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Seattle Researchers Again Seek African-American Families For Prostate Cancer Genetic Study
Scientists at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and the University of Washington are renewing a search, involving hundreds of families nationwide, to find the genes responsible for inherited prostate cancer. They specifically need African-American input. Of the nearly 300 families that have participated to date, only a handful have been African American. At least 100 such families are needed to participate in this ongoing study. Are the researchers aware of all the thorny issues of genetic disclosure? Full story Full story

PSA level predicts future prostate growth in benign disease (BPH)
February 12, 2000. The higher a man's prostate specific antigen (PSA) level is, the more likely his prostate will continue to grow abnormally, researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas report. Full story Full story

Patients need better idea of when they will die, doctors say

Accurate prognosis at the end of life helps patients,  these doctots say
Elizabeth Lamont and Nicholas Christakis

Doctors who refer terminally ill patients to hospice care are consistently overoptimistic, according to a study by University of Chicago researchers Elizabeth Lamont and Nicholas Christakis published February 19, 2000. Typically, doctors predicted that their dying patients (including prostate cancer patients) would live 5 times longer after entering hospice than they actually did. This made death seem unexpected and sudden. The patient and the family lost out on choices and control.Full story Full story

PDEF, a novel genetic factor, may be involved in making prostate cancer hormone refractory
Jan 14, 2000. Boston / PSA Rising/ -- Researchers at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center have discovered a new protein in human prostate tissue that may play an important role in cancer. The protein, called "PDEF," may lead to new treatments and to a better understanding of the biology of the disease. We add links to a site for genetic counselling and to a case study of inherited prostate cancer. Full story Full story

Treat depression in the dying, American College of Physicians Panel Urges February 1, 2000. Dying patients are often depressed, yet depression - even normal grieving - often goes unrecognized by the patient, family or the physician, according to an End-of-Leife Care Panel set up by the American College of Physicians and American Society of Internal Medicine. In a new paper, the panel shows physicians how to identify and heal depression in the terminally ill patient and encourages them to do so. You can read the full paper on line and link to resources forpatients and caregivers. Full story Full story

Non-toxic peptide blocks spread of prostate cancer in rats, U-M scientists claim Jan 25, 2000. ANN ARBOR, Mich. /PSA Rising/ --University of Michigan scientists say that they have developed a new cancer-inhibiting peptide that has proven to be effective at preventing metastatic prostate cancer from spreading to other organs in rats. Dosed with this peptide, rats developed smaller primary tumors and fewer lung metastases than untreated rats and showed no toxic side effects from the treatment. If future studies show the peptide works as well in people, the researchers say, it could be the basis for a new approach to cancer therapy. Full storyFull story

Copper-Lowering Drug Stabilizes Cancer By depriving cancer tumors of the copper supply they need to form new blood vessels, University of Michigan researchers report they have stopped the growth and spread of the disease in a small group of patients with cancer including prostate cancer. Full storyFull story

Sexual and Urinary Complications After Radical Prostate Surgery
Jan 18, 2000. Men diagnosed with localized prostate cancer and their physicians need clear information about probable side-effects before choosing any treatment. In a new study following 1291 men from 6 geographic regions with clinically localized prostate cancer treated with radical prostatectomy, Janet L. Stanford, PhD, of Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, found that 8.4% of men were incontinent and 59.9% were impotent at 18 months or more following surgery. Full storyFull story

Drug relieves severe constipation from painkillers used for advanced cancer
Jan 18, 2000. Methylnaltrexone, a drug designed to relieve constipation caused by opium-based pain killers without interfering with pain relief, is rapidly effective at low doses with no apparent side effects, report researchers from the University of Chicago, who are trying now to market the drug. Full storyFull story
Duke Study Uncovers Microscopic Interaction of Cancer Cells and Blood Vessels January 18, 2000.
Dramatic photos of
angiogenesis from
Duke University

Researchers from Duke University Medical Center and Duke Comprehensive Cancer Center have documented for the first time the earliest steps of the organization of cancer cells into tumors in mice and rats. The findings, they say, reinforce current approaches to curb the spread of cancer. Full storyFull story
Canstatin, Anti-Angiogenisis Agent, Tested on Prostate Cancer In Mice January 6, 2000. Researchers in Boston have found a substance that thwarts tumor growth by blocking formation and growth of new blood vessels. Used on mice, the new protein, named "canstatin," is as effective as twice the dose of the well-known angiogenic inhibitor endostatin. In mice models of renal cancer, canstatin stopped growth or slightly shrank tumors to as much as one-fourth the size of tumors in mice treated with a dummy drug.. The paper is published in the Jan. 14 issue of the Journal of Biological Chemistry (published online Jan. 7 at Full storyFull story

Men Choosing Prostate Surgery Need Expert Uros, Otherwise Risk Impotence and Incontinence Jan 5, 2000. Many men with prostate cancer may endanger their lives by avoiding prostate removal, unwilling to deal with the surgery's reported side effects. But a Johns Hopkins study says that patients treated by an expert surgeon with a lot of experience are far more likely to remain continent and potent than those whose operations were done by a less experienced doctor. This study's potency and continency rates are the highest ever reported after prostate removal. Full storyFull story

For Biopsy, Get Second Pathologist's Opinion Or Risk Wrong Diagnosis Dec 13, 1999. A study of more than 6,000 patients by Johns Hopkins researchers found that one or two out of every 100 people who come to larger medical centers for treatment following a biopsy arrive with a diagnosis that's "totally wrong." The results suggest that second opinion pathology exams not only prevent errors, but also save lives and money. Full storyFull story

Immediate Hormonal Therapy for Men with Node Micro Metastases Improves Survival Immediate antiandrogen therapy after radical prostatectomy and pelvic lymphadenectomy improves survival and reduces the risk of recurrence in patients with node-positive prostate cancer, a new study int he New England Journal of Medicine says. An editorial by Patrick Walsh M.D. questioning the findings aappears in the same issue. We have links to both. Full storyFull story

Hormones Improve Odds in Higher Risk Radiation Therapy, Study Says Patients taking radiation therapy for large tumors confined to the prostate get more benefit if they take hormone treatment before, during and after radiation treatments, according to a Fox-Chase researcher who presented at the American Society for Therapeutic Radiology annual meeting in San Antonio. We look at the statistics of failure nationwide and offer links to abstracts of recent overviews and studies of the effects of adding hormones to standard therapies. Full storyFull story


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