A ground-breaking new Australian trial funded by PCFA has tested the benefits of PSMA-PET scans used at diagnosis. Results show that these scans can replace the current CT and bone scans used by men with high-risk prostate cancer at their time of diagnosis. This week’s research blog asks why this trial is ground-breaking and how it could change clinical practice.
For men with localised prostate cancer, the decision between different treatment and active surveillance options is a very important one. These men want to know their risks of difficult side effects from these options. New research from the US has created a web-based prediction tool for side effects to help men and their doctors in making this decision.
Diagnosis with prostate cancer leads to a wide range of emotions such as fear, anxiety and helplessness. Many men with prostate cancer turn to online groups for help. Online support groups and online communities are a source of information, shared experiences and empowerment for people affected by cancer. A new Australian study has analysed publicly-available conversations from online support groups to track discussions of emotional distress.
Australian professional and volunteer firefighters do a brave and difficult job. Their recent efforts during the 2019-2020 bushfire season have saved many lives. But there is evidence that firefighters have an increased risk of some cancers. Are our firefighters more likely to get prostate cancer?
Difficulty sleeping is a common issue for men with prostate cancer, yet it’s rarely discussed. The symptoms of prostate cancer, side effects of treatments and other issues associated with the disease may be causing sleep problems. This week’s research blog looks at some of the latest research studying sleep for men with prostate cancer.
Men with prostate cancer have stepped up to provide support to their peers in the community, where the healthcare system is lagging behind. Support group leaders are dedicated volunteers with many years’ experience in supporting prostate cancer survivors. A new Australian study has interviewed these experts to hear their priorities for prostate cancer survivorship care.
Hormone therapy is a very effective treatment for prostate cancer, but the side effects are usually difficult to manage. New Australian research has analysed the benefits of exercise for bones and muscles. The trial asked whether starting an exercise program at the same time as starting hormone therapy was better than delaying exercise.
Surgery to remove a prostate tumour can have devastating effects on a man’s ability to have sex. Many men try devices and medications such as Viagra to help them have sex after surgery. This week’s research blog discusses the help available to achieve erections and the latest research comparing erection medications.
Prostate tumours that have spread to the bones cause pain and have a major impact on quality-of-life. They can also lead to serious issues such as spinal compression. New research from the UK has addressed the best way to treat and prevent spinal compression using radiotherapy for men with prostate cancer.
Biopsies are an important step in prostate cancer diagnosis. Improving the accuracy of biopsies could therefore improve the diagnosis process. An exciting new study from The Netherlands has developed an AI (artificial intelligence) to improve the analysis of biopsy tissue and Gleason grading.
Precision medicine for cancer means that the treatment most likely to help the patient is chosen based on test results. This approach is closer to reality for prostate cancer with exciting clinical trial results from 2019. The latest good news comes from a trial linking the benefits of Olaparib (Lynparza) with alterations in DNA repair genes.
Keytruda is an immunotherapy drug that has revolutionised treatment for cancers such as melanoma and lung cancer. Unfortunately, the same level of success has not been seen for prostate cancer. Now a new study has some hopeful results, showing a small proportion of men with late-stage prostate cancer will benefit from Keytruda.
Pelvic floor muscles control the bladder and the flow of urine. Exercising these muscles can help men regain control over urine flow after prostate surgery. New research from Australia has defined an effective pelvic floor exercise program that starts before surgery.
Two anti-hormone drugs are available in Australia to treat metastatic prostate cancer. Both Abiraterone and Enzalutamide can slow the growth of these tumours. A new clinical trial has asked whether men would benefit from taking one after the other, and which order is best.
This November, members of PCFA attended COSA19, the annual meeting of the Clinical Oncology Society of Australia. The COSA meeting brings together clinicians, nurses, allied healthcare and scientists to discuss the clinical management and supportive care for cancer. At this year’s meeting urological cancer was a special theme, meaning there were many prostate cancer presentations. Numerous sessions were dedicated to prostate cancer as well as other important aspects of cancer treatment and care. Some of the highlight sessions were digital health, euthanasia issues and end-of-life care, living with the after-effects of prostate cancer and an opening session dedicated to the future of prostate cancer management.
Tracking prostate cancer cases around the world provides insights into the men most at risk of getting this disease and those who are dying from it. New international data show that the countries with the highest deaths rates from prostate cancer are not necessarily the ones with the highest rates of diagnoses. This week’s blog looks at the patterns of prostate cancer diagnoses around the world and asks how this disease is affecting people living in developing countries.
Every week there is a new story in the media about foods that cause or cure cancer. This week a study from the USA is reported to show that dairy foods are causing prostate cancer. Is it time to throw away the cheese and milk?
Men who are carriers of BRCA2 gene mutations have a higher risk of being diagnosed with prostate cancer. This information provides an opportunity to catch prostate cancer early for these men. The IMPACT trial has tested whether PSA testing at a younger age is useful for men with BRCA gene mutations.
PCFA hosted its fourth annual Community Conversations this September during Prostate Cancer Awareness month. Hosted by MC Julie McCrossin, this year’s event was held at the Garvan Institute of Medical Research in Sydney. Community Conversations brings together prostate cancer patients and their families with leading scientists, clinicians and health professionals. The forum promotes conversations about prostate cancer between these people, so that we can learn from each other.
PARP inhibitors are new drugs that are being developed for prostate cancer. They won’t work for all men but are designed to treat men with defects in DNA repair genes. Four different PARP inhibitors look promising in early clinical trials. Researchers hope that a PARP inhibitor will be the first precision medicine for prostate cancer. This week’s blog summarises the latest clinical trials testing PARP inhibitors for men with late-stage prostate cancer.
Insulin is a hormone that regulates sugar levels in the blood. Scientists suspect that insulin can promote the growth of prostate tumours under certain conditions. Australian researchers have now shown that insulin can change the nature of prostate cancer cells when testosterone levels are low. This research helps us to identify targets for new prostate cancer drugs.
Prostate cancer drugs are big business. It’s not ideal that companies profit from illness, but there are advantages to this situation. A large market for prostate cancer medicine means that these companies invest considerable resources into developing new drugs. The news coming from this industry can therefore tell us about the potential future treatments for men with prostate cancer.
When back-to-back articles are published in one of the world’s top scientific journals, Nature, we know that something exciting is going on. Scientists from two different laboratories have discovered the mechanisms by which a gene called FOXA1 drives prostate cancer formation. FOXA1 is therefore a potential target for new drugs to block growth of prostate cancer.
Immunotherapy for treating cancer has been one of the most exciting medical breakthroughs in the past decade. Drugs such as checkpoint inhibitors have greatly improved survival rates for a number of cancers. So where are the immunotherapies for prostate cancer?
This year’s APCC conference brought together clinicians, allied health care, nurses and scientists. The meeting in Melbourne hosted discussions of the latest breakthroughs, clinical trials and best practice in care for men with prostate cancer. A focus on patient-reported outcome measures was one of the many highlights.
International guidelines recommend genetic tests for men with metastatic prostate cancer. The aim of these tests is to look for mutations in genes that may have contributed to the cancer. Unfortunately, these tests are expensive. They are not systematically performed in Australia. Would Australian men with metastatic prostate cancer benefit from genetic tests?