Treatments

Common hormonal treatments linked to abnormal heart rhythms and sudden death in men being treated for prostate cancer

Charlie Schmidt

Editor, Harvard Medical School Annual Report on Prostate Diseases

Treatments for advanced prostate cancer that suppress testosterone, a hormone (also called an androgen) that drives the malignant cells to grow and spread, are collectively referred to as androgen deprivation therapies, or ADT. These therapies can significantly extend lifespans in men who have the disease, but they also have a range of challenging side effects. […]

African American men respond better to treatments for advanced prostate cancer in clinical trials

Charlie Schmidt

Editor, Harvard Medical School Annual Report on Prostate Diseases

Racial differences have long been evident in prostate cancer statistics. In particular, African American men are diagnosed with prostate cancer more often than white men, and they’re also nearly twice as likely to die of the disease. But new research also shows that African American men who receive the most advanced treatments for late-stage prostate […]

Cancer treatment: Is a clinical trial right for you?

Some people undergoing cancer treatment may be eligible to participate in a clinical trial of a new drug or therapy. These trials help determine whether a new approach is more effective than standard treatment.

Diet and exercise limit heart disease risk in men undergoing hormonal treatments for advanced prostate cancer

Charlie Schmidt

Editor, Harvard Medical School Annual Report on Prostate Diseases

Men with advanced prostate cancer are typically treated with drugs that prevent the body from making or using testosterone. A hormone (or an androgen, as it’s known), testosterone drives prostate cancer cells to grow faster, so shutting it down is essential to keeping the illness in check. About 600,000 men with advanced prostate cancer in […]

Hormonal therapy for aggressive prostate cancer: How long is enough?

Charlie Schmidt

Editor, Harvard Medical School Annual Report on Prostate Diseases

Men weighing treatment options for intermediate- or high-risk cancer that is still localized to the prostate can face a tricky question. A standard approach in these cases is to give radiation to the prostate along with drugs that block testosterone, a hormone that makes the cancer cells grow faster. For how long should this hormone […]

A new option for immunotherapy in metastatic prostate cancer

Charlie Schmidt

Editor, Harvard Medical School Annual Report on Prostate Diseases

Dividing cells face daunting challenges when replicating the billions of letters of DNA in their genomes. For instance, DNA letters in new cells can get mixed up, and then the affected genes don’t function correctly. To fix that problem, healthy cells can deploy so-called mismatch repair (MMR) genes that put scrambled DNA letters back in […]

New blood test guides researchers toward the best treatment for aggressive prostate cancer

Charlie Schmidt

Editor, Harvard Medical School Annual Report on Prostate Diseases

Tumors that spread, or metastasize, in the body shed cells into blood that doctors can scrutinize for insights into what a patient’s cancer might do. Analyzing these so-called circulating tumor cells (CTCs) isn’t part of routine care yet, in part because they’re so hard to pick out of the millions of normal cells in a […]

A mix of treatments may extend life for men with aggressive prostate cancer

Charlie Schmidt

Editor, Harvard Medical School Annual Report on Prostate Diseases

For men diagnosed with aggressive cancer that’s confined to the prostate and nearby tissues, the overarching goal of treatment is to keep the disease from spreading (or metastasizing) in the body. Doctors can treat these men with localized therapies, such as surgery and different types of radiation that target the prostate directly. And they can […]

FDA approves new drug for men at high risk of prostate cancer spread

Charlie Schmidt

Editor, Harvard Medical School Annual Report on Prostate Diseases

A newly approved drug called apalutamide is giving hope to thousands of men confronting a tenacious problem after being treated for prostate cancer. Prostate-specific antigen (PSA) levels should plummet to zero after surgery, and to near zero after radiation therapy, but in some men, they continue rising even when there’s no other evidence of cancer […]

Newer drugs are improving survival for men with metastatic prostate cancer

Charlie Schmidt

Editor, Harvard Medical School Annual Report on Prostate Diseases

Men with prostate cancer that has spread outside the gland now have several newer drug options available for treatment, and research has found that taking any of them is likely to improve survival duration.