2018 Newsletters

December 2018

Membership subscriptions of $20 per family for 2019 are now due, and include a complimentary copy of the monthly publication Prostatpedia, judged to be one of the best technical/medical publications in the world relating to prostate cancer.  See page 1 for details.

Details of  an on-going clinical trial relating to Exercise Therapy are given on page 2.  Its title is Counteracting mental health issues in men with prostate cancer through exercise, and its trial sponsor is the Australian Catholic University, Fitzroy.  Its aims are to:

  • examine whether a tailored exercise intervention can help manage psychological distress in men with prostate cancer, and
  • evaluate the cost-effectiveness of the program to promote mental health in men with prostate cancer.

Helpful suggestions for Getting the Most from our Medical Appointments are listed on pages 2 and 3.

A large international clinical trial titled ADT With and Without Pelvic Lymph Node Radiation in Prostate Cancer is described on pages 3 and 4.  It shows that for men who show signs of prostate cancer after surgical removal of their prostates, extending radiation therapy to the pelvic lymph nodes combined with adding short-term androgen-deprivation therapy (ADT) to standard radiation treatment can extend the amount of time before their cancer spreads.

A laboratory study by the University of York and the University of British Columbia has designed a test that can pick out life-threatening prostate cancers with high accuracy, and is described on pages 3 and 4.  It looks at all the patterns within a cancer cell and homes in on the gene activity that suggests cancer, and whether it is dangerous or manageable.  It identified 17 possible genetic markers for prostate cancer.  A further trial is being investigated to take it out of the laroratory and use it for patients being treated by the NHS.

November 2018
A very good summary of the talk by October guest speaker, Dr Renu Eapen, explaining why we do not have to put up with Erectile Disfunction and Incontinence after standard prostate cancer treatments.

The immunotherary medicine KeyTruda® is now available on the PBS for eligible patients with advanced lung cancer.  It is now being tested for patients with advanced prostate cancer, and if it works it will hopefully become available to them on the PBS.

There is an intensifying debate about the dose rates required for the Zytiga drug, and whether its cost can be reduced to one quarter of the current unsubsidised cost of $7,800 er month.  Contact Barry Elderfield if you are interested in making representations to the Minister for Health.

There is an Australian trial called Galahad to test whether PARP inhibitors are useful in treating advanced prostate cancer.  They are currently approved to treat ovarian, fallopian tube and peritoneal cancers associated with BRCa gene mutations in the USA and Europe.

A web site ‘Gather My Crew’ makes it easier for carers to coordinate the support of families and friends they need in difficult times.

October 2018
A heartfelt thank-you to Patrick for having produced our Newsletter for the past seven years.

Penile rehabilition after a radical prostatectomy: some background information.

Penile rehabilition – The 5 Ps for Erectile Disfunction by Dr Michael Chamberlain: Psyche, Pills, Pricks, Pumps and Prosthesis: information about available options.

Discovery of a new type of anti-cancer drug that can put cancer cells into a “permanent sleep”, without the harmful side-effects caused by conventional cancer therapies.  The development of the drug is at a pre-clinical stage.

Free Prostate Cancer Community Education Event at the Peter MacCallum Cencer Center 10am to 12:30pm on Monday 15th October 2018.

What is NEMICS: describes the services offered by Austin Health.

Useful links to organisations and to newsletters with helpful information about prostate cancer.

September 2018
Summary of Gina Akers’ talk on Survivorship at the August 2018 meeting.

A German study examining the degree to which participation in a patient support group increases patient knowledge of prostate cancer.

Two National Health and Medical research Council grants totalling $1.3 million will go towards new approaches for prostate cancer and research into understanding male infertility.

MRI scans now refundable under Medicare under certain conditions.

The development and pilot testing of an internet physical activity program for prostate cancer survivors.

List of web sites of organisations and newsletters which members have found useful.

August 2018
A paper in the journal Nature by Melbourne scientists describes a new class of anti-cancer drugs which in effect put cancer cells permanently to sleep without damaging any cell’s DNA.  The development of the drug is at a pre-clinical stage.

A study to help improve the understanding of what is important to patients in the care of their metastatic prostate cancer and to help make better treatments available is being run by the Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia and Community and Patient Preference Research Pty Ltd.  It involves a 20-minute on-line survey.

A University or California at San Francisco study suggests that  a healthy diet may reduce the risk of developing prostate cancer and possibly prevent or delay prostate cancer progression.

The Cancer Council of Victoria and the Victorian State government have created a set of  guides in a number of languages to help you understand what to expect during all stages of your cancer care from diagnosis, through treatment to living with cancer.

My Cancer Care Record  helps a prostate cancer patient record in one place their all test and treatment information, from every practitioner they have consulted, for future reference.

July 2018
July speaker Dr David Owen from Starpharma spoke about the use of its proprietary dendrimer polymer to deliver existing drugs used to treat prostate cancer, without the side-effects of the current delivery methods.  Promising results have been obtained with mice and it is hoped that present and future trials with humans will give similar results.

A book review by Tony Gorbaty of the book THRIVE, DON’T ONLY SURVIVE Dr Geo’s Guide to Living Your Best Life Before and After Prostate Cancer by Dr Geo Espinosa with Matthew Solan.

June 2018
Analysis of the DNA of over 1,000 prostate cancers has identified 70 significantly mutated genes not previously implicated in the disease.  These findings could lead to biomarkers predicting which patients with localised prostate cancer are at risk for developing metastatic cancer.

The Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre has trialled a promising  prostate cancer treatment using PSMA-167 which binds radioactive Lutetium-177 to prostate cencer cells, poisoning them from within without damaging other cells.   Barry Elderfield was one of 30 men involved.  A new 200-person national trial will test the therapy against standard treatments.

May speaker: Dr Katherine McGrath described a web site under development to give patients who think they may have prostate cancer more information about treatment options, and the likely costs if they choose the private treatment pathway.

May 2018
April speakers: Dr Jane Crow spoke about a GP’s approach to shared care (with specialists) in managing ADT therapy.  Dr Marie Pirotta spoke about a phase II randomised controlled trial comparing two models for post-prostate cancer treatments: lead role by specialists in hospitals, and lead role by the patient’s GP.

April 2018
Powers of Attorney and Advanced Care Plans
Book Review: Prostate Cancer, a New Approach to Treatment and Healing

March 2018
PSMA PET/CT Imaging and Theranostics
April meeting: A GP’s approach to Shared Care
June meeting: A scientist’s look at PC drugs

February 2018
Prostate cancer stages
Calendar of 2018 meetings