WSJ: Custom-Fit Treatments for Prostate Cancer
Good news for all ye men over 50!
WSJ: Medical scientists are working to develop strategies for treating prostate tumors that are tailored to individual patients, as is currently done for many women with breast cancer. Fresh advances in the understanding of prostate cancer suggest that some men with a high-risk form of the disease might benefit from more aggressive treatment.
67 years-old – The average age of prostate cancer diagnosis. The chance of having it rises rapidly after age 50.
1 in 36 – men will die of prostate cancer, the second leading cause of cancer death in American men, behind lung cancer.
Other men may benefit from less treatment. For instance, radiation plus hormone therapy, also called androgen-deprivation therapy, is a common strategy to kill prostate tumors. But a recent study from researchers at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center suggests that analyzing a tumor’s DNA may identify patients who would do just as well with radiation alone. If borne out in further research, some men may be able to skip hormone therapy, avoiding side effects that include loss of libido and heart disease.
The developments come amid changes in the way many types of cancer are identified and treated. The changes are being driven in part by the use of genomic information that defines tumors by their underlying biology and provides clues about drivers of the disease not available by conventional exams.
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