Prostate Cancer Treatment: Experts Discuss Androgen-Deprivation Regimen, Photodynamic Therapy
Prostate cancer is the most common form of carcinoma among men, affecting more than 1.1 million in the world in 2012. Though it is the second leading cause of cancer death among men in America, it can be treated successfully and more than 2 million men have already survived the dreaded condition. Two of the prostate cancer treatments being talked about recently are androgen-deprivation regimen and photodynamic therapy.
Androgen-deprivation Therapy For Metastatic Prostate Cancer
Prostate cancer at its metastatic stage - cancer cells have already spread to other organs - is already considered incurable. Androgen-deprivation therapy is commonly used for treatment at this stage because men initially respond to it. However, the cancer always returns in a more aggressive and lethal form.
Researchers have discovered two genes that allow metastasis and treatment resistance. David Goodrich, PhD., professor of oncology in the Department of Pharmacology and Therapeutics at Roswell Park Cancer Institute, revealed their discovery of the mechanism that causes the progression.
With the findings that androgen-deprivation therapy may not work for most prostate cancer, the discovery will still provide a "new opportunity to prevent or treat lethal forms of prostate cancer."
Photodynamic Therapy For Prostate Cancer
A new laser treatment for prostate cancer, known as VTP, has been developed to destroy tumours. Professor Malcolm Mason of Cancer Research UK said that photodynamic technology "can effectively kill prostate cancer cells." It is a form of focal treatment and only targets the affected cells, sparing some patients from long term side effects.
Still, it has not been established if it could improve the quality of life or save the lives of men with prostate cancer, according to Mason. Researchers are looking into patients who have received photodynamic therapy to see its long term benefits. Health experts hope that this kind of treatment can also be used for treatment of other forms of diseases in the future.