostate tests: but about half the members of the “regular” group were also getting tested. That negated a proper comparison.
  • Over the period of the studies (up to a decade), prostate treatment advanced, meaning some of the issues about “over-treatment” were no longer clear-cut.
  • The US required a PSA of 4 before a needle biopsy was triggered. Some deadly forms of prostate cancer were therefore missed (some don’t show up at all).

Much was made of a figure from the European study – that 1410 men would need to be screened to save one life. But if the statistics are viewed another way, screening reduced death rates by 20%.

Read the review by clicking HERE>

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