Facts About Prostate Cancer – Research Paper Outline Rough Draft

Facts About Prostate Cancer – Research Paper Outline Rough Draft
Background Information
– Second most common type of cancer in American men(400 000 men will die this year)
– Most people not die from it but with it
– Prostate is gland the size of an egg sandwiched between the bladder and rectum, protected by capsule(thin covering)
– Produces sperm
– 96% of cases are of men who are over the age of 55
Cancer Information
– Cause unknown
– Survival rate has increased drastically in the last 20 years, from 67% to 92%

– Growth of cancer cells is stimulated by male hormones, especially testosterone
– Begins when one or more normal cells transform into cancer cells
– Tends to grow slowly
– Stage 1(a.k.a. Stage A or T1)
– Tumour in prostate only, can’t be felt by DRE
– Stage 2(a.k.a. Stage B or T2)
– Still in Prostate, can be felt by DRE
– Stage 3(a.k.a. Stage C or T3)
– Tumour spreads to immediate surrounding tissue
– Stage 4(a.k.a. Stage D2 or M1)
– Tumour spreads to other parts of the body

– Early cancer usually has no symptoms
– Can resemble BPH (Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia), which can be confusing
– Non-cancerous enlargement is common in men over 40
– Some symptoms include:
– Blood in urine/semen
– Frequent urination or inability to urinate
– Pain during urination/ejaculation
– Bone pain

– DRE (Digital Rectal Examination)
– Doctor inserts gloved and lubricated hand into rectum to feel shape and size of prostate
– Not entire prostate felt, but enough to determine tumours
– PSA (Prostate Specific Antigen)
– PSA produced by both cancerous and normal cells, but only prostate cells produce them
– When cancer develops and grows, PSA level usually increases
– Biopsy
– Only way to actually diagnose cancer
– Small tissue of prostate obtained and examined

Treatment Options/ Recent Findings
– Treatment usually depends on the stage of cancer and its growth speed
– Radiation Therapy
– High energy rays used to kill prostate cancer cells, shrink tumours
– Uses sophisticated computer programs and 3-D images to accurately target the tumour(s)
– Conformal Proton Beam Radiation Therapy
? Newer form of radiation therapy
? Uses protons instead of energy rays
? A number of side effects that usually disappear when therapy is over
– Hormone Therapy
– Try and decrease production of male hormones or block effect on cancer cells
– Cannot cure cancer, but used to slow growth and reduce size of tumours
– Options include surgical removal of testes, and antiandrogens – drugs that prevent production of male hormones
– Estrogen Therapy
? Administration of estrogen that lowers production of testosterone
– LH-RH Therapy
? Leutenizing Hormone-Releasing Hormone that lowers levels testosterone
– Radical Prostatectory
– Surgical removal of prostate
– New nerve-sparing techniques have reduced side effects
? Lymph nodes that are sometimes removed are left alone if possible, using new techniques
– Brachytherapy
– Form of radiation treatment where tiny pellets containing radioactive material are implanted into the prostate, where they kill cancer cells
– Exact ultrasound guidance helps the implant
– ProstRcision
– Excision of prostate by irradiation
– Similar to radical prostatectory in concept, but no cutting involved
– Part 1: seeds implanted into prostate that carry radioactive material to treat cells by radiation
– Part 2: conformal beam radiation irradiates around the prostate
– Cyrosurgery
– Treats localized cancer by freezing/destroying prostate
– New interest in this technique due to improvements in technology
– Freezing process may damage nerves, as temperatures can drop to -195? C
– Chemotherapy
– Use of strong drugs to destroy cancer cells
– Drugs destroy any cells that divide rapidly
– Can affect normal body cells

– Firefly glow
– Scientists succeeded in tracking spread of prostate cancer in mice by using firefly proteins to light up tumours
– Virus-vector developed to target cancer cells based on expression of PSA
– Contain firefly genes that produce glowing protein in presence of PSA
– In mice, cancer cells glowed
– Using this vector, toxic genes could be delivered to cancer cells, but problems still need to be solved for human testing
– New Genetic Marker
– New test for diagnosing cancer, as PSA testing is still largely unreliable
– Researchers identified 20 genes that are overexpressed in cancer cells
– Roughly 95% of more than 300 prostate tissue samples contained a specific protein ( a-methyl-CoA racemase : AMACR)
– AMACR may be a useful addition to current diagnosing tools
– Also found AMACR in breast, bladder and lung cancer, suggesting that AMACR could be used in diagnosing those types of cancer