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Research presented at 2011 GU Cancers Symposium highlights advances in treatment of prostate cancer

ALEXANDRIA, Va. New studies on the screening and treatment of genitourinary cancers were released today in advance of the fourth annual Genitourinary Cancers Symposium, being held February 17-19, 2011, at the Orlando World Center Marriott in Orlando, Florida.

The results of three studies were highlighted in a media presscast (press briefing via live webcast):

  • Large screening study shows reduced risk of prostate cancer death for men with low initial PSAs: A large prostate cancer screening study of middle-aged and elderly men showed that an initial Prostate-Specific Antigen (PSA) score of 3.0 ng/ml appears to be an appropriate minimum cut-off level to determine the need for biopsy. Few men in the study with low first-time PSAs below 3.0 developed prostate cancer and died from the disease, and the findings may help better target testing for those at risk.

  • Proficiency in robotic-assisted prostate surgery requires experienced specialists: In a study to determine the surgical learning curve for robotic-assisted laparoscopic radical prostatectomy (RALP) operations, a retrospective analysis of the results of nearly 3,800 procedures showed that it took more than 1,600 prostate cancer surgeries for surgeons to become proficient at the RALP procedure and be able to remove the cancerous prostate consistently with its edges clear of cancer.

  • Dutasteride helps slow early-stage prostate cancer growth: A new study has shown that a drug commonly used to treat men with an enlarged prostate gland dutasteride (Avodart) may also slow the growth of early-stage prostate cancer among men participating in "active surveillance" of their disease.

"While the use of PSA in determining which men should have biopsies for suspected prostate cancer has sometimes been controversial, the results of a study presented today provide important new insights on the value of PSA in helping practitioners make treatment decisions," said Nicholas J. Vogelzang, MD, Chair and Medical Director of the Developmental Therapeutics Committee of US Oncology, who moderated today's presscast. "Other significant studies presented today show the potential of an already commonly used prostate drug to slow cancer growth. And a second evaluates the expertise required to carry out often difficult surgical procedures."

Genitourinary cancers include those of the prostate, kidney, bladder and testis, as well as less common cancers such as those of the penis, ureters and other urinary organs. In 2010, more than 358,000 people in the United States were diagnosed with genitourinary cancers and more than 61,000 died of these diseases. The most common genitourinary cancer is prostate cancer, which was diagnosed in nearly 218,000 men in the United States in 2010 and claimed more than 32,000 lives.*


Contact: Kelly Powell
American Society of Clinical Oncology

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