Harvard Prostate Knowledge


Posts by Harvard Prostate Knowledge

Robot-assisted prostate surgery no better than standard operation

Thanks in part to advertising, many men with prostate cancer believe that they’ll get better results with robot-assisted prostate surgery than with more traditional open surgery. The latest study doesn’t bear that out.

Achieving orgasm after radical prostatectomy

Radical prostatectomy changes the experience of orgasm. But it doesn’t need to be any less pleasurable or satisfying, says Dr. Ravi Kacker, a urologist and fellow in male sexual medicine at Harvard-affiliated Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.

Researchers identify possible cause of castration-resistant prostate cancer

New research has has identified an enzyme that may be the escape hatch that advanced prostate cancer uses to evade hormone therapy. If the findings hold up, the enzyme might be a prime target for a drug that would treat castration-resistant prostate cancer.

Diabetes drug showing promise for prostate cancer treatment

Metformin—the drug that millions of people with diabetes take to control their blood sugar—may be on the brink of a second career. Evidence from a variety of studies suggests that metformin may delay or slow the progression of prostate cancer. Metformin does not, however, appear to prevent the development of prostate cancer in the first place.

High intake of omega-3 fats linked to increased prostate cancer risk

The omega-3 fats in fish have been linked to all sorts of health benefits, including protection against prostate cancer. But for the second time in two years, researchers have found a link between high levels of omega-3 fats in the blood and prostate cancer. Researchers at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center in Seattle men with high levels of omega-3 fats were 43% more likely to have been diagnosed with prostate cancer than men with low levels. The finding were published online in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

New treatment option for prostate cancer that has spread to the bones

The radioactive element radium has been used to treat cancer since soon after its discovery in 1898 by Marie Curie and her husband, Pierre. And it’s still finding new uses—a recently approved form of radium, radium-223 (Xofigo), is now being used to treat prostate cancer that has spread to the bones. Researchers say that Xofigo addresses “an unmet need” in men with this type of prostate cancer, since current therapies don’t work very well against it.

Denosumab delays bone metastases in prostate cancer trial

Most men with advanced prostate cancer are at high risk for developing bone metastases, the process by which cancer spreads to and weakens the bones. A serious health and financial concern, bone metastases can lead to fractures, spinal cord compression, pain and a need for radiation therapy or bone surgery. These complications are referred to […]

Vitamin E may indeed increase the risk of prostate cancer

It was once thought that taking vitamin E could reduce the risk of prostate cancer. However, recent research suggests this is not the case. Back in 2008 one large study, known as the Selenium and Vitamin E Cancer Prevention Trial (SELECT), showed that not only did vitamin E fail to decrease the risk of prostate […]

Harvard experts weigh in on PSA test debate

For the first time, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommends that healthy men avoid getting regular prostate cancer screening tests.  The new recommendation, which conflicts with existing recommendations from the American Urological Association, has sparked controversy among experts and confusion among patients. Harvard’s Ann MacDonald, Editor of the Annual Report on Prostate Diseases, offers […]

Saw palmetto fails to relieve BPH symptoms in new Harvard study

A new study published in The Journal of the American Medical Association finds that saw palmetto, a fruit extract commonly taken to treat urinary tract symptoms caused by an enlarged prostate (technically termed benign prostatic hyperplasia, or BPH), is no more effective in relieving symptoms than placebo, even at high doses. The federally funded study […]