CANCER INFORMATION RESOURCES
National Institutes of Health (NIH), the Nation’s Medical Research Agency.
The National Institutes of Health (NIH, http://www.nih.gov) in Maryland is part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and is the primary Federal agency for conducting and supporting medical research. Helping to lead the way toward important medical discoveries that improve people’s health and save lives, NIH scientists investigate ways to prevent disease as well as the causes, treatments, and even cures for common and rare diseases. Composed of 27 Institutes and Centers, the NIH provides leadership and financial support to researchers in every state and throughout the world.
The National Cancer Institute (NCI) is the largest of the NIH institutes. It can be accessed at http://www.cancer.gov/.
The NCI’s website provides a comprehensive source of information on all types of cancer, their prevention, diagnoses, occurrences, treatments including clinical trials and special topics. Additional information can be obtained from NCI sources below.
Clinical Trials: The National Institutes of Health (NIH)provides a website describing current clinical trials available at http://www.clinicaltrials.gov. For specific clinical trials involving prostate cancer, see http://www.clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/results?term=prostate+cancer&Search=Search. For additional information on specific cancer topics, see http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/factsheet/information/CIS.
NCI publications and information on specific cancer topics are also available at the following site, https://pubs.cancer.gov/ncipl/home.aspx?js=1
National Cancer Institute’s Cancer Information Service, 1-800-4-CANCER, (800-422-6237). You can speak with a Cancer Information Specialist at this number.
Medline; NIH-National Library of Medicine (NLM), PubMed; Provides free access to Medline, NLM’s database of citations and abstracts in the fields of medicine, nursing, dentistry, veterinary medicine, health care systems, and preclinical sciences. Links to many sites providing full journal text articles and other related resources are available. See http://www.nlm.nih.gov for the National Library of Medicine website and Medline Plus, http://medlineplus.gov, for information on numerous health issues.
AWARE: Newsletter of Zero-The Project to End Prostate Cancer: http://zerocancer.org/education/newsletter/; toll free: (888) 245-9455. AWARE is America’s premier online, weekly newsletter that brings you specific information about prostate cancer. This is one of the best resources for current information on all aspects of prostate cancer. It is produced by ZERO – The Project to End Prostate Cancer. This publication seeks to inform and educate men and women about prostate cancer. Articles include screening, drugs under development, various types of treatment, scientific meeting summaries, funding for prostate cancer research and other topics of interest.
Prostate Cancer Research Institute, PCRI, a non-profit organization, was conceived in 1996 with the purpose of educating patients and their families about prostate cancer and to help them benefit from medical discoveries. PCRI publishes an excellent monthly periodical (PCRI Insights) highlighting special topics and recent developments related to prostate cancer. See http://www.prostate-cancer.org/pcricms/. Address: 5777 W. Century Blvd. Suite 800, Los Angeles, CA 90045. Toll-free helpline: 1-800-641-PCRI or (310) 743-2110. See pcri.org.
Two books are very useful. “Guide to Surviving Prostate Cancer” by Dr. Patrick Walsh of the Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore, MD and “Prostate Cancer for Dummes” by Paul H. Lange and Christine Adamec. Dr. Walsh’s book is the more detailed of the two but both are useful and available from Amazon, WalMart, Barnes and Noble and other book dealers.
Prostate Cancer Foundation, publishers of the newsletter, NewsPulse. The newsletter contains current information on specific diagnostic methods, biomarkers for cancer detection, targeted therapies and drugs under development, nutrition and genetics. Their e mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org. Address: 1250 Fourth Street, Santa Monica, CA 90401. Telephone: (310) 570-4700; 1-800-757-CURE (2873); Fax: (310) 570-4701. http://www.pcf.org
Prostatecancer911.com is a website administered by Dr. David Samadi, a graduate of Stony Brook University Medical School, currently serving at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York. Dr. Samadi’s specialties include prostate cancer treatment, robotic prostate surgery, SMART surgery technique and bladder and urologic cancer treatment. The website discusses the pros and cons of various forms of treatments and is a good introduction for newly-diagnosed men. Dr. Samadi is a frequent guest on health programs especially on the FOX News network.
The “New” Prostate Cancer Infolink, http://www.prostatecancerinfolink.net/ is a website generated by Prostate Cancer International, PCI. It contains excellent information on diagnosis, treatment and support for prostate cancer patients and their families.
The American Cancer Society at www.Cancer.org (1-800-ACS-2345) is also an excellent resource for information concerning prevention, diagnosis, treatment etc. of all types of cancers. Prostate cancer is specifically addressed in its “Man to Man” Program.
The American Institute of Cancer Research (http://www.aicr.org) provides information on cancer prevention and survival including diet.
While this Godandprostate website mainly focuses on the spiritual aspects of prostate cancer, I have interspersed scientific information as I have received it. An example follows from December, 2009. It is highly recommended that you review the periodicals mentioned above for the latest research status and current findings related to prostate cancer detection and treatment.
December 6th, 2009:
Naturally-occurring prostate cancer inhibitors under investigation:
a) Pomegranate: In a Phase II clinical study at UCLA involving 46 men with rising PSA after prostate cancer treatment (surgery or radiation) who consumed 8 ounces of POM Wonderful 100% Pomegranate Juice daily over two years, PSA doubling time (a measure of prostate cancer progression) increased from 15 to 54 months. A longer term (6-year) continued evaluation of an active sub-group of patients showed a further increase in PSA doubling time to 88 months. [Ref. Pantuck, A.J., et al, Clinical Cancer Research, 2006; 12(13), 4018; July 1, 2006.] Personally, I take pomegranate extract pills and drink a concentrated pomegranate juice daily. While there are a number of sources of pomegranate, I found that the POM Wonderful website was useful. Also I strongly suggest an e mail subscription the newsletter entitled Zero, the Project to End Prostate Cancer. Its November 10th, 2009 e mail included an article from NaturalNews.com, 11/9/09, entitled “Protect the Prostate with Pomegranates.” Zero’s Newsletter gives a lot of recent research findings and should be must-reading for anyone with prostate cancer.
b) Fish oil: Omega-3 fatty acids found in many fish such as salmon, mackerel and bluefish, may help prevent aggressive prostate cancer according to a recent article summarized in Johns Hopkins Newsletter (January, 2010). A recent study (published in Clinical Cancer Research, vol. 15, p.2559,) analyzed the diets of 466 men with aggressive prostate cancer and compared them with the eating habits of similar healthy men. They found that men who ate the most dark fish were 57% less likely to develop aggressive prostate cancer than those who never ate fish. The protective benefits of the fish were greatest in men genetically predisposed to the cancer.
c) Flaxseed: Plants such as the Norway spruce produce chemicals called lignans to protect against disease. When humans ingest lignans, bacteria in our colon convert the plant lignans to a different chemical form called enterolactones, which have been shown in laboratories to suppress hormone-dependent cancers such as prostate and breast cancer. These enterolactones produce cell death (apoptosis) in cultured prostate cells. In the clinic, flaxseed-supplemented diets generated favorable reduction in tumor proliferation in men with pre-surgical prostate cancer in as little as 30 days [reference: Demark-Wahnefried, W. et al, Cancer Epidemiol. Biomarkers Prev. 2008, Dec. 17(12), 3577-87.] Personally I also take a flaxseed oil pill and a portion of flaxseed with my morning cereal. The flaxseed is available at most food stores.
There are numerous other naturally-found extracts (e.g. saw palmetto, nettle root, and boswellia) as well as specific drugs [e.g. finasteride (Proscar) and dutasteride (Avodart)] that may be useful in prostate cancer prevention or other prostate conditions such as benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). But I will not address them here since my focus is prostate cancer.
d) Curcumin: This is the chemical found in the Indian spice turmeric used to make curry. Curcumin has been shown to possibly play a role in prostate cancer prevention. Curcumin also may interfere with prostate cancer proliferation and metastasis by its action inducing apoptosis (cell death). It is currently being studied in numerous major laboratories and clinics as a non-toxic alternative for prostate cancer prevention, treatment or co-treatment. Personally, I take one curcumin pill daily with food.
e) Pectasol-Modified Citrus Pectin (MCP): This is a modified citrus pectin derived from the rind and peel of citrus fruit. It may inhibit the spread of cancer by binding to galectin molecules and blocking them. Galectins are adhesion and blood vessel-attracting surface molecules that are thought to be involved in the spread of cancer. A small study in 2003 revealed a significant reduction in PSA rise in men where primary conventional treatment was initially successful but in whom serum PSA’s began to climb again. [Ref. Guess, B.W. et al, Prostate Cancer Prostatic Dis., 2003; 6(4); 301-304.]
Therapeutics under development (as of early 2010).
In addition to the FDA-approved drug, taxotere, used for treating prostate cancer which has become resistant to hormonal therapy, there are a number of new treatments under development. Much more information can be obtained by reading the references in the website section on Cancer Information Resources especially from AWARE, the Newsletter of Zero-The Project to End Prostate Cancer, the Prostate Cancer Research Institute (PCRI) and from the National Cancer Institute Bulletin. Some examples of new treatments include the following.
Provenge® (developed by Dendreon) has been approved by the FDA in 2010 for use in men with advanced prostate cancer. The drug has been shown to improve overall survival in men with metastatic androgen-independent prostate cancer. Provenge may be the first in a new class of active cellular immunotherapies which engage the patient’s own immune system to fight cancer.
Johnson & Johnson’s experimental drug abiraterone can help men with advanced prostate cancer who have run out of standard treatments options. The latest Phase III study tested it in patients after treatment with both hormone therapy and taxotere, the only currently approved chemotherapy to show benefit in late-stage prostate cancer. Abiraterone produced strong decreases in PSA levels and shrank or stabilized men’s cancers for an average of almost six months.
A new drug (MDV3100) by Medivation, Inc. offers a radically different way of attacking prostate cancer. It showed promising results in an initial trial and is set for larger-scale testing. A study report in the journal Science looked at this drug’s ability to block the receptors for androgens which drive tumor growth on cells.
Serious potential side effects related to androgen deprivation (hormonal) therapy (ADT). Vitamin D. Many articles have recently been published describing the side effects of ADT or hormonal therapy. In the USA today, perhaps 700,000 prostate cancer survivors are receiving ADT and are therefore vulnerable to loss of libido, hot flashes, anemia, fatigue, accelerated bone loss, increased fat mass, increased cholesterol and triglyceride levels, decreased insulin sensitivity and loss of cognition. These adverse metabolic effects are associated with greater risks for fractures, diabetes and cardiovascular disease. It is emphasized that primary care physicians and patients should be aware of the potential benefits and harms of ADT. Guidelines to prevent fractures, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease in prostate cancer survivors should be incorporated into the management of all patients on long-term ADT. A new drug called denosumab is currently under development by Amgen specifically for the treatment of bone loss in men with non-metastatic prostate cancer undergoing ADT. To avoid fractures, it is also recommended that men undergoing ADT have bone density measurements every two years or so. Bisphosphonates such as Fosamax or newer drugs such as Reclast or Zometa may also be recommended to prevent osteoporosis. Zometa is used for patients with bone metastases. Calcium supplements (two with every meal) are also recommended. It is also thought that vitamin D deficiency plays a role in cancer development. Many scientists and physicians now state that the minimum daily requirement of vitamin D has been grossly underestimated. Recent studies have shown that as many as 85% of subjects tested showed a vitamin D deficiency. It is advised that prostate cancer patients especially those undergoing hormonal therapy be tested for vitamin D levels in their blood (using the assay for 25-hydroxy-vitamin D). Optimal serum levels have not been clearly defined but some researchers state that 36-40 ng.mL (or 90-100 nmol/l) may be ideal. While large doses of vitamin D can be toxic, many researchers including my own physician recommend a minimum of 2000 IU’s of vitamin D daily. [Ref. Espinosa, G., Integrative Medicine and Prostate Cancer, in Prostate Cancer Research Institute (PCRI) Insights, November, 2009, Vol. 12, No. 4, pp.2-7]. This can be found in individual supplements or associated with calcium supplements such as Citrical. Maintaining proper calcium and vitamin D levels, checking one’s bone density and maintaining a disciplined exercise program can help to minimize potential side effects such as bone fractures in ADT. Your own physician should be consulted first to ascertain your personal treatment regimen.