Innovation in Cancer Detection

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One of our primary goals here at the International Prostate Cancer Foundation is to be on the forefront of both research and education. Which mean we are always looking to the newest innovations in prostate cancer research and treatment. This year there have been many strides made in cancer detection. These are just a few of some of the amazing advancements moving the cause forward.

Prostate cancer detection from urine RNA steps closer
(excerpts from: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/307845.php)

Testing for non-coding RNA molecules in urine may offer a way to detect prostate cancer that is more accurate and reliable than current methods using biomarkers such as PSA and PCA3.

This was the conclusion of a German study presented at the European Association of Urology Congress (EAU16) in Munich, Germany, March 11-15, 2016.

Friedemann Horn, a professor in the University of Leipzig and the Fraunhofer Institute for Cell Therapy and Immunology IZI, and Manfred Wirth, a professor in the University of Dresden – both in Germany – led the work.

Prof. Wirth says:

“Our work on RNAs [ribonucleic acid] is allowing us to design a completely new kind of prostate cancer test.”

Current biomarker tests for prostate cancer measure levels of PSA (prostate-specific antigen) and PCA3 (prostate cancer gene 3), but they are not particularly accurate and can either miss many cancers or produce false positives.

FDA approves new diagnostic imaging agent to detect recurrent prostate cancer
(excerpts from: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/releases/310654.php )

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved Axumin, a radioactive diagnostic agent for injection. Axumin is indicated for positron emission tomography (PET) imaging in men with suspected prostate cancer recurrence based on elevated prostate specific antigen (PSA) levels following prior treatment.

Prostate cancer is the second leading cause of death from cancer in U.S. men. In patients with suspected cancer recurrence after primary treatment, accurate staging is an important objective in improving management and outcomes.

“Imaging tests are not able to determine the location of the recurrent prostate cancer when the PSA is at very low levels,” said Libero Marzella, M.D., Ph.D., director of the Division of Medical Imaging Products in the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. “Axumin is shown to provide another accurate imaging approach for these patients.”

Two studies evaluated the safety and efficacy of Axumin for imaging prostate cancer in patients with recurrent disease. The first compared 105 Axumin scans in men with suspected recurrence of prostate cancer to the histopathology (the study of tissue changes caused by disease) obtained by prostate biopsy and by biopsies of suspicious imaged lesions. Radiologists onsite read the scans initially; subsequently, three independent radiologists read the same scans in a blinded study.

The second study evaluated the agreement between 96 Axumin and C11 choline (an approved PET scan imaging test) scans in patients with median PSA values of 1.44 ng/mL. Radiologists on-site read the scans, and the same three independent radiologists who read the scans in the first study read the Axumin scans in this second blinded study. The results of the independent scan readings were generally consistent with one another, and confirmed the results of the onsite scan readings. Both studies supported the safety and efficacy of Axumin for imaging prostate cancer in men with elevated PSA levels following prior treatment.

New device developed at UBC could improve cancer detection
(excerpts from: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/releases/310195.php)

A new UBC-developed method to isolate cancer cells that have escaped from a tumour could soon pave the way for improved diagnosis and treatment.

The simple process involves a special device that squeezes cells in a blood sample through tiny funnels, which drive the cancer cells and blood cells into separate streams based on differences in their size and softness.

“Circulating tumour cells–cells from a tumour that have escaped into the bloodstream with the potential to spread into other tissues–are extremely useful for assessing a patient’s disease in order to select the most appropriate treatment,” said UBC mechanical engineering professor Hongshen Ma, the lead researcher. “These cells are particularly important for prostate cancer, where the site of metastasis is typically in the bone, where biopsies are difficult or impossible.”

Ma’s research focus is microfluidics, the flow of liquids through channels smaller than a human hair. The microfluidic device designed by his team captures cells based on their distinct internal structure–a mechanical analysis instead of the blood chemistry analysis used in conventional medical diagnostic techniques.

The device was first tested using blood samples spiked with cancer cells. It was then used to analyze blood samples from 20 patients with metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer, an advanced form of cancer, and from four healthy individuals.

Robot Technology Aids in Education

Dr Alejandro Granados from Imperial College London demonstrates the robotic rectum technology,.jpg

Dr Alejandro Granados from Imperial College London demonstrates
the robotic rectum technology

Excerpts from Medical News Today contained below.

Technology seems to be moving at lightening speed these days. From computers that fit in our hand, to robotic learning tools. It’s a progressive time in our history.  This past July, scientists at Imperial College London developed a prosthetic buttocks and rectum to help train doctors and nurses to perform prostate cancer exams.

The idea is the device helps train doctors and nurses to perform rectal examinations by accurately recreating the feel of a rectum, as well as providing feedback on their examination technique. The device contains small robotic arms that apply pressure to the silicone rectum, to recreate the shape and feel of the back passage.

Rectal examinations are necessary to diagnose conditions such as prostate cancer and involve a medic placing their index finger into the anus, and feeling the prostate gland.

 

Generally, cancerous prostates tend to feel hard and knobbly, but learning exactly what a potentially cancerous prostate feels like can be difficult, explains Dr Fernando Bello, from the Department of Surgery and Cancer at Imperial College London: “Internal examinations are really challenging to learn – and to teach. Because the examinations occur in the body, the trainer cannot see what the trainee is doing, and vice versa. In addition to this, medics rarely get the chance to practise the examination, as few patients would volunteer as practice subjects. In fact there is only one person registered in the country as a test subject, called a Rectal Teaching Assistant (RTA) in the UK.

“But the results of these examinations can have major implications for patients – they are very important for early diagnosis of various conditions such as prostate cancer.”

Although plastic models exist to help train medical staff, these do not feel like living flesh and tissue, added Dr Bello. Therefore to help doctors and nurses practice how to perform these examinations – and to ensure they are as comfortable as possible for patients, Dr Bello and his team have created a robotic ‘trainer rectum’.

When using the trainer, a doctor inserts his finger inside a silicone thimble attached to robotic technology able to recreate the exact sensation of the human rectum.

Furthermore, a computer screen behind the device can display a 3D model of the rectum and prostate, allowing the doctor, with the aid of 3D glasses, to see the anatomy while they perform the examination. The technology can be programmed for different scenarios, allowing the anatomy to be changed each time, explained Dr Alejandro Granados, also from the Department of Surgery and Cancer at Imperial and who is leading the development of the robotic rectum.

He added: “We have already asked a number of doctors and nurses – including prostate specialists and cancer surgeons – to trial the technology. They commented on the great advantage of being able to alter the anatomy. The size and shape of the rectum and prostate can vary greatly from person to person, and this technology enables medics to practice their skills in many different virtual patients. They also observed that because these examinations are performed solely by feel, experiencing a realistic sensation is crucial.”

Furthermore, the team are continuing to perfect the device, by collecting data from real prostate examinations in patients.

To read the full article at Medical News Today click here.

The Legacy of a Legend…Farewell, Mr. Palmer

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image courtesy of arniesarmy.org

Recently, golf legend, Arnold Palmer passed away. We’re all aware of the legacy of golf achievements the man left. Over 9o championships, in addition to 18 wins in foreign championships and 12 wins on the senior tour he was not only a force on the golf course, but in the community of cancer research and treatment.

This is a less well-known part of Arnold’s history, as he was more concerned with moving the cause forward than personal notority. At age 67 in 1997, Arnold had a PSA screening test for prostate cancer. His PSA had been rising for 2-3 years and had resulted in 2 prior normal prostate biopsies. But this time, his third biopsy showed him to have prostate cancer. He went to Mayo clinic where the doctors discussed the treatment options. Wanting the highest chance for cure, Arnold opted for surgery to remove his prostate. The findings showed enough risk for possible recurrence that he then received 7 weeks of radiation therapy. Remarkably, only 6 weeks later, after physical therapy, Arnold was back on the golf course competing in tournaments.

He won the admiration of his fans (known as Arnie’s Army) and all Americans by becoming a lifelong spokesperson for prostate cancer control. He advocated prostate cancer screening with PSA. Regarding screening, and in keeping with current recommendations, he felt that men’s lives would be better if they just talked to their doctor about it. “That’s health and living”, he said, and felt that being healthy is the “good life”.

Arnold also formed the Arnold Palmer Prostate Center in Palm Springs at the Eisenhower Lucy Curie Cancer Center, and then supported the Arnold Palmer Pavilion at U. Pittsburgh Medical Center and Latrobe Area Hospital. Because of his advocacy, many more men have been cured of prostate cancer and are survivors.

Commitment to Education

As one of the missions of the International Prostate Cancer Foundation being education, it is no surprise that one of the most outstanding qualities of our founder Dr. Vipul Patel, is his constant commitment to education worldwide. Educating patients on the importance of regular prostate cancer screenings along with the multiple treatment options is a strong focus. Learning as much as possible about the many different treatment options that are available, will enable patients to make better decisions. Treatment options are based on a number of factors and should be made hand in hand with a physician. Options include but are not limited to:

  • Prostatectomy – A common treatment for early stage localized cancer in which the prostate gland is removed.
  • Radiation Therapy – A treatment in which radioactive exposure is directed at cancer cells and the surrounding tissues.
  • External Beam Radiation Therapy – As the most common type of radiation therapy, CT scans and MRIs are used to find the location of  the tumor cells.
  • Proton Therapy – Unlike the external beam radiation, this form of treatment uses protons for advanced precision on targeted tumors without affecting surrounding tissues.
  • Brachytherapy – Tiny radioactive metal pellets are inserted into the prostate. The pellets give off radiation to the immediate surrounding area, killing prostate cancer cells.
  • Hormone Therapy – This treatment is designed to prevent testosterone from being released or from acting on the prostate cells, as testosterone is the main fuel source for prostate cancer cell growth.
  • Chemotherapy – An advanced prostate cancer treatment option, that involves the use of specific chemicals to stop the cancer cells from dividing, limiting growth and spread of the tumor.
  • Emerging Therapies – Everyday new drugs, new regimens and new treatment options are being investigated by researchers all over the world.

Recently Dr. Vipul Patel was interviewed about the benefits of robotic prostatectomy.  As one of the leading treatments, the benefits of this procedure by far outweigh the costs.

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Allowing the physician great control and comfort, robotic surgeries provide less stress overall, for both the medical staff and the patient. Dr. Patel, his team and surgeons everywhere, have experienced greater control of the overall treatment outcomes with this rapidly growing option in cancer treatments.

For the full interview click HERE.

 

Cancer Fighting Dinner Recipe

Antioxidants have been shown to play a serious role in preventing free radical damage. While free radicals are found naturally in the body and play a vital role in many normal cellular processes, at a  high level they can be dangerous to the body and cause damage to major cells, including DNA cells. Damage to DNA cells may be connected to the development of cancer and other health conditions.

Antioxidants can be found in high quantities in bright colored fruits, dried beans, and nuts. Remembering to “eat the rainbow” at every meal, will help ensure that your diet is chalk full of cancer fighting antioxidants.

Below is a perfect example of a dinner with tons of cancer fighting ingredients from iVillage.com.

Salmon with Blueberry Mango Salsa

Salmon with Blueberry Mango Salsa

Image from iVillage.com

Ingredients:

  • 4 – 4 ounce Salmon Fillets    
  • 1/2 teaspoon Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon Sea Salt
  • Pinch fresh ground Black Pepper 
  • 1/3 cup diced Mango
  • 1/3 cup Blueberries
  • 1 tablespoon fresh Lime Juice
  • 2 tablespoons minced Red Onion
  • 2 tablespoons minced Red Bell Pepper
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh Cilantro
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced Jalapeños
  • 2 teaspoons evaporated Cane Juice

Very Easy Directions:

1. Mix up the blueberry mango salsa ingredients in a medium bowl. Lightly crush with a fork to release juices and set a side.

2. Heat olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Season salmon with salt and pepper and sear for 3 to 5 minutes on each side (or until cooked through).

3. Serve each salmon fillet with 1/4 cup of salsa.

This yummy dinner idea can be recreated with a variety of fruits and berries. Use whats in season or what you have on hand. Just make sure its colorful!

 

Content Citation: Pharmacogn Rev. 2010 Jul-Dec; 4(8): 118–126. Find out more about free radicals and antioxidants and how they impact the human body, HERE.

Dr. Kenneth Palmer on CNN Español

Dr. Kenneth Palmer, International Prostate Cancer Foundation Secretary & Director of Global Robotics Institute in Latin America, was on CNN Español. Dedicated to educating prostate cancer patients and their families, Dr. Palmer discusses many prostate cancer related topics. The full interview can be viewed below.

Know Your Stats

Long after they’ve taken off their cleats and left the field, football stars are using their greatness to influence the best football fans, men! America’s most popular sport is being utilized to help develop a very important game plan for prevention,  screening and treatment of prostate cancer. According to the American Cancer Society, prostate cancer is the most common form of cancer in men, second to skin cancer. For this reason,  it is crucial that men take the time to learn the stats about prostate cancer.

Below is a great infograph courtesy of The Dana Farber Cancer Institute, that does just that!

Additionally, men can gain an understanding of their prostate cancer risk by taking advantage of the Know Your Stats campaign, developed in partnership by the NFL and the Urology Care Foundation. In the fifth season of the campaign, Hall of Famer and former Super Bowl Champ Michael Haynes has stepped up to be a spokes person, traveling the country to help educate and inspire men to understand this potentially deadly disease.

Click this link and sign the Know Your Stats Pledge, vowing to:

  • Know your risk or encourage men in your life to know theirs.
  • Talk to your doctor about prostate cancer testing or encourage others to do so.
  • Raise awareness about prostate cancer.
  • Support prostate cancer research.

 

Dr. Patel on Sirius XM Radio Tonight!

Our founder Dr. Vipul Patel will be on the Sirius XM “Doctor Radio” Wednesday night at 7:30pm. He will be a part of a Men’s Health Discussion from 6:00-8:00pm, with his focus being on Prostate Cancer. If you are a current Sirius XM subscriber the program can be found on Channel 81.

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Tune in and listen to “real doctors helping real people”.

Logo Courtesy of http://www.siriusxm.com/doctorradio

Free Prostate Cancer Educational Event!

2014 Educational Symposium

With the International Prostate Cancer Foundation’s Celebration of Life Gala quickly approaching, we want to ensure that everyone knows about the Free Educational Event that will be taking place earlier in the day. Throughout the day, guest speakers, including our founder Dr. Vipul Patel, will be addressing topics that affect both prostate cancer patients and their families.  The Educational Event will run from 8am-1pm at the Loews Portofino Bay Hotel on March 8, 2014. This is a free event for anyone interested in attending but space is limited and RSVP is required by emailing here. See below for a full agenda of the event.

The Gala, that will take place on the evening of March 8, 2014,  is a fundraising event that requires an RSVP. Please visit here to purchase your tickets today!!

2014 Education Event Agenda-v2 for blog

Get Moving in 2014!!

With the beginning of the New Year comes New Years Resolutions. Last year, 45% of Americans made resolutions and 38% of them were weight related. Multiple studies have shown a strong link between excess body weight and cancer. Excess body weight has been shown to affect hormone levels, immune system function and inflammation. While research on the effect of of losing weight is minimal, there is growing evidence that weight loss may reduce the risk of more aggressive prostate cancers.

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How to Stick to Your Exercise Resolutions:

1. Take Baby Steps – Don’t cannon ball into the deep end! Start slow and ease into your plan. Jumping in too quickly can result in burn out. Try to make your exercise part of your everyday routine. Just like any new habit, it may take some time for it to become natural but it can definitely be done. If your starting from scratch, start with daily 10 minute walks and slowly build up to 30.

2. Enlist Help – Meeting up with a friend for a walk or a yoga class will keep you more accountable. Other  options include joining a a running club or enlisting the help of a personal trainer.

3. Make Frequent Achievable Goals – Set a number of minutes, miles, or workout sessions to reach for each month. Track your progress to ensure you are still on track.  Each time you meet a goal, bump up your number just a little for the following month.

4. Keep it Interesting – Frequently change up your activity to not only keep you engaged, but to also make it more beneficial for your body. Constantly doing new, yet fitness level appropriate, forms of exercise will keep your body guessing and tends to show better results. For example, try out that paddle-boarding or yoga class you’ve been meaning to try. Even if it isn’t your regular form of exercise, it is a fun and active way to take a step closer to your fitness goals.