prostate cancer

Checking for prostate cancer in the blood

I wanted to discuss a cutting edge prostate cancer discovery. The treatment of advanced prostate cancer, even with metastatic disease (cancer spread from the prostate to other parts of the body) has been progressing at a rapid pace with many new options. The first line of treatment for patients who did not have complete success with potentially curative treatments such as radiation or surgery has often been medication to lower testosterone as testosterone can stimulate the growth of prostate cancer. However, such medications do not last forever, and eventually the cancer starts growing again even with very low levels of testosterone measured in the blood. It has been found that in some cases of prostate cancer the cancer itself manufactures testosterone locally, to stimulate itself, thus defeating the low testosterone blood level. However, some of the newer meds such as abiraterone or enzalutamide block the receptors on the cancer cells so the testosterone the cancer makes will still not stimulate its growth. It’s a war in there!!!

Can a cutting edge prostate cancer discovery stop aggressive cancer from spreading in the first place?

A new study found that a tiny fragment of RNA tissue called miR-141 seems to be missing in cancer cells that spread. By getting cells to make this, or by finding a way to manufacture and administer this genetic material, perhaps the spread of cancer can be stopped in its tracks! These are early results and a drug of this type is probably years off, but this pathway is a good example of the great progress that has been made in pharmaceuticals and biotech. At a point in time not that long ago the two drugs mentioned above were nothing more than faith and hope and now they are helping prostate cancer patients every day. I expect these innovations to continue and multiply. If you or someone you know could benefit from this type of treatment, call the office of Dr. Newman, a Las Vegas Urologist, for an appointment.