Help Getting Through Cancer Treatment
People with cancer need support and information, no matter what stage of illness they may be in. Knowing all of your options and finding the resources you need will help you make informed decisions about your care.
Whether you are thinking about treatment, getting treatment, or not being treated at all, you can still get supportive care to help with pain or other symptoms. Communicating with your cancer care team is important so you understand your diagnosis, what treatment is recommended, and ways to maintain or improve your quality of life.
Different types of programs and support services may be helpful, and can be an important part of your care. These might include nursing or social work services, financial aid, nutritional advice, rehab, or spiritual help.
The American Cancer Society also has programs and services including rides to treatment, lodging, and more to help you get through treatment. Call our National Cancer Information Center at 1-800-227-2345 and speak with one of our trained specialists.
Treatment Strategy And Biomarkers For Apc
As the five new drugs emerged and represented significant improvement in the treatment of mCRPC, it was natural that one of the next areas of research was determining whether combination use or sequential therapy was superior. Furthermore, the focus was not only on mCRPC. The treatment strategy for APC including stage IV HSPC and recurrent PC after the treatment with curative intent are also now evolving.
Chemotherapy For Prostate Cancer
The decision on when to start chemotherapy is difficult and highly individualized based on several factors:What other treatment options or clinical trials are available.How well chemotherapy is likely to be tolerated.What prior therapies you have received.If radiation is needed prior to …
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New Hormone Therapy Drugs
Testosterone drives prostate cancer growth, so medications often target it, says Timothy Daskivich, M.D., urologic oncologist at Cedars-Sinai Cancer in Los Angeles, CA. For many years, patients who progressed on traditional androgen deprivation therapy had few options other than chemo, he says. But new androgen receptor signaling inhibitors can provide excellent cancer control and responses in those patients and have shown improved survival chances in patients with metastatic and castration-sensitive disease when given in conjunction with traditional hormone blockade. These new drugs include abiraterone acetate, apalutamide, enzalutamide, and Orgovyx , the only androgen-deprivation therapy that comes in pill form.
Advances In Prostate Cancer Research
Nanoparticles are tested as a means to deliver drugs to prostate cancer cells.
NCI-funded researchers are working to advance our understanding of how to prevent, detect, and treat prostate cancer. Most men diagnosed with prostate cancer will live a long time, but challenges remain in choosing the best treatments for individuals at all stages of the disease.
This page highlights some of the latest research in prostate cancer, including clinical advances that may soon translate into improved care, NCI-supported programs that are fueling progress, and research findings from recent studies.
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Staging Of Prostate Cancer
Doctors will use the results of your prostate examination, biopsy and scans to identify the stage of your prostate cancer .
The stage of the cancer will determine which types of treatments will be necessary.
If prostate cancer is diagnosed at an early stage, the chances of survival are generally good.
Treatments For Prostate Cancer
If you have prostate cancer, your healthcare team will create a treatment plan just for you. It will be based on your health and specific information about the cancer. When deciding which treatments to offer for prostate cancer, your healthcare team will consider:
- the type and stage of the cancer
- the grade or Gleason score
- prostate-specific antigen levels
- possible side effects of treatments
- your personal preferences
- your overall health and any existing medical conditions
- your age and life expectancy
- whether you have symptoms
Prostate cancer treatments can seriously affect your quality of life and cause side effects such as erectile dysfunction and incontinence . Many prostate cancers grow slowly and cause no symptoms or problems.
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Clinical Overview: Treatment Options For Prostate Cancer
There were approximately 250,000 new cases of prostate cancer identified in the United States in 2021, which is considered approximately 13% of all cancer cases.
The prostate, a walnut-sized gland located below the bladder, is responsible for both creating seminal fluid and maintaining the health of the sperm. As a person grows older, the prostate can enlarge, which may lead to conditions such as benign prostate hypertrophy , whereby the urethra becomes blocked. Prostate cancer occurs when the cells in the prostate grow out of control and cause a tumor.¹
According to the National Institutes of Health , there were approximately 250,000 new cases of prostate cancer identified in the United States in 2021, which is considered approximately 13% of all cancer cases. There were approximately 35,000 deaths due to prostate cancer in 2021, which represents 5% of overall cancer deaths. However, with new medication options available, the 5-year survival rate for these patients is as high as 97.5%.²
Prostate cancer is different than other cancers, in that it can grow very slowly and show no symptoms for an extended duration. Unlike other cancers that spread to other organs rapidly, prostate cancer may spread slowly and even if it spreads to other organs, it can be managed effectively. The main approach to prostate cancer includes monitoring the development of the cancer to keep tabs on the speed of the growth.¹
About the Author
Biggest Breakthroughs In Advanced Prostate Cancer Treatment
by Health Writer
Prostate cancer is most often diagnosed at an early and highly treatable stagebut if youre one of the men with advanced-stage prostate cancer at diagnosis, youre in a club whose numbers have risen in the last decade, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention . Thankfully, advancements in prostate cancer research have led to promising improvements in treatment possibilities for this club. We spoke to the experts to learn more about breakthroughs that are changing the treatment game in prostate cancer.
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A New Treatment For Advanced Prostate Cancer Improves Survival In Phase 3 Clinical Trial
- By Charlie Schmidt, Editor, Harvard Medical School Annual Report on Prostate Diseases
Radiation therapy is getting more precise, enabled by technologies that make it easier to kill tumors while sparing their surrounding tissues. Some newer therapies are even given intravenously instead of by machines, and they deliver radiation particles directly to the cancer cell itself. One of these new therapies a sort of smart bomb targeted at malignant cells is now generating promising data for men with the most aggressive prostate cancer.
In early June, investigators reported results from a phase 3 clinical trial showing that among men who received the experimental treatment, there was nearly a 40% reduction in deaths over the course of the study, compared to men who did not.
The treatment is called lutetium-177-PSMA-617, or LuPSMA, and it has two components: a compound that targets a cancer cell protein called prostate-specific membrane antigen, or PSMA, and a radioactive particle that destroys the cells. Healthy prostate cells don’t contain PSMA, or do at very low levels. And some men with prostate cancer have more of the protein than others. Doctors can detect the protein using a specialized imaging scan.
Results after 21 months showed that cancer progression was delayed for longer among the LuPSMA-treated men: 8.7 months on average versus 3.4 months among the controls. The treatment was also associated with better overall survival: 15.3 months versus 11.3 months.
Nutrition And Lifestyle Changes
Many studies have looked at the possible benefits of specific nutrients in helping to treat prostate cancer, although so far none have shown a clear benefit. Some compounds being studied include extracts from pomegranate, green tea, broccoli, turmeric, flaxseed, and soy.
One study has found that men who choose not to have treatment for their localized prostate cancer may be able to slow its growth with intensive lifestyle changes. The men in the study ate a vegan diet and exercised frequently. They also took part in support groups and yoga. After one year the men saw, on average, a slight drop in their PSA level. It isnt known if this effect will last since the report only followed the men for 1 year. The regimen may also be hard for some men to follow.
It’s important for men thinking about taking any type of nutritional supplement to talk to their health care team first. They can help you decide which ones you can use safely while avoiding those that might be harmful.
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Two New Treatments Approved For Advanced Prostate Cancer
This has been a truly historic week, with two new treatment options receiving FDA approval for men with advanced prostate cancer.
On Friday, 5/15/20, the FDA approved rucaparib, a new medication to treat some patients with advanced prostate cancer. Then, on Tuesday, 5/19/20, olaparib was approved by the FDA for certain metastatic prostate cancers that are not responsive to hormone therapy. Rucaparib and olaparib are both PARP inhibitors, a class of precision medicines, that are used to treat cancers with specific mutations.
For men with advanced disease, these are two more modern weapons in the fight against advanced prostate cancer, a disease state that, in the past, has had few treatment alternatives. For PCF science, these approvals are an important testament to the value of early foundational work which can bear multiple fruits in the form of new treatments, even many years later. Once again, PCF is proud to have been involved since the beginning, in every stage of the research that lead to this development.
The idea that PARP could be the key to finding treatments for prostate cancer came from a PCF-funded team led by Dr. Karen Knudsen of Thomas Jefferson University. PARP is a protein that is involved in repairing damaged DNA. Dr. Knudsens team provided data to prove that PARP is a driver of prostate cancer and that PARP inhibitors can suppress prostate tumor growth and progression.
Attacking Prostate Cancer: The Latest Weapons
Our patients are living significantly longer, said Dorff, associate professor in the Department of Medical Oncology & Therapeutics Research. Thats due in part to intensified first line therapy, or better use of existing drugs, as well as a rapid acceleration of new drug development. As a result, she says We can promise men, even with advanced prostate cancer, years of good quality life.
Good news, considering that prostate cancer is the second most common cancer in men, with over 260,000 new cases every year. And advanced prostate cancer can be deadly, claiming 34,000 lives annually.
Dorff is determined to bring those numbers down. She believes the true path to success is clear.
Immunotherapy will get us there, she says.
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Is There Anything Else You Feel Urologists Should Know About This Topic
It’s probably also worth mentioning that all the clinical trials that I was describing use lutetium PSMA 617, which is the Novartis product. There is another product in active development called lutetium PSMA INT, which is very, very similar, has some minor differences, and there are a few companies around the world commercializing lutetium PSMA INT. There other groups working on next-generation targeting molecules. So, they’re the 2 first cabs off the rank, and now we’ll have a newer generation. Can we improve targeting by modifying the PSMA targeting molecule further?
Another way we’re trying to improve this treatment is by using different radioactive substances other than lutetium 177. There’s a lot of interest in actinium 225, which is an alpha emitter, a different type of radioactive substance. And there’s a whole myriad of different radioactive substances that can be used that are going to be evaluated over the next few years. I think this is going to be an area of really explosive growth and interest, but most importantly, a new treatment option to both improve survival and improve quality of life for men with prostate cancer.
1. Hofman. PSMA Theranostics: The New Age of Prostate Cancer Imaging and Treatment. Lecture presented at: 2021 Prostate Cancer Foundation Scientific Retreat October 28-29 and November 4-5, 2021 Virtual.
Finding Small Amounts Of Prostate Cancer Using Imaging And Psma
NCI-supported researchers are developing new imaging techniques to improve the diagnosis of recurrent prostate cancer. A protein called prostate-specific membrane antigen is found in large amountsand almost exclusivelyon prostate cells. By fusing a molecule that binds to PSMA to a compound used in PET scan imaging, scientists have been able to see tiny deposits of prostate cancer that are too small to be detected by regular imaging. The Food and Drug Administration has approved two such compounds for use in PET imaging of men with prostate cancer.
This type of test is still experimental. But the ability to detect very small amounts of metastatic prostate cancer could help doctors and patients make better-informed treatment decisions. For example, if metastatic cancer is found when a man is first diagnosed, he may choose an alternative to surgery because the cancer has already spread. Or doctors may be able to treat cancer recurrenceeither in the prostate or metastatic diseaseearlier, which may lead to better survival.
As part of the Cancer Moonshot, NCI researchers are testing whether PSMA-PET imaging can also identify men who are at high risk of their cancer recurring. Such imaging may eventually be able to help predict who needs more aggressive treatmentsuch as radiation therapy in addition to surgeryafter diagnosis.
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Parp Inhibitors For Prostate Cancer
A PARP inhibitor is a substance that blocks an enzyme in cells called PARP. PARP helps repair DNA when it becomes damaged. Some prostate tumors have genetic defects that limit their ability to repair DNA damage. Such tumors may be sensitive to PARP inhibitors.
Two PARP inhibitors, olaparib and rucaparib , have been approved for some men whose prostate cancer has metastasized, and whose disease has stopped responding to standard hormone treatments.
Research Into High Intensity Focused Ultrasound
HIFU uses high frequency sound waves to destroy cancer cells. The waves create heat that destroys prostate cancer.
Researchers are looking at only treating the areas of cancer in the prostate. They want to find out how well it works and how it affects mens quality of life.
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About The Cancer Center
We take a truly comprehensive approach in our fight against cancer, putting our patients first and providing for not only their medical requirements, but for their psychological, social, and palliative needs with our many support services.
How Prostate Cancer Is Treated
In cancer care, different types of doctorsincluding medical oncologists, surgeons, and radiation oncologistsoften work together to create an overall treatment plan that may combine different types of treatments to treat the cancer. This is called a multidisciplinary team. Cancer care teams include a variety of other health care professionals, such as palliative care experts, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, oncology nurses, social workers, pharmacists, counselors, dietitians, physical therapists, and others.
The common types of treatments used for prostate cancer are described below. Your care plan may also include treatment for symptoms and side effects, an important part of cancer care.
Treatment options and recommendations depend on several factors, including the type and stage of cancer, possible side effects, and the patients preferences and overall health.
Cancer treatment can affect older adults in different ways. More information on the specific effects of surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy on older patients can be found another section of this website.
Because most prostate cancers are found in the early stages when they are growing slowly, you usually do not have to rush to make treatment decisions. During this time, it is important to talk with your doctor about the risks and benefits of all your treatment options and when treatment should begin. This discussion should also address the current state of the cancer:
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New Advances Transform Treatment Of Prostate Cancer
The way we treat prostate cancer has changed dramatically in recent years. Advances in MRI imaging have undoubtedly contributed to this change, both in terms of diagnosis by making targeted biopsies possible and in terms of our approach to treatment. The emergence of new treatments has also improved the prognosis of patients with metastatic cancer.
For an update on these advances, Medscape interviewed Guillaume Ploussard, MD, a urologist and oncologist at La Croix du Sud Clinic, Toulouse, France, and head of the French Urology Association’s prostate cancer subcommittee.
Medscape French Edition: The way we treat prostate cancer has changed dramatically in terms of diagnosis and therapeutic approach. In your opinion, what has been the most significant step forward in recent years?
Guillaume Ploussard, MD: The move towards personalized treatment options. Thanks to an improvement in imaging techniques and the contribution made by genomics, we can now better categorize a specific case of cancer, foresee how it will evolve, and adapt our therapeutic approach accordingly for each individual patient.
Our ability to obtain more precise MRI images, along with improvements made in training radiologists to interpret these images, has made us better at detecting prostate cancer. These advances in MRI mean we can identify the most severe cancer cases, which, in turn, stops us from starting treatment in patients who don’t need it.