New York, New York (PRWEB) October 06, 2015
Last week, New York State Governor, Andrew Cuomo, announced major funding for prostate cancer. With a total of $3 million in funding, 20 research institutions across the state will now be exploring new and innovate concepts around prostate cancer detection, diagnosis and treatment.
In the state of New York alone, Prostate Cancer is the second most common cancer in men.
“Over 233,000 men are diagnosed with Prostate Cancer across the United States each year with thousands being diagnosed in New York State alone. This issue is important and it’s wonderful to see a political figure supporting the need for more research,” stressed Dr. Samadi.
There are many gaps around what we know about prostate cancer and more research is needed even in areas that have advanced over the past decade. Arguably, the most important need for more research is around current standard screenings such as the PSA blood test and genetic tests like the 4K Score.
“Obviously the PSA blood test is non-specific, however new genetic testing methods have improved this process but we continue to need more clinical trials to see how and when these tests should be recommended to an individual patient in order to pinpoint their exact risk for prostate cancer,” said Dr. Samadi.
Another area that needs more support is evaluating the side effects of each treatment method more carefully and over a longer period of time. Surgery versus radiation has long been debated for prostate cancer but there still remains many gaps in research when it comes to the actual quality of life men experience after these procedures.
Lastly, we still don’t really know what causes prostate cancer. We know the risk factors which range from family history to race, but we still don’t fully understand why and how it develops in some men and especially why it progresses much faster in some patients as opposed to others who have a slower growing disease.
“Genome sequencing and genetic testing has helped advance our overall understanding but we need to get inside this disease and really understand its inception and growth,” stressed Dr. Samadi.
A paramount study was released this year from Vanderbilt University Medical Center that showed the impact of the United States Preventive Task Force Services guidelines on prostate cancer detection rates. The study showed that there is a decrease in the number of prostate cancer cases being diagnosed and correlated it to the U.S. Task Force recommending against the PSA screening for men in their 40s. This is dangerous but a great example of how research can help identify these patterns to work toward a solution.
Past research has led us to understand just how unique this disease is along with uncovering many breakthroughs in diagnosis and treatment. A few key research highlights we’ve seen in the last 3 years are:
- Vitamin D shows promise to slow prostate cancer growth
- Prostate Cancer is more aggressive when it occurs in younger men
- MRI Fusion-Guided Biopsy better detects aggressive prostate cancer
- Researchers identify 5 different types of prostate cancer
- Androgen Deprivation Therapy associated with increased risk of fatal heart attack in men with prostate cancer
“Research and funding has also led to our advanced understanding of the genetic nuances in how prostate cancer develops. The emergence of genetic tests such as the 4K Score, PCA3 and Oncotype DX came from institutions investing in the cause for better prostate cancer detection methods. We are fortunate that prostate cancer was at the forefront of many of these discoveries, but of course we need more,” noted Dr. Samadi.
Contrarily, we do also see confusion coming out of certain research findings. A recent example came from a study published in the journal Cancer, which showed that low PSA levels were associated with an increased risk of dying of prostate cancer.
“These types of findings are what lead us to believe this disease is much more complicated than previously thought. Just because this type of cancer resides in one gland that can be removed, doesn’t make it any less of a complicated form of the disease,” explained Dr. Samadi.