Some other encouraging new therapies for prostate cancer
Recently, a new drug, enzalutamide (Xtandi), developed by the prestigious American prostate research centre in UCLA, has recently been licensed for use in the UK for patients with an advanced form of the disease and who have run out of treatment options.
Also, there are some new FDA approved vaccines. One is sipuleucel-T (Provenge), which is designed to boost the body’s immune response to the prostate cancer cells. Another is PROSTVAC-VF, which uses a genetically modified virus containing PSA to trigger a response in a patient’s immune system to recognise and destroy cancer cells containing PSA.
Nutrition and Lifestyle
According to the World Health Organization, wealthy countries with the high meat and dairy consumption have the highest prostate cancer rates. This has encouraged scientists to examine foods and substances in them that may reduce the risk of prostate cancer.
Researchers suggest that lifestyle changes might affect the rate at which prostate cancer develops. One study reports that the level of PSA may be lowered by a vegan diet, regular exercise and yoga. Another suggests that a daily intake of flaxseed slows the rate at which prostate cancer cells multiply. Also, scientists suggest that lycopenes and isolflavones, found in tomatoes and soybeans respectively might help prevent prostate cancer.
Difficult choices for men
Given that patients decide about their treatment options and given that there are several treatment modalities for prostate cancer each with specific costs and risks; men diagnosed with prostate cancer face some difficult choices.
One challenge arises because genes linked to prostate cancer do not show which cancers are likely to remain within the prostate, which is normal for older men and which are more likely to grow and spread.
For example, researchers have found that the gene EZH2 is more frequent in advanced stages of prostate cancer, but this does not indicate how aggressive the cancer is. So, knowing of the genes presence does not help a patient make the important decision between immediate treatments or continued monitoring.