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Genetic Marker For Aggressive Prostate Cancer

kdawson posted more than 7 years ago | from the like-a-racehorse dept.

Biotech 36

hairygenes writes "Northwestern University researchers have found a genetic marker associated with aggressive forms of prostate cancer. Previously characterized mutations in markers at 8q24 are associated with a broader population than previously reported and with much more aggressive tumors. deCODE genetics, who originally characterized these mutations, noted a 60% increase in risk of prostate cancer, but this study finds more concrete linkage to inheritance and disease severity."

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FIST SPORT (-1, Troll)

ringbarer (545020) | more than 7 years ago | (#19205085)

Speaking about asses, how do niggers know when to stop wiping?

Re:FIST SPORT (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19205445)

You forgot to click the Anonymous box, you idiot.

And for the record, when the toilet paper come back clean, just like white idiots.

spreading the truth (3, Funny)

User 956 (568564) | more than 7 years ago | (#19205251)

Northwestern University researchers have found a genetic marker associated with aggressive forms of prostate cancer. Previously characterized mutations in markers at 8q24 are associated with a broader population than previously reported and with much more aggressive tumors.

You see, that's interesting, because I had always assumed it had some relation to markers at g04t53.

Re:spreading the truth (1)

eclectro (227083) | more than 7 years ago | (#19205571)

You see, that's interesting, because I had always assumed it had some relation to markers at g04t53

You are thinking of the marker responsible for the onset of sudden eye distress, which often causes the gene at location 09f9 to switch on and offer some relief.

Re:spreading the truth (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19213691)

You owe me a new keyboard and monitor.

Info's only good if you can do something about it (1)

syousef (465911) | more than 7 years ago | (#19205455)

...so I hope they allow health benefits to cover prostate cancer testing for those at risk, instead of using the genetic marker to class it as a pre-existing condition or to refuse to insure you.

I'm sick and tired of the medical "profession". It has a lot in common with the oldest profession.

Re:Info's only good if you can do something about (1)

Stickerboy (61554) | more than 7 years ago | (#19205803)

>I'm sick and tired of the medical "profession". It has a lot in common with the oldest profession.

Hey, what a coincidence! I'm sick and tired of people who lump nurses and doctors into the same broad category with their retarded insurance providers! They have a lot in common with people who lump everyone with a last name of "Yousef" into the same broad category with "terroristic bad-guy evildoers".

But, hey, next time you visit the ER with a life-threatening emergency, be sure to wear your T-shirt with that catchy slogan on it. We all need a good chuckle once in a while.

Re:Info's only good if you can do something about (1)

smchris (464899) | more than 7 years ago | (#19206995)

HMMMMM. Well, yes. That _is_ a noble sentiment. But, just for the sake of argument, can you tell us a little something about the history of the AMA positions on socialized medicine vs. corporatized medicine?
 

Re:Info's only good if you can do something about (0, Flamebait)

syousef (465911) | more than 7 years ago | (#19207053)

And hey I'm sick of asshole doctors with a bigger gut than me literally telling me and I quote "You look pregant". Or the 3 different doctors that fucking didn't check the contraindications on the medication they were giving and almost fritzed my fiancee's brain. She went to them having the occassional petite mal seizure, and came away on meds that cause suicidal tendancies if you come off too quickly and that were giving her 2 grand mal seizures a day at the end. Or doctors that don't know a dislocated shoulder when they see one. Or my current gem - a doctor that won't believe me about the pain I'm suffering right at the moment (even though it's a pre-existing thing from my childhood and i have no reason to lie). But hey maybe I just like spending $400 and taking days off, or the joy of being MRI'd.

So you know what, I don't give a shit if you are a doctor or a nurse or someone you know is one. The medical profession is a fucking horses ass. I'm sure there are good doctors out there, but that's despite the motherfucker of a system.

You know fucking nothing about me or the reasons I'm angry at the medical profession, so back the fuck off.

Re:Info's only good if you can do something about (1)

LurkerXXX (667952) | more than 7 years ago | (#19209227)

I know you are an ass. That's enough.

Re:Info's only good if you can do something about (1)

syousef (465911) | more than 7 years ago | (#19213759)

What are you going to do next? Poke your tongue out at me?

Child!

That's dumb (2, Insightful)

Moraelin (679338) | more than 7 years ago | (#19206021)

That's so dumb, I don't even know where to begin.

1. The doctors and nurses are the ones who treat you. None of them would refuse to treat you because of a pre-existing condition, or because your being dumb is what got you there in the first place. I've yet to hear about anyone working in the ER turning away a stroke patient because it was some pre-existing condition, or someone with a cracked skull because, hey, they shouldn't have climbed on the house in the first place.

2. Then there are the guys who have to pay for that kind of treatment. I.e., the insurances. These aren't doctors, these are MBA and accountant types. For them it doesn't matter if you live or die, for them it matters if they make money. If it doesn't make more money than the interest at the bank/investment-fund/whatever, they're going to take their money and put it there. For them it's all down to statistics. If there's a 1% chance that you'll need a $40,000 operation in the next 40 years, they'll factor that in as an extra $10 per year on your insurance. Make that $11 or $12, because they want to make a profit too. If it's a 50% chance, they might not insure you at all.

It's completely different professions, lemming.

And more importantly, it's not like that everywhere. On most of continental europe, and IIRC Canada too, the state stepped in and created a fund for everyone. Basically everyone pays for everyone else. It's not perfect, but noone ever ends up denied medical care _because_ it's known that they'll need it.

There you go, the medical profession has no problem with that kind of setup either. They just need a salary, and someone has to pay for all the machinery and equipment. If the state enforced a more fair way of paying for it, the doctors have no problem with it. In fact, I think most are for it.

Unfortunately, that won't go that easily in the USA, where a whole cult of the psychopaths is the default culture. There's a whole caste repeating to everyone that the american dream is to shaft someone on the way to the top, and that all that matters is the Holy Dollar. As Queensryche put it, "gotta make a milion, doesn't matter who dies." Caring for your fellow man is outright communistic and undermining the very fundament of the whole socierty. (Yeah, right.)

So if anyone did try to implement a fair system where everyone has access to medical care, _especially_ if it's known that they'll need it, I'm betting on an _avalanche_ of the following two responses:

1. Noooo, it's _my_ money! I'm healthy, why should I pay for all the bums with pre-existing conditions? Papa needs a car with a wing, not to subsidize all the cripples and retards. (Until they themselves discover that they do have some genetic condition that didn't become obvious until old age. The it's "why the fuck don't I get free healthcare from everyone else... and still keep all the money I saved by not paying for everyone else???")

2. Noooo, it's a communistic plot! Wtf of an anti-american and anti-capitalist idea is that to take from everyone according to their means, and give to everyone according to their needs? The free unrestricted market solves everything by itself! If that gets implemented, we're all _doomed_. All those lazy bums will stop working and live off medicare! People will stop working hard for a promotion if they get their medical needs covered anyway! The whole economy will collapse! (Never mind that it didn't collapse in, say, Germany, where exactly such a system is in place.)

Re:That's dumb (0, Flamebait)

syousef (465911) | more than 7 years ago | (#19207083)

You know nothing about what I have or haven't experienced of the medical profession. You're free and liberal with those insults, despite not even knowing what country I'm from, what the setup is here, or what treatment I've seen given by doctors. If you care, you can go look at my other replies or you can go fuck yourself. Either way I don't care. But hey when you're spending hundreds or thousands of dollars to get treated DESPITE having medical insurance and you still can't get decent care, lets see how you fucking feel about it all. Wanker.

Well, here's what I do know (1)

Moraelin (679338) | more than 7 years ago | (#19210019)

You know nothing about what I have or haven't experienced of the medical profession. You're free and liberal with those insults, despite not even knowing what country I'm from, what the setup is here, or what treatment I've seen given by doctors. If you care, you can go look at my other replies or you can go fuck yourself. Either way I don't care. But hey when you're spending hundreds or thousands of dollars to get treated DESPITE having medical insurance and you still can't get decent care, lets see how you fucking feel about it all. Wanker.


Well, here's what I do know, and I don't need more than the retarded tantrum above as proof. And if that's not enough, I can look at the other retarded tantrums you've posted in this thread alone.

But I digress. Here's what I do know: you're a fucking retard. Smooth brain. Room temperature IQ... in Celsius.

For starters, you _still_ can't comprehend the difference between doctors and the insurance accountants. When you talk about spending thousands of dollars, guess what? That's the insurance system that shafted you, not the doctors.

What _do_ you expect the doctors to do about it? Work for free and pay out of their own pocket for your care? Do _you_ do your job for free and pay the company expenses out of your own pocket? Then wtf of a right do you think you have to demand that from doctors?

In other words, when you rant and rave about the resemblance of the medical profession and prostitution: then how about _your_ job? Don't tell me you don't do it for money. Then what gives you the right to be outraged when others want to be paid for their work? _Nobody_ owes you a lollypop, and throwing spoiled-brat tantrums about it won't change that fact. You're just as big a hooker as them and as the rest of us. Now get off that high horse and learn to live in society.

I also do know, from your own retarded rants, that you're in a country where the "preexisting condition" idiocy does apply. That's all I need to know there. I don't give a fuck, and it makes no difference, whether that's USA or India or whatever. I just need to know what kind of insurance you have, and you already told me that. So throwing a retarded tantrum along the lines of "yeah, but you don't also know the colour of my underwear" is just pointless.

I also notice from the other answer of yours that you still don't understand how insurances work. When you let it rip about that rant about comunism and capitalism, you just prove that you're, simply put, too fucking stupid to understand what I'm talking about. That's not a rant, that's the whole crux of the problem. An insurance company is a company out to make money, ultimately. _That_ is why it excludes against pre-existing conditions. It's simple capitalism at work.

When they set your monthly rate to insure you against, say, fire, they look at how much they'd have to pay you _and_ the probability of that happening. It's a simple maths and statistics game. You get decent insurance if you can prove that you'll never need it, you pay through the nose if you're very likely to need it soon. The same applies to health ensurance: if they think there's a 1% chance that you'll need an expensive operation in your lifetime, you get good insurance, if they think you'll need it every year, they don't give you insurance at all.

At any rate, the _logical_ recourse there isn't to throw tantrums about the doctors, but to change that insurance system. There's no freakin' thing the doctors can do about it. If the insurance accountants don't pay, that's the end of it. WTF _do_ you expect the doctor to do there? _Someone_ has to pay. Either you lobby to change to a more fair system, or you suck it up and pay out of your own pocket. Expecting the doctors to work for free is _not_ an option.

But, more generally, I also notice is your propensity to blame your problems on others. It's the doctor's fault if he says you look like you're pregnant. (And, I see a couple of other "fat and proud of it" messages in your message history, since you've invited me to read that.) Guess what, lemming? All that fat _is_ impacting your health. Fat people get sick disproportionately more often, need treatment more often, and use more sick days. It causes all sorts of problems from heart/circulation problems, to mechanical stress due to all that weight, to you'd be surprised what. _That_ is what that doctor is trying to tell you. But nah, let's throw a tantrum against the doctor. Who does he think he is to suggest getting off your fat butt and moving a little?

How about accepting responsibility for what _you_ do to your own body? Yeah, I know, personal responsibility went out of fashion. Nowadays it's the doctor who's responsible to keep you free of the effects of your bad choices and bad lifestyle. And he should work for free at that. Geeze.

Etc.

And, heh, after all the retarded insults you've thrown all around, it's kinda rich to throw that big a tantrum at "lemming". At least have the decency to make it less blatant, if you're going to apply double standards.

Re:Well, here's what I do know (1)

syousef (465911) | more than 7 years ago | (#19213821)

What an incoherent childish rant.

Your inability to realise that both doctors and medical insurers are part of the same system bemuses me. I haven't even written enough for you to assess what I do and don't know about the industry. (Hell we haven't even narrowed it down to a country to argue about)

Your inability to make an argument without hurling insults amuses me. (Heck your inability to make an argument without using underscores around key words for emphasis is funny enough)

Your supposition that anything that happens to a person's body must be their own fault is straight out of the dark ages.

You have the people skills and demenour of a grizzly bear. You must be real fun at parties.

Re:That's dumb (1)

syousef (465911) | more than 7 years ago | (#19207091)

And some retared fool has modded you insightful. You're insightful because you're arguing that it's too hard to have a medical system that provides actual care for the ill, and rant about communism and capitalism....and _I'm_ the lemming?

Heh. So you ARE a lemming? (1)

Moraelin (679338) | more than 7 years ago | (#19209599)

And some retared fool has modded you insightful. You're insightful because you're arguing that it's too hard to have a medical system that provides actual care for the ill, and rant about communism and capitalism....and _I'm_ the lemming?


Heh. If the previous use of "lemming" was just a mild euphemism, the above tantrum above moderation earns the "lemming" title fair and square, beyond all reasonable doubt.

Why _do_ you care that much about moderation? It just says that one other person thought the same. Big deal either way. Out of millions of readers, no matter what you say, someone will think you're an asshole, someone will think you're an idiot, someone will think you're working for the global conspiracy, and someone will think it's the greatest thing ever said by a human. And someone can't read past the first paragraph. Which of them gets a mod point, is as good as a dice toss.

More importantly, the truth or falsehood of a statement don't have _anything_ to do with how popular or unpopular it is. As Carl Sagan put it, "They laughed at Columbus, they laughed at Fulton, they laughed at the Wright Brothers. But they also laughed at Bozo the Clown." Neither getting a standing ovation, not getting laughed at, proves anything about being right or wrong.

So how about worrying about the message you read, or saying what you really believe, instead of throwing tantrums about moderation? Just an idea. Worrying about who's popular and who's not... that-a-way lies groupthink and SFV (Stupid Fashion Victim) syndrome.

In other words: lemming.

Re:Heh. So you ARE a lemming? (1)

syousef (465911) | more than 7 years ago | (#19217325)

I care about moderation because it speaks volumes for the sort of people who now read and post at /. Your failure to understand the importance of this really makes me wonder what you've got between your ears. Attitudes, and "fashion" as you put it affect everyone. Take a certain operating system we keep hearing about. If it were not popular and fasionable (despite not always performing best) it wouldn't matter. People's opinions matter in any social group. You can bandy about terms like SFV and groupthink all you like, but if a group you're part of tends to do something one way, you'll soon find it very difficult to go about doing them another way. Try walking down the street naked and see how quickly other people's opinions matter as you rot in a jail cell.

Also what are you browsing at? +3? +4. If not you then others. Your argument modding doesn't matter is the argument of a village idiot. It matters you spoon. It may not matter in your parent's basement but it matters in any social group. I don't know why I'm bothering to explain this because clearly you don't get it and you're not likely to listen to me.

Clearly the subtlety of the use of the word lemming has escaped you so I'll spell it out for you. If and when you get sick (and unless you meet an untimely death it's a matter of when) you too will end up a victim of the system who's insanity you support. How ironic would it be for you to be diagnosed with a terminal or disabling illness that you can't afford to cure under the current system (or rather the one it's degenerated into after people like you have pushed false arguments about taking responsibility for yourself when the argument simply doesn't apply).

I really don't know what to make of you quoting Sagan. I'd normally call someone who quoted Sagan at least somewhat intelligent, but in your case I think you've just shown that any quote can be misused. In fact you seem to be arguing that my line of reasoning may have merit even if it's modded down. Then you call me a lemming for caring? Where did you pick up your debating skills and what exactly is your obsession with the word lemming that you keep honing in on it? Perhaps you should take one as your lover. Twit.

Idiot (1)

Moraelin (679338) | more than 7 years ago | (#19217963)

1. You amuse me. You talk about stupidity, yet you prove that _you_ are still too stupid to even understand what system I'm supporting there and what I'm not.

Here, lemme spare your little monkey brain the effort: I _don't_ support the kind of insurance you have to live with. I _do_ think that doctors have nothing to do with that insurance system.

Also, if I were to get diagnosed with just about anything, I _can_ get medical care, because I live in one of those countries where everyone pays for everyone else. That's why I was suggesting you change that system, instead of throwing a retarded rant about doctors. But I don't expect you to have enough neurons to understand that.

2. I do advocate taking responsibility, because it's retarded to _blame_ others for _your_ problems. Fine by me if you're too lazy to exercise an hour a day, which, according to your own messages, is what would take to lose some of that fat and be a lot healthier as a result. But at least fucking have the decency to also accept, at least theoretically, that it's your own fault for whatever happens as a result. Harping about how you don't adhere to the "fat and guilty" club is fucking retarded, when then you then go and rant along the lines of "fat and blaming the doctor."

Get this: primarily it's _your_ job to keep yourself fit and healthy. Just like brushing your teeth, really. If you choose to not take care of yourself, fine by me, but at least do have the decency to not blame others for it. The whole "fat and blaming the doctor for health problems" attitude is just as retarded as hearing someone go "never brushed my teeth, but I'm blaming the dentist." It's just fucking stupid.

3. About the moderation: dearie, all progress ever was made by people who said their opinion regardless of whether it was popular or not. Galileo's point of view wasn't popular, to say the least, but it happened to be right. Einstein's theory of relativity was called "bolshevism". Even the fact that you have a right to vote, instead of being a land-owners' state, has to do with some people saying the very unpopular thing at the moment: that it's about damn time it was a real democracy. Etc. The only reason we're out of the caves by now is because some people didn't care about being popular, and just said what they thought.

While SFVs (Stupid Fashion Victims) like you were always a part of the problem. At every point there was a good percentage of the population playing retarded prom-queen games. Along the lines of, "whaat? If I say I too am against the Inquisition, my neighbours will think I'm some kind of heathen too. I can't lose popularity like that. Let's join in the booing and hissing." Or "whaat? If I say I too am for universal vote, they'll think I'm some kind of malcontent who doesn't know his place. Let's boo at that idea."

And yes, that means even you _could_ be right or wrong, regardless of how others moderated you. But what you're too fucking retarded to understand is that that doesn't say I can't have my own opinion about it. That's what I was saying. And my opinion is that you're so fucking stupid, it's a miracle you can use a computer or tie your shoelaces.

4. If you don't like the mild euphemism "lemming", fine by me. By now you have more than proven, beyone all doubt, that you deserve a promotion there. I hereby dub thee "complete cretin."

Re:Idiot (1)

syousef (465911) | more than 7 years ago | (#19218681)

1. Yes how about I magically change the medical care system in my government. After all it only takes one lemming with a monkey brain.

2. How is someone responsible for a disability they're born with or for an accident or illness that befalls them through no fault of their own? Your refusal to accept that people don't have complete control for things that happen to them is just funny.

3. Stop fucking quoting scientists at me. I actually happen to have a Masters in Astronomy and did a history subject for half a year so you're trying to teach me about the history of Astronomy is just fucking precious. (No I'm not kidding more making it up...got to love irony). What you forget is that most scientists were also socially mal-adjusted...and that is the only thing you have in common with them. Galileo was fortunate not to have been excuted. Einstein is very lucky his science was possible with little more than books, a pencil and paper because he actually flunked out of early math classes and was working in a patent office. You can have any retarded brain dead opinion you like. Have fun with it, but don't try and rank your petty ideas with those who've dedicated their life to the study of science unless you want to come across as an ass. Oh wait too late.

4. Thanks for the promotion oh ruler of the universe. Your sarcasm isn't funny or witty. It's inbred.

5. You're a troll. Go away.

Re:That's dumb (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19207363)

or 3. They look up North to the great socialist paradise of Canada, and realize that no one here gets an MRI in under 6 months, and the government threatens to sue those who would provide it privately. There were a couple of mobile CRT scanners touring Ontario last year, providing scans for under 100$ (CDN). The minister of health tried to get the laws changed so as to stop them. Nowadays, citizens sue the government to obtain a right to buy private treatment.
Now there are countries that have parallel public and private systems, but the fact is the average American will look at us, since we're similar on almost every other level. They don't see a pretty picture.
Now, insuring people against genetic diseases is simple, and doesn't require socialized medicine. The government simply has to be ready to pay for treatments of such diseases, based on the idea that while you should be responsible for the way you live (becoming obese), you shouldn't be punished for getting bad genes. Plus if it's genetic, and thus verifiable using relatively simple tests, it's rather more difficult to defraud the system.

Re:Info's only good if you can do something about (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19207001)

Hey, if you don't like the free market, move to Russia, comrade!

Prostate cancer in men. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19205457)

What's sad is this is one of the few pieces of research devoted to prostate cancer, a cancer that affects way more men, than breast cancer affects women.

Yet the feminist movement has research on men's health buried, and promotes the fewer cases of breast cancer as being more important. Look at all the promotion for breast cancer research, treatment, survivor support etc, but there is no such thing for men. Where are the prostate cancer ribbon days?

Feminism has a lot to answer for.

Re:Prostate cancer in men. (1)

CFTM (513264) | more than 7 years ago | (#19211005)

Uh that's because men haven't gone out and created these grass roots organizations to make other men aware of the dangers of prostate cancer. If we got on our collective asses about it, I'm sure we could have prostate cancer walks et al. after all it is my understanding that on a long enough time line ALL men get prostate cancer.

If you're going to make a claim like "the feminist movement has research on men's health buried" please post the subsequent proof. I'm not going to take that statement on face value because frankly the feminist movement just isn't that powerful. Case and point, there is still a huge disparity between the salary of men and women doing the same job...if that's the case I doubt that the feminists can convince large government and research institutes to stop researching health issues that pertain to men in favor those that pertain to women.

Re:Prostate cancer in men. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19211515)

"Case and point, there is still a huge disparity between the salary of men and women doing the same job..."

In a word... bullshit.

In EXACTLY the same job, as in, say, flight line aircraft mechanic (where, incidentally, there are less than 10 women in the entire US who bothered getting the necessary training and who can pass the tests) they get paid EXACTLY the same rate as men.

When you get to jobs like "SE region coordinator" that the issue crops up, because, by Gawd, the "SW region coordinator" (who is male) makes 30% more. PROOF!

Except, of course, the SW region is 20% larger and has 40% more customers.

It's the old "equivalent" job scam, and you've swallowed it, HL&S.

Re:Prostate cancer in men. (1)

CFTM (513264) | more than 7 years ago | (#19211669)

First late me state that I realize the limitations of Wikipedia; it is by no means a full proof or all encompassing resource. With that being said, there seems to be a fair amount of evidence in favor of the position that a wage disparity exists between men and women. Here [wikipedia.org] is a link containing said information for the US.

Let me also state, that there is a wiki entry here [wikipedia.org] which states the following: "However, some studies, such as those done by the Independent Women's Forum, conclude that when taking into account variables when comparing male and female employment within the United States - type of job, hours worked in a week, tenure, benefits (for example maternity leave) - women make 98% of men's income. For further information, see Male-female income disparity in the USA ." So I can't say for sure...

All I know is feminists arn't nearly the movers-and-shakers that the GGP would have us believe.

Re:Prostate cancer in men. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19216245)

I totally agree with the second comment - the one saying 'so get off your butt and do something about it'. Breast cancer gets in the news and has ribbon days because the survivors and families of victims have got off their butts and done something about it.

It's not the job of the breast cancer survivors and their families to do something about prostate cancer. Or pancreatic cancer. Or brain tumours. It's the job of the people affected by the cancer.

Feminism has nothing to do with this disparity.

It will be a great advance (3, Informative)

Budenny (888916) | more than 7 years ago | (#19205911)

Most of us are probably too young for it to be a personal concern, but it certainly is one for our fathers. This will be a great advance if confirmed and widely used.

The problem is the side effects of current treatments. They are fairly dire, including impotence and incontinence as very common (and probably underreported) side effects of surgery. Because most PCs are not aggressive, the main consequence of intensive screening programs is that we detect more non-aggressive cases, we then needlessly operate, and we thus needlessly produce unpleasant side effects in thousands of men who would have died with, but not of, non-aggressive PC. But, there was no way to know.

So if you could have some way of only treating those we really need to treat, it would have major quality of life implications for a lot of men.

The other question is, what the right treatment is. This is very personal and depends on risks and attitudes to it. It seems from a review of the literature by an amateur, that the treatment which offers the best risk reward ratio is Intermitten Hormone suppression. It is going to be unpleasant, but its temporary. Its not guaranteed to work - but neither is surgery, the recurrence rate is not trivial.

Biopsy is also not either totally reliable or particularly safe in itself. You can miss the tumour, if its small, if there is one. It is also possible that when biopsy is done under general anesthetic, the anesthetic itself can produce total urinary blockage in a man with benign enlargement.

All in all this is a very messy illness and its great that some real progress in diagnosis is being made.

Two Words. (1)

pair-a-noyd (594371) | more than 7 years ago | (#19205917)

Saw Palmetto [google.com]

Re:Two Words. (1)

Zontar_Thing_From_Ve (949321) | more than 7 years ago | (#19220829)

Saw Palmetto

Here are my two words:

Different condition

As in "Saw Palmetto is used to treat prostate enlargement not prostate cancer ". They aren't the same.

Can We Get F Few Things Straight Here? (3, Informative)

vtcodger (957785) | more than 7 years ago | (#19206845)

Scanning through the comments already posted, I see some of the usual strengths and weaknesses of Slashdot postings. the weaknesses being mostly the Post_Fast_Or_No_One_Will_Read_It syndrome.

  • This article is about AGRESSIVE prostate cancer which is relatively rare.

  • Ordinary prostate cancer is very common and often proceeds so slowly that it is often left untreated in older patients. It is often said that men die WITH prostate cancer, not OF prostate cancer. True of the general population. Not true of those with the agressive form.

  • There is a perfectly OK and inexpensive blood test for prostate cancer that is generally covered by insurance. It's biggest deficiency is a large number of false positives.

  • There are three treatments for prostate cancer -- Surgery which can cause impotence and other nasty problems. Chemical therapy which is tough on the body. (X)Radiation which leads to some temporary discomfort but is not otherwise even especially unpleasant.

  • Hormone (Testosterone) supression is also used as a therapy, generally in conjunction with chemotherapy and radiation. The idea is that the therapy weakens the cancer cells and the lack of Testosterone finishes them off.

  • The principle utility of this discovery -- if it leads to a test -- is that it will help in screening patients who need immediate treatment for their prostate cancer from those where it is reasonable to wait and see how fast the cancer progresses. That's important because a large number of elderly men have prostate cancer (50% is a common estimate) and there aren't close to enough resources to treat them all. Nor, probably, is there any need to do so.

How is it useful? (1)

nbauman (624611) | more than 7 years ago | (#19208057)

The principle utility of this discovery -- if it leads to a test -- is that it will help in screening patients who need immediate treatment for their prostate cancer from those where it is reasonable to wait and see how fast the cancer progresses. That's important because a large number of elderly men have prostate cancer (50% is a common estimate) and there aren't close to enough resources to treat them all. Nor, probably, is there any need to do so.

I went to a prostate cancer research conference, and over lunch, I asked one of the investigators, "You're working on this gene that only affects 5% of men with prostate cancer. What good is that? How does that help the other 95%?"

He said, when we find that gene that causes prostate cancer in 5% of the men, we can go back and find the protein that the gene produces, and find all the other proteins that it interacts with. It often turns out that the other 95% of cancers involve defects in the other proteins it interacts with.

Then, he said, we can figure out the chain of events, and figure out a way to interrupt that chain.

In order for a prostate cell to become cancerous, several of those proteins have to get disrupted -- first the cells go through uncontrolled growth, then the orderly organization of the cells in the tissue becomes disrupted, then they leave the tissue to move to other parts of the body, then they find someplace else in the body where they can survive, then they start reproducing and forming metastases in that other place in the body. (Prostate cancer cells often wind up in the bone, because there are growth factors there that keep them going.)

Once they figure out those cancer pathways, he told me, they can try to find a way to block one of them. If you can do that, you can stop the cancer.

The big home run in cancer treatment was imatinib (Gleevec). They found one critical step in the uncontrolled growth of white blood cells in chronic myelocytic leukemia, which used to have a survival of about 5-8 years. Imatinib http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Imatinib [wikipedia.org] controls the growth of those cells and extends survival substantially. (Sorry I don't have the numbers handy.) I have a friend in her 30s who is alive today because of imatinib.

Another valuable use of these genetic tests is to tell you whether the cancer really is an aggressive cancer that you have to worry about, or whether it's one of the cancers that will just grow slowly and harmlessly for the rest of your life, because it didn't go through all those other steps.

The recent diagnostic success story is chronic lymphocytic leukemia. CLL usually affects men in their 60s, and is usually found when they go to a doctor for a routine physical and get a routine blood test. There are two types of CLL: one has a survival of 6-8 years. The other has a median survival of 22 years. They can now tell patients which ones they have with a genetic or protein marker test. If you're 65 years old, there's a big difference between knowing you have 6-8 years to live and knowing that you have 22 years to live.

Same with prostate cancer. As you said, most prostate cancers will grow so slowly that (especially if you're 65) they won't cause any symptoms during your lifetime. If only we knew which ones they were. Now you get a PSA test, a biopsy, and a recommendation for surgery if under the microscope the orderly organization of the cells is disrupted. If these scientists can find genes that can tell the difference between aggressive prostate cancers and the ones that are harmless, then we'll know which of those disrupted-looking biopsies will go on to the next step of invasive cancer, and which will remain harmless, and most of that surgery will be unnecessary.

The 11 May Science magazine just had an article on genetic research in prostate cancer and other diseases (subscription only, sorry). You Republican voters may not like to hear this, but one scientist said, "Yes, when you cut taxes and create a deficit and spend hundreds of billions of dollars on an unpopular war, it leaves you with precious little to spend on anything else."

Re:Can We Get F Few Things Straight Here? (1)

Budenny (888916) | more than 7 years ago | (#19209497)

The issue with hormone suppression is that it works for a while only. What happens is, the cancer grows in the presence of androgen, which it requires. You shut off androgen (it used to be done in the past either by surgical castration or by giving estrogen), and it stops growing and shrinks. The psa level then falls. You might think great. Unpleasant, but you live.

Wrong. After some period of time it becomes hormone refractory. That is, it accommodates to the absence of androgen and resumes its growth. PSA rises again. This, under the previous regime, was basically a death sentence. When this happened, the next stage was metastizing to the bones and a very painful end. It was the reason why hormone suppression was the treatment of last resort and was used after a recurrence following surgery. Surgery has unpleasant side effects too, but in effect, hormone treatment was being saved to the last moment, so as not to exhaust it until you really needed it.

However, it is alleged, and I have never had this or known anyone who has, that if the hormone suppression is done with drugs, it can be stopped when PSA levels rise in the absence of hormones. At that point, androgen production resumes, and the cancer, having adapted to the absence of androgen, is now suppressed by its presence. Supposedly at that point PSA levels fall again. You then wait unti they rise, and go back on the hormone suppressants. You can see why this is much better than surgical castration, if the argument is valid. Castration eliminates one source of hormones permanently. What you want to do is eliminate two sources temporarily. To explain.

There are two sources of androgen, the testes and the pituitary. The last time I looked, the advocates of this treatment believed in a combination of the two drug classes which suppress each source of the hormones, forget which they are - one is zoladex, and also to use finasteride (or there's a more recent version of this which is said to be more effective). The combination of the three is said to totally interrupt the hormonal supply which nourishes the cancer, and to be more efficacious in suppressing it. You do this for around a year. The period mentioned was some months after PSA levels fall to zero. But not too long. This results in temporary total suppression, rather than permanent partial.

If you want to know more about this, research Lupron, Flutamide, Casodex and Zoladex and Finasteride. Estradiol has also been suggested via skin patches as having less side effects than the earlier methods of direct administration of estrogen.

Its a mess. And part of the problem is, most people on slashdot will probably find themselves, as amateurs, researching this for a relative who is older, fragile, and made very upset by having to deal with the condition. Not the easiest of people to do this sort of research for, and you'll be hampered by not doing the research for yourself. I might happily bet my own life on my judgment and research, but I understand very well why my older relative might look at this rather geeky young fellow and ask what the hell does he know?

Gattaca anyone? (1)

Omega45889 (1041896) | more than 7 years ago | (#19206911)

Yet another step towards a Gattaca future.

word! (1)

koduck (1096345) | more than 7 years ago | (#19207203)

Northwestern University researchers have found a genetic marker associated with aggressive forms of prostate cancer. Previously characterized mutations in markers at 8q24

Mutations Markers at 8q24? Mutations all right!
My Highlighter Markers only comes at a00ffff (Aqua) , 00ff00 (Light Green) and ffff33 (Yellow).

Finally! (1)

Cola Junkee (255516) | more than 7 years ago | (#19209323)

It's good to see that prostate examinations are finally going digital!

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