In this blog PCRI presents an interview from our contributing partner, Prostatepedia.
Mr. Jeff Lee, a mobile technology veteran, develops clinical trial apps for most major pharmaceutical companies. Prostatepedia spoke with him about how mobile technology streamlines the clinical trial experience for both patients and researchers alike. Here is the interview:
"Researchers are hopeful about the potential for a novel agent in high-risk prostate cancer" states Tony Berberabe, MPh in his published article for Cure Magazine on June 23rd, 2016
In 2016, the PCRI will celebrate its 20th anniversary. The PCRI, founded in 1996 by Dr. Stephen Strum and I, was originally funded by a generous grant from the Daniel Freeman Medical Foundation. This initial grant was spent on hiring Harry Pinchot, aka Helpline Harry. The helpline format adopted at the PCRI was modeled after the work of Lloyd Ney, the founder of PAACT. PCRI’s helpline presently has four counselors: Jonathan Levy, Silvia Cooper, Bob Each and Charles Kokaska, all who provide unbiased prostate-cancer-related information, free of charge to the public.
Cancer that spreads outside the prostate gland is what makes prostate cancer dangerous. Metastatic prostate cancer cells cause malfunction by impeding normal function. Some organs, like lymph nodes for example, continue to function quite nicely, even if the degree of cancer spread is extensive. Lymph node spread, therefore, is the least dangerous form of prostate cancer metastases. At the other end of the spectrum is the liver, which is far less tolerant. The seriousness of bone metastases, the most common site of prostate cancer spread, lies about half way between that of node metastases and liver metastases.
The surprising finding, after 12 years, was that there was no difference in survival between surgery and watchful waiting in the Low-Risk or in the Intermediate-Risk group. On the other hand, men who were in the High-Risk category did benefit with improved 12-year survival when treated with immediate surgery compared to the men with High-Risk disease who did watchful waiting.
The stress of a diagnosis of cancer can throw patients into an “altered state” in which they are particularly vulnerable to suggestion—good or bad. And because most of us, as children, are taught to believe in the infallibility of doctors, the manner in which a doctor delivers a life-threatening diagnosis has a profound effect, and actually has the power to influence the course of the disease.
One of the unique characteristics of prostate cancer is its responsiveness to the withdrawal of testosterone. This “Achilles Heel” of prostate cancer was discovered in the 1940’s when surgical removal of the testicles was shown to induce cancer remissions. In 1985, Lupron, an injectable medication that works by tricking the testicles into ceasing testosterone production, was FDA approved. Orchiectomy, or surgical removal of the testicles, has been declining in popularity ever since.