yellow pages news jobs local specials coupons hotels events calendar movie times RSS News Feeds
Rocklin and Roseville Today
   |   Current Temp: 54.0 F (12.2 C)
 

Cancer Survival Rates Grim for Men in this Group





(SACRAMENTO, Calif.) - Since the prostate specific antigen (PSA) test was introduced in the late 1980s, prostate cancer mortality has dropped by more than 40 percent. However, there has been tremendous controversy over whether the PSA test has caused that decline. In a newly published study, UC Davis researchers suggest that PSA screening likely plays an important role.

To illuminate the issue, researchers at the UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center looked at survival for men initially diagnosed with metastatic cancer, hypothesizing that success in treating advanced cancer and improvements in mortality for metastatic disease could be driving observed changes in overall survival, independent of PSA testing. However, the researchers found that over the past 25 years mortality for men with advanced, metastatic prostate cancer has been mostly unchanged. Their study appears online in the journal Cancer.

While the PSA test has clearly improved early detection of prostate cancer, there's been concern that the diagnostic tool has a limited impact on mortality. The test measures blood levels of PSA, a protein produced by the prostate gland. The higher a man's PSA level, the more likely it is that he has prostate cancer. But the test does a poor job gauging the acuity of the disease, which has led to unnecessary therapies and associated side effects for men with slow-growing cancers.

In 2012, the United States Preventative Services Task Force advised against routine PSA testing.

"Our research found that while the death rate from prostate cancer overall has declined, men whose cancer has spread beyond the prostate are still dying at the same rate as before," said urologic oncologist and senior study author Marc Dall'Era. "This finding suggests that routine PSA testing, which has dramatically reduced the incidence of metastatic disease, may be effective in reducing mortality from the disease, as well."

To test their hypothesis that improved treatment was responsible for the overall lower mortality rate, the team examined data from the California Cancer Registry. They looked at men 45 or older who first presented with metastatic prostate cancer between 1988 and 2009 and at overall survival for 19,336 men, stratifying the groups by time of diagnosis (including before and after PSA introduction), ethnicity, age, cancer grade and other factors.

The research corroborates previous studies that had shown a 65 percent reduction in those initially diagnosed with metastatic cancer since the PSA's introduction. This reduction resulted from men being diagnosed at earlier stages after PSA screening. However, the new study shows that for those who were diagnosed with metastatic prostate tumors, survival has not improved.

"The effect we're seeing on mortality in this group is more that we've shifted the stage of diagnosis much earlier," said Dall'Era. "In other words, because the PSA test detects cancer earlier, fewer men go on to be diagnosed with metastatic disease. However, there has been no survival improvement for men with metastatic disease to account for the overall mortality decline among all men with prostate cancer."

The research also demonstrates the urgent need to develop better treatments for men with metastatic prostate cancer, said Ralph de Vere White, director of the UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center, and a study co-author.

"This is a landmark paper because it highlights, in an indisputable way, the problem we face," de Vere White said. "Though we can reduce prostate cancer mortality, we have failed to reduce mortality among those with metastatic disease - the advanced prostate cancer that ultimately kills these men."

Though the study did not find any survival gains for men with advanced cancer, there are nuggets of good news. For example, the survival disparity between African American and Caucasian men has declined over time. The research shows that both groups had similar survival rates following the PSA's introduction. In fact, the team found that socioeconomic status is much more significant than race in determining survival.

Ultimately, the study failed to identify a potentially significant contributor to the decline in prostate cancer mortality.

The authors said additional research is needed to determine what is causing these gains, including a renewed focus on the PSA test's role in preventing mortality.

"The survival of men with metastatic prostate cancer has not changed dramatically," said Dall'Era. "At the same time, the number of men presenting with metastatic prostate cancer has dropped precipitously due to PSA screening. Does that mean PSA screening is causing that 40 percent decline in prostate cancer mortality? These data suggest that we should continue to evaluate the benefits of PSA screening before making sweeping policy recommendations against its use."

Other researchers on the study include Jennifer N. Wu, Kari M. Fish and Christopher P. Evans.

This research was funded by the UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center Epidemiology Shared Resource.





more news Print This Article


Placer County News Headlines

Big DoG Countdown: PRIDE IndustriesBig DoG Countdown: Learn about how PRIDE Industries impacts your community.

Roseville Shooting Leads to Arrest of Sacramento TrioAt 7:45 p.m. April 16, officers responded to a report of shots fired from a car toward another car in the area of Pleasant Grove Boulevard and Fairway Drive.

Roseville Crime Report Digest (4-17-14)The Roseville Police Department's Crime Report Digest for April 17, 2014.

John and Marilyn Redding Recipients of 2014 Public Safety Leadership Award John and Marilyn Redding were this year's recipients of the Public Safety Leadership Award, which was presented to the Rocklin couple at the third annual Victim's Rights Breakfast.

Your Aging Genes and Risk of DementiaUC Davis Alzheimer's Disease Center Director Charles DeCarli will discuss "Your aging genes: What you need to know about your risk for dementia" during the Community Discovery Lecture Series on Thursday, May 8

America's ClayFest II in RosevilleThe Art League of Lincoln in conjunction with Blue Line Arts will be holding the second annual art show and competition at the beautiful Blue Line Arts in Roseville, CA

Placer Pops Chorale Spring Concert SeriesTickets are still available for the popular Placer Pops Chorale Spring Concert Series, directed by Lorin Miller, but hurry - they're going fast!

Chocolate Fest in Paradise May 10thExperience a chocolate paradise on the Paradise/Magalia ridge nestled among tall green pines in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains and overlooking the Sacramento Valley

Big DoG Countdown: Soldiers ProjectBig DoG Countdown: Learn how Soldiers Project impacts your community.

Big DoG Countdown: KidsFirstBig DoG Countdown: Learn about how KidsFirst impacts your community.

End of Life Planning: A Difficult Subject for ManyIt is often difficult to imagine your end of life care-or end of life care for a loved one-in the event you or your loved one becomes incapable of making health care decisions.

STEM Collaborative Teaches Critical ThinkingAt the final session of the Sierra College STEM Collaborative ACTivATE nine-month professional development program on teaching applied critical thinking, Sierra College and high school instructors reported




more news