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Posted by on Apr 29, 2015 in Prostate cancer | 0 comments

In a nutshell

The authors aimed to identify the best options available to identify metastatic prostate cancer.

Some background

Metastatic prostate cancer is cancer that has spread from the prostate gland into tissues and organs around the body. In some cases patients with metastatic cancer can become resistant to certain treatments, such as hormone therapy (treatment that targets the male sex hormones active in prostate cancer, such as testosterone), which makes treatment decisions difficult.

Imaging technologies (equipment that scans the body for signs of tumors and disease) such as positron emission tomography scans (PET – uses radiation to scan the body for signs of disease in tissues and organs) and computerized tomography scans, (CT – uses X-ray images to construct a 3D image of the structures in a human body) using specific dyes that stain the site of damage, are used frequently in metastatic cancer diagnosis.

Methods & findings

The aim of this study was to outline recommendations for early identification of metastatic prostate cancer.

Prostate specific antigen (PSA – protein elevated in the blood when prostate cancer is present) levels of more than 20 ng/ml and Gleason scores (scoring system that compares the differences between normal and cancerous cells on a scale of 1-10) of more than 7 were identified as predictive factors for metastatic development. However, some studies found that 25% of patients who had undergone prostate surgery (surgical removal of the prostate gland) and were diagnosed with bone tumors, had PSA levels lower than 10 ng/ml.

PET/CT scans were more better in identifying bone tumors and abnormalities in prostate cancer patients and had a 100% success rate for positive identification of bone tumors, compared to existing technologies. PET/CT scans were also used in identifying cancer that had spread to the lymph nodes (sites that hold the immune cells). 

Short-term PSA doubling time (how quickly PSA levels double in volume) was identified as a good predictor for metastatic cancer progression, where quick doubling times were associated with shorter times to metastasis development from treatment.

The bottom line

The authors conclude that imaging guidelines need to be developed in order to diagnose metastatic prostate cancer suitably early. 

What’s next?

If you have concerns regarding metastatic development, please consult your doctor for identification and treatment options available. 

Published By :


Date :

Jan 08, 2014

Original Title :

Challenges and Recommendations for Early Identification of Metastatic Disease in Prostate Cancer.

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