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New Drugs, Approaches Offer Hope Against Prostate Cancer
Date:3/3/2010

re very difficult to treat. We don't know when this is going to the FDA [U.S. Food and Drug Administration] for approval, but we're working very hard to prepare the submission."

A second group of researchers reported that the PCA3 urine test, which measures levels of prostate cancer gene 3, can predict when a biopsy of the prostate gland will come out positive.

The PCA3 gene is overexpressed in men who have prostate cancer, but not in men with benign disease, raising the possibility that the finding may cut down on the number of unnecessary prostate biopsies.

According to study author Jack Groskopf, director of research and development in cancer diagnostics at Gen-Probe Inc., which makes the test, most prostate biopsies that are currently performed after elevated prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test results actually turn out to be negative for cancer.

"The ability of this test to predict biopsies positively could potentially be very helpful and may also may help us identify those more aggressive cancers, which we still do not have a great way to identify other than [with] repeat biopsies," said Vogelzang.

The final prostate cancer study found that short-term hormone therapy -- either before or during radiation therapy -- could help men with intermediate-risk, early-stage prostate cancer live longer and live longer without a recurrence.

But the therapy did not seem to help men with low-risk, early-stage tumors.

Since that study was conducted, however, standard radiation doses to treat prostate cancer have become higher and more efficient, raising the question as to whether these results are applicable to modern-day procedures.

In addition, said study co-author Dr. Christopher Jones, a partner of Radiological Associates of Sacramento, Calif., "there are consequences from short-course hormone therapy such as hot flashes and impotence, and we don't know the long-term effect on sexual funct
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