Intense and targeted radiotherapy could slow progression of certain prostate cancers

A new study has identified that highly targeted and strong doses of a type of radiotherapy called stereotactic ablative radiation (SABR) could slow disease progression among a subgroup of men who have hormone-sensitive prostate cancer that has only spread to a few other parts of the body.

radiotherapyImage Credits: Thomas Hecker /

The findings are based on the primary outcomes of a phase II randomized clinical trial called ORIOLE. The study, which began in 2016 and was led by researchers at Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center, compared the effectiveness of the “wait and watch” approach with SABR treatment among men with recurring oligometastatic prostate cancer.

NCCN publishes recommendations for assessing quality improvements in cancer care

The National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) has published a curated list of high-impact measures for assessing quality improvements in cancer care. The recommendations reflect a landscape analysis from leading oncology experts; they evaluate measures that, if implemented, will move the needle on cancer care standards in America, with potential implications for policy and coverage. The article, Quality Measurement in Cancer Care: A Review and Endorsement of High-Impact Measures and Concepts, is available via open access in the March 2020 issue of JNCCN–Journal of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network.

The NCCN Quality and Outcomes Committee was first founded in 2016 in order to develop quality and outcome measures in oncology that are:

Hormone blocker shocker: Drug costs 8 times more when used for kids

Dr. Sudeep Taksali, an orthopedic surgeon, became worried that his 8-year-old daughter had already grown taller than his 12-year-old son. And sometimes she had an attitude more befitting a teenager. Something seemed wrong.

Taksali and his wife, Sara, realized their daughter had grown 7 inches in two years and was showing signs of puberty. They took her to the doctor, who referred her to a pediatric endocrinologist for a work-up.

Eventually, their daughter was diagnosed with central precocious puberty. It’s a rare condition that meant she would go through sexual development years earlier than her peers and would likely stop growing prematurely, too.

New understanding of neurovascular coupling

A new study published in the journal Nature in February 2020 reports the discovery of a control mechanism in mouse brains, which makes it possible to sensitively regulate the flow of blood to different areas of the brain, to supply enough to more active areas.

The brain is among the highest consumers of blood in the human body. In fact, an adult human brain requires about 20% of the energy output of the whole body. However, it is exquisitely dependent on the rest of the body for the energy it needs each moment because it has zero reserve and zero stores. Thus, the cardiovascular system needs to supply the required nutrition every moment.

ED drug labels should inform patients about plant-based diet’s ability to fight disease

Package labels for Viagra, Cialis, and other erectile dysfunction (ED) drugs should inform patients that ED is a sign of potentially fatal artery disease, according to a petition the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine filed with the Food and Drug Administration on Feb. 10. Between 18 and 30 million men in the United States have ED.

The petition, filed during American Heart Month, recommends the following wording: “Erectile dysfunction is caused by artery disease, a condition that this drug will not improve. Artery disease can lead to heart attacks, strokes, and early death. A plant-based diet, moderate exercise, stress management, and lack of smoking can, in combination, improve and often reverse artery disease.”

Viagra may cause long lasting visual disturbances finds study

In a new study scientists have reported that Sildenafil or Viagra pills used for erectile dysfunction could lead to longer lasting visual disturbances than known before. The study titled, “Ocular Side Effects of Sildenafil That Persist Beyond 24 h—A Case Series,” was published in the latest issue of the journal Frontiers in Neurology.

Image Credit: PaulSat / Shutterstock

Image Credit: PaulSat / Shutterstock

Drug to improve fetal growth may increase blood pressure and blood sugar levels in offspring

Research suggests that a drug recently assessed as a potential treatment for fetal growth restriction may cause high blood pressure and raise blood sugar levels in offspring. The study, which urges practitioners to consider both short- and long-term effects when treating people with this pregnancy complication, is published in the American Journal of Physiology-;Heart and Circulatory Physiology. It was chosen as an APSselect article for February.

Fetal (intrauterine) growth restriction is a condition in which an unborn baby is not growing to its full potential in the womb. Babies with fetal growth restriction have a lower-than-average birth weight and much higher risk of being stillborn. The condition is difficult to treat, in part because many medications carry the potential risk of damage to the fetus.

Prostate cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in England

Prostate cancer has become the most commonly diagnosed cancer in England, according to the newest data from Public Health England.

In the health agency’s report, there were 49,029 diagnoses made in 2018, which is about 8,000 more than the previous year, surpassing breast cancer with 47,476 cases. Lung cancer followed with 38,996 cases. The new data reveals that there were more cancers detected in 2018 in men than in women, with a total of 15,228 cases and 151,452, respectively.

Overall, there were 868 new diagnoses of invasive cancer every day in 2018, with a total of 316,680 new diagnoses.

Study examines prostate cancer treatment decisions

A five-year follow-up study of more than 2,000 US men who received prostate cancer treatment is creating a road map for future patients regarding long-term bowel, bladder and sexual function in order to clarify expectations and enable men to make informed choices about care.
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