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2019 Newsletters

April 2019
Tribute to Patrick Woodlock and an appreciation of his enormous contribution to Prostate Heidelberg.

A study of over 14,000 prostate cancer patients in Taiwan showed a significant decrease in the risk of autoimmune diseases amongst those having Androgen Deprivation Therapy (ADT) when compared to those not having ADT treatment.

A survey of 1,800 men diagnosed with prostate cancer between 2004 and 2009 in Louisiana and North Carolina found that higher saturated fat intake such as fatty beef and cheese was linked to increased prostate cancer aggressiveness at diagnosis, and that higher levels of polyunstaurated fats in fish and nuts were linked to lower levels of prostate cancer aggressiveness.

A survey of a volunteer sample of 150 Canadian prostate cancer medical specialists found that  Prostate Cancer Support Groups (PCSGs) were positively valued, particularly for information sharing, education and psychosocial support.  Face-to-face groups PCSGs  were highly valued, but some concerns were expressed about the ability of web-based PCSGsto effectively engage and educate men who experience prostate cancer.

Be aware that there are some things which can artificially raise or lower PSA measurements; a few can be avoided and the others should be mentioned to your doctor.

Men with prostate cancer can experience significant anxiety and depression, but are less likely than women to seek help for them.  Clinicians need to understand the reasons and encourage intervention options which are helpful, may lead to better quality of life and improved medical outcomes.

Newly diagnosed prostate cases at the Austin are being discussed by a multi-disciplinary team before treatment begins, and the process has become standard practice.  Team members, including the radiation oncology and nursing staff are very satisfied with the process.

March 2019
Summary of Michelle Wells’ talk on Advance Care Directives, which have been introduced into Victoria to specify what sorts of treatment you do and don’t want, and who can make treatment decisions for you if you are unable to do so.  It is something we should all set up in advance because we can’t do it to when the need arises.

Why be part of a support group?  Max Answers the question.

A machine-learning framework being developed at the University of Southern California, which hopefully identifies treatment options  for prostate cancer, based on MRI scans.

Barry Elderfield describes trials of treatment using Lutetium-177 PSMA which is targets only cancer cells and causes very little damage to other body cells.  One trial will apply to men whose cancer has spread outside the prostate, and another will target men with aggressive cancer which has not yet spread.  Another trial for men whose cancer does not have the PSMA target, using an immune therapy called CAR T cells to target another protein called Lewis-Y.

February 2019
Max Shub OAM award.

February meeting speaker: Michelle Wells from Advance Care Planning Australia.

Clinical trial of the combination of a noninvasive, high precision radiotherapy technique SABR, with a monoclonal antibody Avelumab which works against a protein called PD1 on the surface of cancer cells.  You may be eligible if you have been diagnosed with metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer, and have a predicted life expactancy of at least 6 months.

A laboratory study designed antibodies which blocked fatty acids from entering cancer cells and reduced their growth by 90%.  The ultimate goal is to combine this fatty acid therapy with existing treatments such as chemotherapy and radiotherapy at lower doses, to kill the cancer and reduce side effects.