7th June 2019 - 2019 American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Conference in Chicago

From the 31st of May to the 4th June 2019 more than 32,000 oncology professionals from around the world were in Chicago to present and discuss the latest research in cancer treatment and patient care at the 2019 American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) conference.
Highlights on potential new treatments for prostate cancer include:

- Adding enzalutamide to standard treatment is a new and effective alternative to chemotherapy, with docetaxel, for many men with metastatic hormone-sensitive prostate cancer.  This is seen as especially relevant for men who cannot tolerate chemotherapy and have a lower burden of disease seen on scans.  A comment made in the presentation was : 
In my view, using enzalutamide early on will allow our patients to avoid chemotherapy and steroids for many years, thus hopefully improving their quality of life.  More information Here

- Treatment with the PARP inhibitor olaparib has provided long-term progression free survival (PFS) in patients with metastatic hormone-sensitive prostate cancer (mCRPC) who have some specific defects in DNA-repair genes. More information Here .

- Prostate-Specific Membrane Antigen (PSMA) radiotherapy - dubbed a
search and destroy method of treatment is based on imaging techniques which light up tumours, in order to plan future treatment.  This new technique simultaneously delivers a radioactive payload, which experts described as delivering a bullet instead of a light.  It uses radioactive isotope, which binds to a protein on the surface of malignant cells, attacking them without damaging surrounding tissues. Professor Johann de Bono of the Institute of Cancer Research in London, who is co-leading a global phase three study of the technique, said: There is no doubt it is causing substantially durable remission, and we are optimistic that its going to make it,

- Boosting vitamin D levels by taking a daily supplement could cut the risk of dying from cancer.  While vitamin D is produced when skin is exposed to the sun, it can also be obtained by eating liver, eggs, red meat and plenty of oily fish.  But millions who do not eat enough of these foods
or fail to get sufficient sunshine, particularly in gloomy winter months should take supplements instead.  A study at Madrid University Hospital in Spain, involving 2,280 men, found those on standard treatments for prostate cancer who also took vitamin D and a statin had 38 per cent lower mortality rates than those who did not.

The Research Director of PC UK, Dr Matthew Hobbs gives his views on the conference and the above potential developments Here.
14th March 2019 - The worlds largest conference on the genitourinary cancers was held in February.  Dr Matthew Hobbs, Deputy Director of Research for PCUK, shares his research highlights Here.  These include shortened radio-therapy timescales, target radiation to treat metastatic disease and the combination of radio-therapy with Radium 223 drugs.
7th February 2019 - Three New Clinical Trials funded by PCUK

- Trapping hormone resistant metastases with radiotherapy.  This is a clinical trial of men whose cancer has begun to grow after treatment with abiraterone or enzalutamide.  The aim is see whether hitting the growing metastatic lesions with precisely targeted radiotherapy can prolong the time that the rest of the cancer responds to hormone therapy.  See Here for more information.

- Finding ways to escape resistance to abiraterone Professor de Bono of the Institute of Cancer Research has uncovered how prostate cancer becomes resistant to important treatments like abiraterone and enzalutamide. In this new project he wants to understand better how this happens, and find a way to stop resistance to these therapies developing in the first place. This research could be a first step in developing new treatments that will help men live for longer with advanced prostate cancer. See Here for more information.

- Focusing on targeted treatments to reduce side effects. Focal therapies target the cancer and leave the rest of the prostate intact, resulting in fewer side effects.  Before being rolled out as a widely available treatment, focal therapies need to be proven, in large clinical trials, to be as effective as standard treatments like radiotherapy.  See Here for more information.
22nd November 2018 - Space OAR Hydogel. SpaceOAR hydrogel is a biodegradable spacer insertion to reduce rectal toxicity during radiotherapy for prostate cancer.  It involves using a liquid gel or a balloon to increase the distance between the prostate and the rectum to reduce the amount of radiation reaching the rectum. There is more information Here: The National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) recommendation is that: Current evidence is adequate to support the use of this procedure…”    See Here.  It is not generally available but a list of hospitals, using the device, see Here: It seems to be available, currently, to private patients but may be worth a discussion with your oncologist if radiotherapy is being proposed for you.
3rd August 2018 - News from PCUK on some recent interesting research and trials:
- promising trial of a new type of ultrasound to treat localised prostate cancer

- the results of a Freedom of Information request to the NHS on how many hospitals are offering mpMRI.  The hospitals in our area seem to be meeting the objectives for the provision of these scans for newly diagnosed patients

- Preventing resistance to hormone therapy is a key goal for researchers trying to improve prostate cancer treatment. PC (UK) has funded research which shows the potential for immunology to be effective in tackling resistance to hormone therapy.
11th June 2018 - Click on blue heading to access the article below:
New type of immune treatment shows early promise for advanced prostate cancer. Pembrolizumad has proven to be effective for a small number of men with incurable disease.
16th March 2018 - Click on the blue headings to access the articles below:

- An intriguing and exciting research project aiming to create a prostate cancer vaccine is among seven groundbreaking projects PC UK are backing with
£2.7 million of funding. The link will also take you to information on these projects.

- A one-stop shop diagnosis pilot that has been in the news. Read about the technology behind this pilot.
There is also other interesting news at:

- Major new research programme kickstarts precision medicine revolution for incurable prostate cancer

- Shortage of radiologists could hold back 'biggest leap forward in prostate cancer diagnosis in decades',

- Discover of 'metastatic signature' raises hopes of early identification of lethal disease
27th September 2017 - Pioneering precision radiotherapy boosts prostate cancer survival.  A high-tech form of radiotherapy (IMRT) that shapes radiation beams to tumours can dramatically improve outcomes for patients with prostate cancer, long-term clinical trial results show.  Researchers at the Institute of Cancer Research and the Royal Marsden Hospital found that IMRT could safely treat the pelvic lymph nodes, a common site for prostate cancer to spread. After an average of 8.5 years of follow-up, overall survival was 87% and the level of side-effects was manageable with only between 8 and 16 per cent of patients experiencing bowel or bladder toxicity.

More information Here