The American Society of Clinical Oncology's 2011 Genitourinary Cancers Symposium was held from Feb. 17 to 19 in Orlando and attracted approximately 1,700 participants from around the world. The conference highlighted recent advances in the diagnosis, prevention, and management of genitourinary cancers, including prostate, kidney, bladder, and testicular cancers, as well as less common cancers such as those of the penis, ureters, and other urinary organs, with most presentations focusing on the screening and management of prostate cancer.
"Progress is clearly being made in screening, diagnosing, and treating early-stage prostate cancer. Patients are requiring fewer and less burdensome tests and treatments. Most importantly, the cure rates for early prostate cancer continue to improve with multi-modality care provided by surgeons, radiation oncologists, pathologists, and oncologists," said Nicholas J. Vogelzang, M.D., of the Nevada Cancer Center in Las Vegas, who is the chair and medical director of the Developmental Therapeutics Committee for U.S. Oncology Research.
In one study, Amit Gupta, M.D., M.P.H., of the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York City, and colleagues found that many urologists in the United States were unaware of differences caused by World Health Organization (WHO) versus Hybritech prostate-specific antigen (PSA)-assay calibration. The investigators evaluated Web-based survey responses from 419 U.S. urologists regarding their PSA assay standardization knowledge and practices.
"In regards to PSA levels themselves, an abstract from Memorial Sloan-Kettering showed that many urologists were unaware of the different outcomes for PSA assays when using the Hybritech or WHO calibration standards," Vogelzang said. "About 60 percent of labs calibrate to WHO standards, which [give] a 22 percent lower reading than assays calibrated to the Hybritech standard, yet most PSA screening studies used the Hybritech assay. Thus, if a patient's PSA is four with the WHO standard, the 'true' PSA would be almost five by the Hybritech assay and clearly above the upper limit of normal."
In a phase II study, David C. Smith, M.D., of the University of Michigan Cancer Center in Ann Arbor, and colleagues found that a potent inhibitor of tumor growth and metastasis, XL184, provided tumor responses, partial or complete resolution of lesions on bone scan, and symptom relief in patients with castration-resistant prostate cancer and measurable soft tissue disease. In addition, the investigators found that XL184 reduced biomarkers of both osteoblast and osteoclast activity.
"A new drug, XL184, garnered a lot of interest among attendees. The drug demonstrated a dramatic effect on bone scans in over 80 percent of patients, decreasing pain and bone scan activity," Vogelzang said.
Prasanna Sooriakumaran, M.D., Ph.D., of Weill Cornell Medical College in New York City, and colleagues found that outcomes of robotic-assisted laparoscopic radical prostatectomy (RALP) improved with surgeon experience. In a retrospective analysis, the investigators evaluated 3,794 patients who underwent RALP between January 2003 and September 2009 by three surgeons from three centers. The investigators determined mean overall positive surgical margin (PSM) rates and operative times for each surgeon at intervals of every 50 operations.
"Surgery using laparoscopic robotic surgery improved outcomes among surgeons with certain levels of expertise," Vogelzang said.
The investigators showed that the PSM rates for all patients continued to improve with increased surgeon experience. They determined that more than 1,600 cases were needed for a PSM rate below 10 percent. Based on these findings, the investigators recommended that RALP be performed by surgeons who treat high volumes of patients in an effort to optimize patient outcomes.
One author disclosed a financial relationship with Intuitive Surgical Inc., the manufacturer of the daVinci surgical robot system used in this study.
ASCO: Dutasteride Slows Early Prostate Cancer Growth
WEDNESDAY, Feb. 16 (HealthDay News) -- Dutasteride (Avodart) may be effective for slowing the growth of early-stage prostate cancer among men participating in active surveillance, according to research presented at the 2011 Genitourinary Cancers Symposium, held from Feb. 17 to 19 in Orlando, Fla.
ASCO: Low Initial Prostate Score Tied to Low Cancer Risk
WEDNESDAY, Feb. 16 (HealthDay News) -- An initial prostate-specific antigen (PSA) score of 3.0 ng/mL among men appears to be an appropriate minimum cut-off level to indicate that biopsy should be performed, according to research being presented at the 2011 Genitourinary Cancers Symposium, held from Feb. 17 to 19 in Orlando, Fla.
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