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!
Innovative genetic tests for children with developmental disorders and epilepsy
11.07.2018 | Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel
Oxygen loss in the coastal Baltic Sea is “unprecedentedly severe”
05.07.2018 | European Geosciences Union
For the first time ever, scientists have determined the cosmic origin of highest-energy neutrinos. A research group led by IceCube scientist Elisa Resconi, spokesperson of the Collaborative Research Center SFB1258 at the Technical University of Munich (TUM), provides an important piece of evidence that the particles detected by the IceCube neutrino telescope at the South Pole originate from a galaxy four billion light-years away from Earth.
To rule out other origins with certainty, the team led by neutrino physicist Elisa Resconi from the Technical University of Munich and multi-wavelength...
For the first time a team of researchers have discovered two different phases of magnetic skyrmions in a single material. Physicists of the Technical Universities of Munich and Dresden and the University of Cologne can now better study and understand the properties of these magnetic structures, which are important for both basic research and applications.
Whirlpools are an everyday experience in a bath tub: When the water is drained a circular vortex is formed. Typically, such whirls are rather stable. Similar...
Physicists working with Roland Wester at the University of Innsbruck have investigated if and how chemical reactions can be influenced by targeted vibrational excitation of the reactants. They were able to demonstrate that excitation with a laser beam does not affect the efficiency of a chemical exchange reaction and that the excited molecular group acts only as a spectator in the reaction.
A frequently used reaction in organic chemistry is nucleophilic substitution. It plays, for example, an important role in in the synthesis of new chemical...
Optical spectroscopy allows investigating the energy structure and dynamic properties of complex quantum systems. Researchers from the University of Würzburg present two new approaches of coherent two-dimensional spectroscopy.
"Put an excitation into the system and observe how it evolves." According to physicist Professor Tobias Brixner, this is the credo of optical spectroscopy....
Ultra-short, high-intensity X-ray flashes open the door to the foundations of chemical reactions. Free-electron lasers generate these kinds of pulses, but there is a catch: the pulses vary in duration and energy. An international research team has now presented a solution: Using a ring of 16 detectors and a circularly polarized laser beam, they can determine both factors with attosecond accuracy.
Free-electron lasers (FELs) generate extremely short and intense X-ray flashes. Researchers can use these flashes to resolve structures with diameters on the...
13.07.2018 | Event News
12.07.2018 | Event News
03.07.2018 | Event News
19.07.2018 | Earth Sciences
19.07.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering
19.07.2018 | Materials Sciences