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Latest research

Every month we collate a selection of the latest clinically-relevant research to help you keep up to date with the most important developments in the field of prostate cancer.

Articles have been selected based on impact factor of the journal, relevance to UK clinical practice and general interest. You may be able to access the full text from your Trust's library service or via ATHENS registration. Information from PubMed explains other ways to access full text articles. 

Research round up from the clinic - top four articles from the last month:

  1. Can having sex with lots of women reduce your risk of prostate cancer?
  2. Gene linked to prostatic inflammation
  3. Copper as a target for prostate cancer therapeutics
  4. Is androgen deprivation therapy associated with cardiac specific mortality? 

See below for more articles of interest published online in the last month (October and November 2014).


In-depth research round up from the clinic

1. Can having sex with lots of women reduce your risk of prostate cancer?

Research by Spence et al. examined the association between sexual partners, sexually transmitted disease and prostate cancer risk. The study included more than 1,500 men diagnosed with prostate cancer and a matched group of men without prostate cancer. The study results suggested never having sexual intercourse was not associated with a difference in risk of prostate cancer overall. In addition there was no association found between STIs and prostate cancer. A behind the headlines piece by Prostate Cancer UK can be found here.

2. Gene linked to prostatic inflammation

Lambert et al. examined the relationship between genes expressed in prostate (growth differentiation factor-15 (GDF-15)) and prostatic inflammation. This early research used sophisticated computer analysis, and showed that inflamed areas of the prostate had low amounts of this gene. Some media reports this month had picked up this study and linked it with previous work - suggesting that vitamin D could reduce cancer. However, the study by Lamber et al. published this month doesn’t show that vitamin D would increase the amount of that gene in the prostate, or that more of that gene would stop the inflammation. Much more research is needed before associations with vitamin D and prostatic inflammation can be made.

3. Copper as a target for prostate cancer therapeutics

A recent study on animals, by Safi et al., aimed to identify compounds whose cytotoxic actions were dependent on adequate copper. The group from Duke University in America, demonstrated that delivering copper, along with disulfiram, targets and eradicates copper-laden prostate cancer cells, while leaving non-cancer cells intact. They injected the supplement copper chloride into mice with advanced prostate cancer, the tumour cells engorged themselves with the mineral and, in turn, the disulfiram appeared to have the copper fuel it needed to work and resulted in reductions in prostate tumour growth in the animals. The authors concluded dithiocarbamate/copper complexes may be effective for the treatment of patients with prostate cancer whose disease is resistant to classical androgen ablation therapies, however human clinical trials will be needed to confirm clinical efficacy

4. Is androgen deprivation therapy associated with cardiac specific mortality?

A retrospective cohort study, by Ziehr and colleagues, of more than 5000 men with prostate cancer examined the association between receipt of androgen deprivation therapy (ADT) and cardiac-specific mortality (CSM). When stratified by coronary artery disease comorbidity, the results of the study did not demonstrate a detectable association between treatment with ADT and increased risk of CSM for men with no coronary artery disease risk factors. However, receipt of neoadjuvant ADT was associated with significantly elevated risk of CSM among men with coronary artery disease-induced chronic heart failure (CHF) or heart attack (myocardial infarction). Dr Iain Frame, Director of Research at Prostate Cancer UK said: “We welcome research which looks at taking other diseases, such as heart disease and Type 2 diabetes, in to account when considering prostate cancer treatments. However although this study suggests a potential link between ADT hormone therapy and increased risk of death in men with an existing heart problem, it does show that the risks are in fact relatively small and that the benefits of taking this form of treatment outweigh any possible harmful effects. We would not wish to see men currently on this form of therapy stop their treatment as a result of these findings. If anyone is concerned about the results of this study they should discuss it with their healthcare team or call our confidential helpline.”


Advanced Disease

Mapping FACT-P to EQ-5D in a large cross-sectional study of metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer patients.

Diels J, Hamberg P, Ford D, Price PW, Spencer M, Dass RN.

Qual Life Res Int J Qual Life Asp Treat Care Rehabil. 2014

A Phase 2 Trial of Abiraterone Acetate in Japanese Men with Metastatic Castration-resistant Prostate Cancer and without Prior Chemotherapy (JPN-201 Study).

Matsubara N, Uemura H, Satoh T, Suzuki H, Nishiyama T, Uemura H, et al.

Jpn J Clin Oncol. 2014



Sexual partners, sexually transmitted infections, and prostate cancer risk.

Spence AR, Rousseau M-C, Parent M-É.

Cancer Epidemiol. 2014

The association between race and treatment regret among men with recurrent prostate cancer.

Mahal BA, Chen M-H, Bennett CL, Kattan MW, Sartor O, Stein K, et al.

Prostate Cancer Prostatic Dis. 2014

Cigarette smoking during external beam radiation therapy for prostate cancer is associated with an increased risk of prostate cancer-specific mortality and treatment-related toxicity.

Steinberger E, Kollmeier M, McBride S, Novak C, Pei X, Zelefsky MJ.

BJU Int. 2014



Effect of Tadalafil on Male Lower Urinary Tract Symptoms: An Integrated Analysis of Storage and Voiding International Prostate Symptom Subscores from Four Randomised Controlled Trials.

Chapple CR, Roehrborn CG, McVary K, Ilo D, Henneges C, Viktrup L.

Eur Urol. 2014

General effect of low-dose tamsulosin (0.2 mg) as a first-line treatment for lower urinary tract symptoms associated with benign prostatic hyperplasia: a systematic review and meta-analysis.

Shim SR, Kim JH, Choi H, Lee WJ, Kim HJ, Bae MY, et al.

Curr Med Res Opin. 2014;1–36.



Manually controlled targeted prostate biopsy with real-time fusion imaging of multiparametric magnetic resonance imaging and transrectal ultrasound: An early experience.

Shoji S, Hiraiwa S, Endo J, Hashida K, Tomonaga T, Nakano M, et al.

Int J Urol. 2014


Diet/Supplements/Herbal Medicine

Dietary tomato and lycopene impact androgen signaling- and carcinogenesis-related gene expression during early TRAMP prostate carcinogenesis.

Wan L, Tan H-L, Thomas-Ahner J, Pearl DK, Erdman JW, Moran NE, et al.

Cancer Prev Res Phila Pa. 2014



Reduced expression of GDF-15 is associated with atrophic inflammatory lesions of the prostate.

Lambert JR, Whitson RJ, Iczkowski KA, La Rosa FG, Smith ML, Wilson RS, et al.

The Prostate. 2014

Fathering of dizygotic twins and risk of prostate cancer: nationwide, population-based case-control study.

Wirén S, Drevin L, Akre O, Robinson D, Stattin P.

PloS One. 2014;9(10):e110506.



Nomogram Predicting Prostate Cancer-specific Mortality for Men with Biochemical Recurrence After Radical Prostatectomy.

Brockman JA, Alanee S, Vickers AJ, Scardino PT, Wood DP, Kibel AS, et al.

Eur Urol. 2014


Old Age

Efficacy and toxicity of abiraterone and docetaxel in octogenarians with metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer.

Leibowitz-Amit R, Templeton AJ, Alibhai SM, Knox JJ, Sridhar SS, Tannock IF, et al.

J Geriatr Oncol. 2014



Comparison of patients undergoing laser vaporization of the prostate versus TURP using the ACS-NSQIP database.

Malik RD, Wang CE, Lapin B, Gerber GS, Helfand BT.

Prostate Cancer Prostatic Dis. 2014

The impact of fellowship training on pathological outcomes following radical prostatectomy: a population based analysis.

Nayak JG, Drachenberg DE, Mau E, Suderman D, Bucher O, Lambert P, et al.

BMC Urol. 2014 Oct;14(1):82.

The association between nerve sparing and a positive surgical margin during radical prostatectomy.

Preston MA, Breau RH, Lantz AG, Morash C, Gerridzen RG, Doucette S, et al.

Urol Oncol. 2014 Oct 9;

Short-term Results after Robot-assisted Laparoscopic Radical Prostatectomy Compared to Open Radical Prostatectomy.

Wallerstedt A, Tyritzis SI, Thorsteinsdottir T, Carlsson S, Stranne J, Gustafsson O, et al.

Eur Urol. 2014



Overdetection of recurrence after radical prostatectomy: estimates based on patient and tumor characteristics.

Xia J, Trock BJ, Gulati R, Mallinger L, Cooperberg MR, Carroll PR, et al.

Clin Cancer Res. 2014;20(20):5302–10.



Metformin is not associated with improved biochemical free survival or cause-specific survival in men with prostate cancer treated with permanent interstitial brachytherapy.

Taira AV, Merrick GS, Galbreath RW, Morris M, Butler WM, Adamovich E.

J Contemp Brachytherapy. 2014 (3):254–61.



Copper signaling axis as a target for prostate cancer therapeutics.

Safi R, Nelson ER, Chitneni SK, Franz KJ, George DJ, Zalutsky MR, et al.

Cancer Res. 2014;74(20):5819–31.

Association of androgen-deprivation therapy with excess cardiac-specific mortality in men with prostate cancer.

Ziehr DR, Chen M-H, Zhang D, Braccioforte MH, Moran BJ, Mahal BA, et al.

BJU Int. 2014

Permanent interstitial low-dose-rate brachytherapy for patients with low risk prostate cancer : An interim analysis of 312 cases.

Badakhshi H, Graf R, Budach V, Wust P.

Strahlenther Onkol Organ Dtsch Rontgengesellschaft Al. 2014

Adjuvant radiotherapy after salvage lymph node dissection because of nodal relapse of prostate cancer versus salvage lymph node dissection only.

Rischke HC, Schultze-Seemann W, Wieser G, Krönig M, Drendel V, Stegmaier P, et al.

Strahlenther Onkol Organ Dtsch Rontgengesellschaft Al. 2014 Oct 18;

The Natural History and Predictors of Outcome Following Biochemical Relapse in the Dose Escalation Era for Prostate Cancer Patients Undergoing Definitive External Beam Radiotherapy.

Zumsteg ZS, Spratt DE, Romesser PB, Pei X, Zhang Z, Polkinghorn W, et al.

Eur Urol. 2014