Thursday, 25 June 2009

Prostate cancer (update)

Two men with advanced and inoperable prostate cancer have recovered after being treated with an experimental antibody drug, announcement in America by the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota.

"We were all pretty shocked,” says Dr. Eugene Kwon, an immunologist and urologist at Mayo and leader of the clinical trial in which the experimental therapy was being used. “These results were far beyond anything we ever envisioned.”

The treatment worked well and they went on to have surgery. This is promising - but it is important to remember these two men did also have hormone treatment.

The drug is called Ipilimumab, which is hard enough to pronounce, but seems to be working so far.

Monoclonal antibodies are designed to recognise and find specific abnormal proteins on cancer cells. Each monoclonal antibody recognises one particular protein. Different types of cancer have different abnormal proteins. So different antibodies have to be made to target different types of cancer.

First report on ethnicity and cancer published

National Cancer Intelligence Network Press Release

The National Cancer Intelligence Network (NCIN) and Cancer Research UK has today (Thursday) published the first report on cancer incidence and ethnicity.

According to the report, black people were nearly twice as likely as white people to get stomach cancer.

And black men were up to three times more likely than white men to get prostate cancer.

The report will help to shape policy on targeting relevant public health messages to the ethnic communities around the signs and symptoms of cancer

Prostate cancer at a glance

The prostate is a small gland, about the size of a walnut, found only in men. It lies at the base of the bladder and surrounds the urethra, the tube that carries urine out of the body.Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men in the UK, with more than 34,000 cases diagnosed every year.

A man’s risk of getting prostate cancer increases with age. The cancer is rare in men under 50 but by the age of 80, more than half of all men have cancerous changes in their prostate. But prostate cancer often grows very slowly, meaning that many men may never know they have the disease and will die of unrelated causes.

Having one or more close relatives with prostate cancer increases the risk. And West African men and black men from the Carribean have an increased risk of prostate cancer.


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