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New tool helps identify prostate cancer patients with highest risk of death
Date:10/5/2011

Fox Chase Researchers Develop a New Tool That Helps Identify Prostate Cancer Patients with the Highest Risk of Death

MIAMA BEACH, FL (October 4, 2011)After a prostate cancer patient receives radiation treatment, his doctor carefully monitors the amount of prostate-specific antigen, or PSA, in his blood. An increase in PSA, called biochemical failure, is the first detectable sign of the cancer's return to the prostate. Fox Chase Cancer Center researcher have found that the time between the last radiation treatment and biochemical failure can accurately predict a patient's risk of death of prostate cancer.

Now, Mark Buyyounouski, M.D., M.S., a radiation oncologist at Fox Chase, has led the development a new tool, called a nomogram, that can be used to estimate the risk of dying from prostate cancer for patients who have already had radiation treatment. Buyyounouski introduced the new tool at the 53rd Annual Meeting of the American Association for Radiation Oncology on Sunday, October 2.

It's the first tool of its kind; existing nomograms do not factor in the interval between radiation and biochemical failure. Nomograms already exist to help newly-diagnosed patients and their doctors decide on a treatment, but the new tool provides information about patients who have already undergone radiation.

Buyyounouski and his international team of collaborators built and tested the nomogram using data from 2,132 men who had biochemical failure. The data came from five institutions in three countries. In addition to the time to biochemical failure, the nomogram uses other factors such as the patient's age, tumor-stage, Gleason score, and PSA charateristics, to calculate risk of death. The researchers describe the comparison between the test's predicted survival rates and experimental observations as "excellent."

Patients who are told they're in biochemical failure often face tough questions about the risk of dying from cancer t
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Contact: Diana Quattrone
Diana.Quattrone@fccc.edu
215-728-7784
Fox Chase Cancer Center
Source:Eurekalert

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