PSA Rising /DALLAS/ – July 25, 2011 – UT Southwestern Medical Center researchers have narrowed the potential drug targets for advanced prostate cancer by demonstrating that late-stage tumors are driven by a different hormonal pathway than previously was thought.
“We have recently discovered that castration resistant prostate cancer (CRPC) is unexpectedly driven by dihydrotestosterone synthesis from adrenal precursors in a pathway that circumvents testosterone,” says Dr. Nima Sharifi, assistant professor of internal medicine and senior author of a study in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
“The dominant pathway to DHT synthesis from adrenal precursors in CRPC [castration resistant prostate cancer] follows an alternative route that bypasses T and requires steroid 5α-reductase isoenzyme-1 (SRD5A1),” Dr. Sharifi writes.
Rick Ward, of Deer Lodge, Montana and San Antonio,Texas, a pioneering prostate cancer awareness advocate and activist, died recently of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
Rick, an Air Force veteran aged 71, will be remembered for his tremendous contribution to Seedpods brachytherapy mailing list, for his dedication to helping Veterans faced with cancer and other health problems, for popularizing the sky blue ribbon as an emblem of prostate cancer awareness, and for advocating for equitable funding for prostate cancer research.
Rick discovered he had prostate cancer at age 56 in September 1994 in Deer Lodge, Montana when a PSA test at a free screening clinic during Prostate Cancer Awareness Week came back at a high 14 ng/mL. He called the National Cancer Institute at 1-800-4CANCER; and as an early internet user, he joined one of the start-up online mailing lists.
Today’s New York Times reports: “A unit in Philadelphia operating with virtually no outside scrutiny botched 92 of 116 prostate cancer treatments over a span of more than six years.” Dr. Gary D. Kao, according to the report, ran a “rogue” cancer unit which covered up botched procedures in which radioactive “seeds” intended for the cancerous prostate landed in the bladder or near the rectum. Dr. Kao’s team rewrote treatment plans, according to the Times, to cover up his bad aim.
Music “has Charms to sooth a savage Breast,” wrote playwright William Congreve, “To soften Rocks, or bend a knotted Oak.” But can it soothe those mired in the grief, confusion and pain of cancer diagnosis and treatment?
Music therapist Megan Gunnell at the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center thinks so. She uses music to help heal cancer patients’ spirits as well as their bodies.
Mission Healthy Men is a campaign in Austria to motivate men to become as health-conscious as women and to get health check-ups, especially for prostate cancer.
Under the slogan “Prevention is the future” the campaign is fundraising among banks, corporations, drug companies and orchestral concert-goers, while aiming to impact health choices by regular guys who get their autos serviced at regular intervals — or did before the recession — yet ignore their own health.
Hundreds of men hit the ground running today in Charlottesville, VA to help find a cure for prostate cancer. And according to local NBC-29 news station, some of those men are much healthier for participating.
Deaths and diagnoses for prostate and several other cancers fell between 2001 to 2005, the latest years for which data have been analyzed, according to reports this week by the National Cancer Institute and American Cancer Society.
Although overall cancer death rates dropped for the past 10 years, NCI says, this is the first time cancer incidence (the rate at which new cancers are diagnosed) has dropped along with overall death rates from cancers in men and women in most racial and ethnic groups.
Chicago urologist Gerald Chodak MD has launched an innovative doctor-to-patient series of videos. “This is an evidence-based site,” Dr. Chodak says, “aimed at providing free information in an easier format than the usual sites that require reading. Over 60 videos are now completed on every aspect of this disease.”