Early onset prostate cancer brings out a fighter

Prostate cancer patient Peter Rich holds his granddaughter Sage

Peter Rich with his granddaughter, Sage

When Peter Rich was diagnosed with stage 4 prostate cancer at age 59, he asked a tough question for one very distinct reason.

“I said, ‘Doc, am I going to die from this?’ When she said yes, I asked how long. I want to talk in terms of that so I can prove you wrong,” Rich says.

He has. Despite the 30-month average survival time for metastatic prostate cancer, he’s now been living with cancer for six years.

Rich has been through a number of different treatments – radiation, chemotherapy, abiraterone, PARP inhibitor, and numerous clinical trials, all under the care of Kathleen Cooney, M.D., his oncologist at the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center. He currently takes Xtandi (enzalutamide), which is designed to interfere with the hormone androgen. It’s four pills a day, and it makes him tired so he takes two naps each day.

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New test better predicts prostate cancer

More than 1 million men will undergo a prostate biopsy this year, but only about one-fifth of those biopsies will result in a prostate cancer diagnosis.

The reason is that the traditional prostate cancer screening test – a blood test to measure prostate specific antigen, or PSA – does not give doctors a complete picture.

A new test developed at the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center improves upon PSA. It adds two more markers that might indicate prostate cancer. Studies have shown the urine-based test, called Mi-Prostate Score, is far more accurate than PSA alone. Continue reading

U-M offers new early detection test for prostate cancer

Urine test looks for gene fusion and PSA to help diagnose prostate cancer early

Arul Chinnaiyan, M.D., Ph.D., and Scott Tomlins, M.D., Ph.D.

Arul Chinnaiyan, M.D., Ph.D., and Scott Tomlins, M.D., Ph.D.

The University of Michigan Health System announced yesterday that it has begun offering a new urine test that could help detect prostate cancer and save a man from an unnecessary prostate biopsy. More than 1 million men will have a prostate biopsy this year, but only about one-fifth of those biopsies will result in a cancer diagnosis.The new early detection test for prostate cancer, available through MLabs, is called Mi-Prostate Score.

The test is based on a discovery from the lab of Dr. Arul Chinnaiyan of a gene fusion (TMPRSS2:ERG) that is involved in half of prostate cancer. By looking for the gene fusion along with PSA and other urinary marker for prostate cancer, the Mi-Prostate Score improves Continue reading

Early stage prostate cancer: What’s the best treatment?

There's a number of different options for treating early stage prostate cancer and choosing the "right" one can be difficult

Early prostate_843x403A common question nurses at the Cancer AnswerLine™ receive from men with early stage prostate cancer is: “Which should I have, radiation therapy or surgery?” Oncologists often give men a variety of options to treat their prostate cancer and, for many, the decision can be hard to make. Each choice has benefits and possible problems, so it’s not always easy to choose the treatment. Continue reading

New clinic opens for high risk prostate cancer patients

Ganesh Palapattu, M.D.

Ganesh Palapattu, M.D.

mCancerPartner sat down recently with Ganesh Palapattu, M.D., an associate professor of urology, and a urologic cancer surgeon and scientist, who directs the new High Risk Prostate Cancer Clinic. This clinic was established to offer multidisciplinary evaluation and personalized management for men who are diagnosed with aggressive disease.

mCancerPartner: Dr. Palapattu, how do you define ‘high risk’ for men with prostate cancer?

Dr. Palapattu: Our clinic defines high risk as men with a high PSA or high Gleason grade or high clinical stage. But going beyond the numbers, these are men who are likely to suffer from their prostate cancer.

mCancerPartner: What are the key features of the clinic?

Dr. Palapattu: At our clinic, patients see different specialists on the same day in the same place, and are offered a consensus expert opinion. Elsewhere, the patient experience might be to see a specialist who advises on one treatment, then to see Continue reading

Clinical trial tests targeting prostate cancer treatment


Are certain drugs more effective against some types of prostate cancers than others? Researchers know that not all therapies work for all patients – the next question is to figure out how to match the right treatments with the right patients.

A new clinical trial is testing whether an experimental drug can maximize the effect of current treatment and whether matching that drug to a genetic anomaly can lead to better, more personalized treatment for prostate cancer. The trial, led by investigators at the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center, is being conducted at 11 sites throughout the country. Continue reading