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Key research areas in relation to Prostate Cancer are discussed below. Brief descriptions are supported by hyperlinks to the most relevant research papers and current affairs news reports and blog postings - follow these links for more detailed information.
If you feel you need a basic tutorial on prostate cancer, causes of prostate cancer, prostate cancer prognosis, prostate cancer signs and prostate cancer symptoms we suggest, Knowing Your Options: A Decision Aid for Men With Clinically Localized Prostate Cancer. These web pages provide information about prostate anatomy, clinically localized prostate cancer and an introduction to treatment options, including the choice to not begin treatment immediately.
Prostate Cancer Genetics
One of the biggest problems now facing doctors and their patients with prostate cancer is figuring out which cancers are more likely to spread. Researchers are now trying to find genetic clues about which cancers are more likely to grow fast and spread. BioPortfolio references several research papers on genes involved in Prostate Cancer. We also recommend that you read Genetics of Prostate Cancer (PDQ®)
Doctors agree that the Prostate Cancer prostate-specific antigen (PSA) blood test is not a perfect test for finding prostate cancer early. It misses some cancers, and in other cases the PSA can be high when there isn't any cancer. New Prostate Cancer blood tests, urine test and biomarkers are being developed – recent press items on PSA Tests.
Doctors doing a prostate cancer biopsy often use transrectal ultrasound (TRUS), which uses sound waves to create black and white pictures of the prostate. But standard ultrasound may not find some areas containing cancer. A newer method, known as color Doppler ultrasound may make prostate biopsies more accurate by helping to ensure the right part of the gland is sampled. Doctors are also studying whether MRI can be used to help guide prostate biopsies.
Accurate local staging of prostate cancer is essential for patient management decisions. However, scans such as CT and MRI can't find all cancers, especially cancer in lymph nodes. A new type of enhanced MRI might help find lymph nodes that contain cancer and make staging easier. A newer type of PET scan may also be helpful in finding prostate cancer in different parts of the body, as well as helping to decide if treatment has been working. Conventional and evolving magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) techniques, such as diffusion-weighted imaging, dynamic contrast-enhanced MRI, and MR spectroscopy, are promising techniques in prostate cancer imaging.
Newer treatments are being developed, and current treatment methods are being improved at an increasing rate. These include for example:
Useful website: http://www.pcf.org/
Published 10th January 2012
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