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Concept: Screening


Background The comparative effectiveness of treatments for prostate cancer that is detected by prostate-specific antigen (PSA) testing remains uncertain. Methods We compared active monitoring, radical prostatectomy, and external-beam radiotherapy for the treatment of clinically localized prostate cancer. Between 1999 and 2009, a total of 82,429 men 50 to 69 years of age received a PSA test; 2664 received a diagnosis of localized prostate cancer, and 1643 agreed to undergo randomization to active monitoring (545 men), surgery (553), or radiotherapy (545). The primary outcome was prostate-cancer mortality at a median of 10 years of follow-up. Secondary outcomes included the rates of disease progression, metastases, and all-cause deaths. Results There were 17 prostate-cancer-specific deaths overall: 8 in the active-monitoring group (1.5 deaths per 1000 person-years; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.7 to 3.0), 5 in the surgery group (0.9 per 1000 person-years; 95% CI, 0.4 to 2.2), and 4 in the radiotherapy group (0.7 per 1000 person-years; 95% CI, 0.3 to 2.0); the difference among the groups was not significant (P=0.48 for the overall comparison). In addition, no significant difference was seen among the groups in the number of deaths from any cause (169 deaths overall; P=0.87 for the comparison among the three groups). Metastases developed in more men in the active-monitoring group (33 men; 6.3 events per 1000 person-years; 95% CI, 4.5 to 8.8) than in the surgery group (13 men; 2.4 per 1000 person-years; 95% CI, 1.4 to 4.2) or the radiotherapy group (16 men; 3.0 per 1000 person-years; 95% CI, 1.9 to 4.9) (P=0.004 for the overall comparison). Higher rates of disease progression were seen in the active-monitoring group (112 men; 22.9 events per 1000 person-years; 95% CI, 19.0 to 27.5) than in the surgery group (46 men; 8.9 events per 1000 person-years; 95% CI, 6.7 to 11.9) or the radiotherapy group (46 men; 9.0 events per 1000 person-years; 95% CI, 6.7 to 12.0) (P<0.001 for the overall comparison). Conclusions At a median of 10 years, prostate-cancer-specific mortality was low irrespective of the treatment assigned, with no significant difference among treatments. Surgery and radiotherapy were associated with lower incidences of disease progression and metastases than was active monitoring. (Funded by the National Institute for Health Research; Current Controlled Trials number, ISRCTN20141297 ; number, NCT02044172 .).

Concepts: Cancer, Metastasis, Prostate cancer, Urology, Radiation therapy, Screening, Benign prostatic hyperplasia, Prostate-specific antigen


 To determine the association between vasectomy and prostate cancer, adjusting for measures of health seeking behaviour.

Concepts: Epidemiology, Clinical trial, Cancer, Metastasis, Obesity, Prostate cancer, Radiation therapy, Screening


Discordant trends in the incidence of metastatic breast and prostate cancer since the widespread implementation of early-detection efforts may reflect distinct disease dynamics or may result from the different screening strategies used.

Concepts: Epidemiology, Cancer, Breast cancer, Metastasis, Prostate cancer, Radiation therapy, BRCA2, Screening


BACKGROUND: A small pre-test study was conducted to ascertain potential harm and anxiety associated with distributing information about possible cancer treatment options at the time of biopsy, prior to knowledge about a definitive cancer diagnosis. Priming men about the availability of multiple options before they have a confirmed diagnosis may be an opportunity to engage patients in more informed decision-making. METHODS: Men with an elevated PSA test or suspicious Digital Rectal Examination (DRE) who were referred to a urology clinic for a biopsy were randomized to receive either the clinic’s usual care (UC) biopsy instruction sheet (n = 11) or a pre-biopsy educational (ED) packet containing the biopsy instruction sheet along with a booklet about the biopsy procedure and a prostate cancer treatment decision aid originally written for newly diagnosed men that described in detail possible treatment options (n = 18). RESULTS: A total of 62% of men who were approached agreed to be randomized, and 83% of the ED group confirmed they used the materials. Anxiety scores were similar for both groups while awaiting the biopsy procedure, with anxiety scores trending lower in the ED group: 41.2 on a prostate-specific anxiety instrument compared to 51.7 in the UC group (p = 0.13). ED participants reported better overall quality of life while awaiting biopsy compared to the UC group (76.4 vs. 48.5, p = 0.01). The small number of men in the ED group who went on to be diagnosed with cancer reported being better informed about the risks and side effects of each option compared to men diagnosed with cancer in the UC group (p = 0.07). In qualitative discussions, men generally reported they found the pre-biopsy materials to be helpful and indicated having information about possible treatment options reduced their anxiety. However, 2 of 18 men reported they did not want to think about treatment options until after they knew their biopsy results. CONCLUSIONS: In this small sample offering pre-biopsy education about potential treatment options was generally well received by patients, appeared to be beneficial to men who went on to be diagnosed, and did not appear to increase anxiety unnecessarily among those who had a negative biopsy.

Concepts: Cancer, Metastasis, Biopsy, Prostate cancer, Screening, Benign prostatic hyperplasia, Rectal examination, Prostate-specific antigen


Prostate cancer screening depends on a careful balance of benefits, in terms of reduced prostate cancer mortality, and harms, in terms of overdiagnosis and overtreatment. We aimed to estimate the effect on overdiagnosis of restricting prostate specific antigen (PSA) testing by age and baseline PSA.

Concepts: Cancer, Prostate cancer, Urology, Screening, Prostate, Overdiagnosis, Prostate-specific antigen, Prostate cancer screening


We assessed the measurement equivalence and feasibility of the paper-and-pencil and touch-screen modes of administration of the Taiwan Chinese version of the EORTC QLQ-PR25, a commonly used questionnaire to evaluate the health-related quality of life (HRQOL) in patients with prostate cancer in Taiwan.

Concepts: Cancer, Metastasis, Obesity, Prostate cancer, Radiation therapy, Quality, BRCA2, Screening


Background Venous thromboembolism may be the earliest sign of cancer. Currently, there is a great diversity in practices regarding screening for occult cancer in a person who has an unprovoked venous thromboembolism. We sought to assess the efficacy of a screening strategy for occult cancer that included comprehensive computed tomography (CT) of the abdomen and pelvis in patients who had a first unprovoked venous thromboembolism. Methods We conducted a multicenter, open-label, randomized, controlled trial in Canada. Patients were randomly assigned to undergo limited occult-cancer screening (basic blood testing, chest radiography, and screening for breast, cervical, and prostate cancer) or limited occult-cancer screening in combination with CT. The primary outcome measure was confirmed cancer that was missed by the screening strategy and detected by the end of the 1-year follow-up period. Results Of the 854 patients who underwent randomization, 33 (3.9%) had a new diagnosis of occult cancer between randomization and the 1-year follow-up: 14 of the 431 patients (3.2%) in the limited-screening group and 19 of the 423 patients (4.5%) in the limited-screening-plus-CT group (P=0.28). In the primary outcome analysis, 4 occult cancers (29%) were missed by the limited screening strategy, whereas 5 (26%) were missed by the strategy of limited screening plus CT (P=1.0). There was no significant difference between the two study groups in the mean time to a cancer diagnosis (4.2 months in the limited-screening group and 4.0 months in the limited-screening-plus-CT group, P=0.88) or in cancer-related mortality (1.4% and 0.9%, P=0.75). Conclusions The prevalence of occult cancer was low among patients with a first unprovoked venous thromboembolism. Routine screening with CT of the abdomen and pelvis did not provide a clinically significant benefit. (Funded by the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada; SOME number, NCT00773448 .).

Concepts: Cancer, Metastasis, Blood, Stroke, Prostate cancer, Screening, Randomness, Medical test


Screening the active compounds of herbal medicines is of importance to modern drug discovery. In this work, an integrative strategy was established to discover the effective compounds and their therapeutic targets using Phellodendri Amurensis cortex (PAC) aimed at inhibiting prostate cancer as a case study. We found that PAC could be inhibited the growth of xenograft tumours of prostate cancer. Global constituents and serum metabolites were analysed by UPLC-MS based on the established chinmedomics analysis method, a total of 54 peaks in the spectrum of PAC were characterised in vitro and 38 peaks were characterised in vivo. Among the 38 compounds characterised in vivo, 29 prototype components were absorbed in serum and nine metabolites were identified in vivo. Thirty-four metabolic biomarkers were related to prostate cancer, and PAC could observably reverse these metabolic biomarkers to their normal level and regulate the disturbed metabolic profile to a healthy state. A chinmedomics approach showed that ten absorbed constituents, as effective compounds, were associated with the therapeutic effect of PAC. In combination with bioactivity assays, the action targets were also predicted and discovered. As an illustrative case study, the strategy was successfully applied to high-throughput screening of active compounds from herbal medicine.

Concepts: Pharmacology, Medicine, Cancer, Prostate cancer, Screening, In vitro, Case study, High-throughput screening


Prostate cancer is the most commonly diagnosed malignancy and second leading cause of cancer death among men in the United States. In recent years, several new agents, including cancer immunotherapies, have been approved or are currently being investigated in late-stage clinical trials for the management of advanced prostate cancer. Therefore, the Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer (SITC) convened a multidisciplinary panel, including physicians, nurses, and patient advocates, to develop consensus recommendations for the clinical application of immunotherapy for prostate cancer patients. To do so, a systematic literature search was performed to identify high-impact papers from 2006 until 2014 and was further supplemented with literature provided by the panel. Results from the consensus panel voting and discussion as well as the literature review were used to rate supporting evidence and generate recommendations for the use of immunotherapy in prostate cancer patients. Sipuleucel-T, an autologous dendritic cell vaccine, is the first and currently only immunotherapeutic agent approved for the clinical management of metastatic castrate resistant prostate cancer (mCRPC). The consensus panel utilized this model to discuss immunotherapy in the treatment of prostate cancer, issues related to patient selection, monitoring of patients during and post treatment, and sequence/combination with other anti-cancer treatments. Potential immunotherapies emerging from late-stage clinical trials are also discussed. As immunotherapy evolves as a therapeutic option for the treatment of prostate cancer, these recommendations will be updated accordingly.

Concepts: Cancer, Metastasis, Oncology, Prostate cancer, Radiation therapy, Screening, Castration, Immunotherapy


To test the association of androgen deprivation therapy (ADT) in the treatment of prostate cancer with subsequent Alzheimer’s disease risk.

Concepts: Cancer, Metastasis, Estrogen, Prostate cancer, Radiation therapy, Testosterone, Screening, Androgen