The answer may lie in the size and shape of the blood vessels that are visible within the cancer, according to research led by investigators at The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center-Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute in collaboration with the Harvard School of Public Health.
The study of 572 men with localized prostate cancer indicates that aggressive or lethal prostate cancers tend to have blood vessels that are small, irregular and primitive in cross-section, while slow-growing or indolent tumors have blood vessels that look more normal.
The findings were published Oct. 26 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.
"It's as if aggressive prostate cancers are growing faster and their blood vessels never fully mature," says study leader Dr. Steven Clinton, professor of medicine and a medical oncologist and prostate cancer specialist at Ohio State's Comprehensive Cancer Center-James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute.
"Prostate cancer is very heterogeneous, and we need better tools to predict whether a patient has a prostate cancer that is aggressive, fairly average or indolent in its behavior so that we can better define a course of treatment – surgery, chemotherapy, radiotherapy, hormonal therapy, or potentially new drugs that target blood vessels – that is specific for each person's type of cancer," Clinton says.
"Similarly, if we can better determine at the time of biopsy or prostatectomy who is going to relapse, we can start treatment earlier, when the chance for a cure may be better."
Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men and the second leading cause of cancer death in American men.
This study analyzed tumor samples and clinical outcome data from men participating in the Health Professionals Follow-Up Study, which involves 51,529 male North American dentists, optometrists, podiatrists, pharmacists and veterinarians.
After an average follow-up of 10 years, 44 of the 572 men had developed metastatic cancer or died of their cancer.
Men whose tumors had smaller vessel diameters were six times more likely to have aggressive tumors and die of their disease, and those with the most irregularly shaped vessels were 17 times more likely to develop lethal prostate cancer.
The findings were independent of Gleason score, a widely used predictor of prognosis based on a prostate tumor's microscopic appearance, and of prostate specific antigen (PSA) level, a blood test used to identify the presence of prostate cancer.
These findings currently apply to men with local disease, whose PSA is only modestly elevated, and who are younger and more likely to choose surgery.
"If our findings are validated by larger studies, particularly in biopsy specimens, the measurement of tumor blood vessel architecture might help determine the choice of therapy, with the goal of improving long-term survival."
Funding from the National Cancer Institute and the Prostate Cancer Foundation supported this research.
Doug Flowers | EurekAlert!
The importance of biodiversity in forests could increase due to climate change
17.11.2017 | Deutsches Zentrum für integrative Biodiversitätsforschung (iDiv) Halle-Jena-Leipzig
Win-win strategies for climate and food security
02.10.2017 | International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)
The formation of stars in distant galaxies is still largely unexplored. For the first time, astron-omers at the University of Geneva have now been able to closely observe a star system six billion light-years away. In doing so, they are confirming earlier simulations made by the University of Zurich. One special effect is made possible by the multiple reflections of images that run through the cosmos like a snake.
Today, astronomers have a pretty accurate idea of how stars were formed in the recent cosmic past. But do these laws also apply to older galaxies? For around a...
Just because someone is smart and well-motivated doesn't mean he or she can learn the visual skills needed to excel at tasks like matching fingerprints, interpreting medical X-rays, keeping track of aircraft on radar displays or forensic face matching.
That is the implication of a new study which shows for the first time that there is a broad range of differences in people's visual ability and that these...
Computer Tomography (CT) is a standard procedure in hospitals, but so far, the technology has not been suitable for imaging extremely small objects. In PNAS, a team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) describes a Nano-CT device that creates three-dimensional x-ray images at resolutions up to 100 nanometers. The first test application: Together with colleagues from the University of Kassel and Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht the researchers analyzed the locomotory system of a velvet worm.
During a CT analysis, the object under investigation is x-rayed and a detector measures the respective amount of radiation absorbed from various angles....
The quantum world is fragile; error correction codes are needed to protect the information stored in a quantum object from the deteriorating effects of noise. Quantum physicists in Innsbruck have developed a protocol to pass quantum information between differently encoded building blocks of a future quantum computer, such as processors and memories. Scientists may use this protocol in the future to build a data bus for quantum computers. The researchers have published their work in the journal Nature Communications.
Future quantum computers will be able to solve problems where conventional computers fail today. We are still far away from any large-scale implementation,...
Pillared graphene would transfer heat better if the theoretical material had a few asymmetric junctions that caused wrinkles, according to Rice University...
15.11.2017 | Event News
15.11.2017 | Event News
30.10.2017 | Event News
17.11.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
17.11.2017 | Health and Medicine
17.11.2017 | Studies and Analyses