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Prostate Cancer Update


Men Treated for Localized Prostate Cancer Could Benefit from Pomegranate Juice Consumption
Pomegranate juice may slow the progression of post-treatment prostate cancer recurrence, according to new research presented at the 104th Annual Scientific Meeting of the American Urological Association. Researchers found that men who have undergone treatment for localized prostate cancer could benefit from drinking pomegranate juice. Phase III of this study is currently underway to further evaluate the benefits of pomegranate juice in a placebo-controlled manner.

Vitamin E, Selenium, and Soy in Combination Does Not Prevent Prostate Cancer
The combination therapy of vitamin E, selenium, and soy does not prevent the progression from high-grade prostatic intraepithelial neoplasia to prostate cancer, according to new research presented at the AUA Annual Scientific Meeting. The study confirms the findings of the Selenium and Vitamin E Cancer Prevention Trial (SELECT). “These studies highlight the importance of conducting randomized trials of these agents since many of these supplements are promoted falsely to the general public as having beneficial effects on cancer prevention and progression,” says Christopher Amling, MD, an AUA spokesman.

Prostate Cancer Immunotherapy Significantly Prolongs Survival in Men with Advanced Prostate Cancer
An experimental immunotherapy improved survival in men with metastatic disease, according to new results presented at the AUA Annual Scientific Meeting. The results come from the IMPACT trial, a phase III trial of sipuleucel-T (Provenge), a form of immunotherapy in which antigen-presenting cells are isolated from a person’s blood, engineered to stimulate a tumor-specific immune response, and infused back into that person. Researchers are encouraged by the findings, citing an impressive effect on long-term survival for men with prostate cancer.

Prostate Cancer Therapy Increases Risk of Fractures and Cardiovascular-Related Death
Men with prostate cancer who undergo therapy to decrease testosterone levels increase their risk of developing bone- and heart-related side effects compared to those who do not take these medications, according to a new analysis. Published in the journal CANCER, the study indicates that preventive measures and careful scrutiny of patients’ health can keep men from experiencing these potentially serious consequences.

Agent Orange Exposure Increases Veterans’ Risk of Aggressive Recurrence of Prostate Cancer
Veterans exposed to Agent Orange are at increased risk of aggressive recurrence of prostate cancer, researchers report. A study of 1,495 veterans who underwent radical prostatectomy to remove their cancerous prostates showed that the 206 exposed to Agent Orange had nearly a 50 percent increased risk of their cancer recurring despite the fact that their cancer seemed relatively non-aggressive at the time of surgery. And their cancer came back with a vengeance: the time it took the prostate specific antigen, or PSA, level to double – an indicator of aggressiveness – was 8 months versus more than 18 months in non-exposed veterans.

Prostate Disease Website Launched
Harvard Medical School has launched a new website,, to help men with prostate cancer and other prostate conditions understand the issues related to their condition and make smart, well-informed decisions regarding treatment.

Mayo Researchers Report Dramatic Outcomes in Prostate Cancer Study
Two Mayo Clinic patients whose prostate cancer had been considered inoperable are now cancer free, thanks in part to an experimental drug therapy that was used in combination with standardized hormone treatment and radiation therapy. The men were participating in a clinical trial of an immunotherapeutic agent called MDX-010, or ipilimumab. In these two cases, physicians say the approach initiated the death of a majority of cancer cells and caused the tumors to shrink dramatically, allowing surgery. In both cases, the aggressive tumors had grown well beyond the prostate into the abdominal areas. Further research is being planned to understand how best to use the approach in practice.

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This article was published in Coping® with Cancer magazine, July/August 2009.