New Test to Show Recurrence of Prostate Cancer

New Test to Show Recurrence of Prostate Cancer

prostate-cancer-diagramProstate cancer is one of the most dangerous and fatal cancers that can affect anyone. Each year, there are hundreds of thousands of new cases of prostate cancer diagnosed in the United States and in 2014, there will be an estimated 30,000 deaths in men from the cancer.

One of the trickiest parts of prostate cancer and why it is often so fatal for thousands of men each year is it doesn’t usually show any early symptoms and oftentimes, when symptoms begin to show, treatment may be too late to save the life. But what happens in those situations when the cancer is found in its early stages and one of the many treatment options like surgery, chemotherapy, hormone therapy, radiation and cryotherapy? What usually happens is that men fan fight back against the cancer and protect their life. The chances of having a recurrence of prostate cancer is usually high and while in some cases, it is old age that results in death of a patient, the fact that prostate cancer can develop again is a dangerous thought.

With that being said, there is a new test that men who survived their diagnosis could take to predict prostate cancer recurrence.

The Basis to The Study

A Canadian study conducted by a research team led by Professor Robert Bristow from the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre and the University of Toronto, made the announcement of their findings earlier this month at the 33rd conference of the European Society for Radiotherapy and Oncology in Vienna, Italy.

After fighting off the hazardous cancer cells in the body, one of the worst things to imagine would be for the cancer to come back. Bristow feels that this is possible in 30 to 50 percent of those who believed they had fought off cancer. This is because those men who were treated primarily with precision radiotherapy and surgery, the initial treatment doesn’t usually cover checking to see if the cancer had spread outside the prostate gland.

Experts had always thought this was a possibility and that is why researchers decided to make it their mission to create this test.

The Study

During the study, researchers analyzed the prostate tissue of 126 men who had previously undergone IGRT treatment, or image-guided radiotherapy. This form of treatment focuses only on the tumor found in the prostate gland. With an estimated 7.8 years, all men in the study faced an intermediate risk of having the cancer return.

The researchers wanted to investigate the DNA of the tissues so they could determine if there were any sections of DNA that are considered abnormal, or even missing. They were able to check the DNA by analyzing the entire genome of the patient with array comparative genomic hybridization (aCGH).

After coming up with the proper genetic signature, researchers took their strategy to another group of men who had their prostate cancer tumors removed with radical prostatectomy. This group – which consisted of 150 men – were also considered to have an intermediate risk of cancer recurrence.

When the researchers used their new genetic signature, they were able to predict accurately which men would be at a high risk to develop prostate cancer again and who would have a lower risk. During the study, the team of researchers also tested the oxygen content in the tumors of men who had undergone IGRT. By looking at the oxygen levels, they were also able to determine the likelihood of prostate cancer recurrence.

Through it all, what the researchers found was that men who had low levels of genetic changes and low oxygen levels in their tumors faced a less likelier chance to having their prostate cancer return. The study put the percentage of patients surviving at 93 for five years of it not returning.  When men had high levels of genetic change and low levels of oxygen – or oxygen deprivation – just 49 percent of patients were expected to survive for five years without having the cancer return.

This study is not the end all for the research of this topic. Bristow estimates that he will need another two or three years to validate the information. If everything goes as expected and as hoped, Bristow hopes to see a new test for cancer patients to take that will allow their physicians to determine what patients may need treatment for cancer not confined to just the prostate region.    

>Learn More About BPH

>Learn More About The Prostate Gland

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