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The autumn ’23 newsletter is downloadable via this link (click link or right click and save as…).

David Casley, Prospect Publicity 07860 369064; Email


£5.5m research boost

The search for new cancer treatments has been given a £5.5m boost as Cancer Research UK invests in the next five years of research at Southampton Clinical Trials Unit. It will run world-leading trials which test new cancer treatments and help find ways to diagnose the disease earlier (Jun ’23). More here And Prostate Cancer UK has launched an ambitious 10-year strategy setting out how it will invest in the most innovative research to create a step change in our knowledge of PCa. See here. The charity also says PCa survival has tripled in the UK over the past 40 years. More than eight in 10 patients are alive ten years after diagnosis – up from one in four in the 1970s. And we have more research news here.

Tackle takes over support role

Tackle has become the sole organisation providing direct support to PCa support groups and offering membership to their leaders. Prostate Cancer UK will step back from relationships with local support groups and are endorsing Tackle’s offer to the groups.

Therapy approved for advanced PCa

A new radiation treatment was approved by the US FDA in March for certain patients with advanced PCa. It has been shown to help patients with advanced PCa live longer and maintain quality of life (Mar ’22). See more here

RaNT video available

Ryan Edginton recently told us about the Raman Nanotheranostics (RaNT) team who are developing a new, all-in-one technology capable of diagnosing and treating cancers using a single device. See the video here

Screening in 5 years?

Screening for PCa could be possible within five years, says a leading UK expert  (Dec ’21). See more here

Covid vaccine tech ‘could beat cancer’

The Oxford-Astra Zeneca Covid vaccine technology has been used to design a jab that could treat cancer (Sept ’21). Sky News

PSA tests for some over-40s?

Some men should have annual prostate checks after 40 to spot early, treatable cancers, UK experts say. Targeted PSA screening would save lives, the Institute of Cancer Research team says, even though that blood test is not accurate enough to offer more widely. The idea was trialled in men at high genetic risk for certain cancers (Oct ’21). More here

Dogs sniff out worst cancers

Dogs can detect the most aggressive forms of PCa and could help develop a “robotic nose” to find the disease, a study says  (Feb ’21). More here. And another study suggests daily coffee drinking lowers PCa risk, (Feb ’21). More here  And dogs  are proving to be a far better scientific model for study of PCa than mice. Researchers hope to perform clinical trials and continue their research in humans (Feb ’22). More here

Hormone treatment and Covid

Hormone treatment might offer some protection from Covid, it’s reported. See more here But it can make PCa worse, this study finds.  An online survey aiming to shed more light on the experience of PCa patients on this therapy (aged 35 to 80) is being conducted via this link And a London college has developed an online intervention to support men with PCa who have ongoing fatigue, and it is recruiting patients to take part. See here

Good news on abiraterone

NICE agreed to an appeal by Prostate Cancer UK to reverse its decision to restrict abiraterone for advanced PCa (Jul ’20). See more here. UK deaths from PCa exceeded 12,000 in 2019 for the first time and it overtook breast cancer as the most common cancer (June ’20). See more hereAnd a new type of immune cell which kills most cancers has been discovered. More info here  Screening: An expert explained why finding a suitable method is vital but is difficult. More here

Chemo swapped for precision drugs

Advanced PCa patients can take enzalutamide or abiraterone at home instead of going into hospital for chemotherapy, NHS England says. It will relieve pressure on the NHS. The drugs are smarter, kinder treatments and could extend the lives of many more men, it’s said (May ’20). More here. And a new treatment is being tested that could extend the lives of men with advanced prostate cancer, by killing cancer in the prostate despite the disease having spread. The nationwide Atlanta trial, at Imperial College London, was recruiting 918 newly-diagnosed men. More here

A Prostate Cancer Research team are using machine learning to  develop a new way to classify PCa and separate the “tigers” from the “pussycats” (Sept ’20). More here And a US study demonstrated the highest accuracy to date in recognising and characterising PCa using artificial intelligence (July ’20). More here Also a new blood test for PCa is producing 99% accuracy – the best yet. More here And a new 15-minute ‘game-changing’ test is announced here

Cancer can be detected much earlier

The first signs of cancer can appear decades before diagnosis, scientists have found – a discovery that could revolutionise treatment (Feb ’20). See more here. And Public Health England has published a statistical bulletin on survival rates for many types of cancer based on recent data. It stressses the importance of early diagnosis. A summary is here with a link to the full report

‘Nanoparticles kill cancer’

Scientists have created a “Trojan horse” that sneaks nanoparticles into cancer cells and causes them to self-destruct. The research is still in its early days, but the new method has already proved to be effective at killing cancer cells in a petri dish and reducing tumour growth in mice. See more

Killer virus attacks cancer

A genetically modified virus that kills cancer cells and destroys their hiding places has been developed by British scientists. The dual-action virus targets both cancer cells and healthy cells which have been tricked into protecting the cancer from the immune system. The Oxford University study is the first time cancer-associated fibroblasts or CAFs within solid tumours have been specifically targeted in this way (Nov ’19). See more here. And a simple new blood test has been found to detect aggressive prostate cancer, according to research by Queen Mary University of London. With the PSA test, the new test could help men avoid unnecessary and invasive biopsies, over-diagnosis and over-treatment. The results need to be validated in other independent research centres before the new test is available, which could take 3-5 more years (Oct ’19). See more here. And UK researchers have developed a urine test to diagnose aggressive PCa and predict whether patients will need treatment up to five years earlier than standard clinical methods (Jun ’19). See more here

Drugs to attack resistant cancer

The world’s first drugs designed to stop cancer cells becoming resistant to treatment could be available within the next decade, scientists have said (May ’19). More here

A Bristol first – and sparing nerves

A Bristol man is the first NHS patient to have a device implanted which can reduce the side effects of radiotherapy by 70% (see more here). And a trial ito spare the nerves around the prostate during surgery is being held at Southmead Hospital. If successful, it will reduce the risk of erectile disfunction and will be available throughout England.

MRI scans to replace PSA?

Hundreds of UK men are trying out a non-invasive MRI scan for PCa to see if it should eventually be offered routinely on the NHS. The scan takes images to check for any abnormal growths. It will take a few years to know if MRI will be better than PSA tests and biopsies at spotting cancers (Jun ’19). In this article, a professor explains why finding a suitable screening method is vital but has proved difficult. And Prostate Cancer UK said the news made headlines but journalists “can be overly enthusiastic about new research” and put the record straight here. And an academic article on this is to be found here

Help with treatment – but beware

AN NHS tool is now available – intended for men with non-metastatic PCa who are deciding between conservative and radical management regimes. It is intended only for men with non-metastatic prostate cancer who are deciding between these regimes. It’s recommend that patients use this tool in consultation with their doctor (Apr ’19). See here. And four new technologies that will tame the immune system are getting us closer to a future where cancer becomes curable. See more here

Chat re active surveillance

Prostate Cancer UK run a monthly group chat for men on active surveillance who want to share experiences and ask questions about the treatment. The group chat is on the second Tuesday of the month (7-8pm). Join the chat here.

At-home urine test created

A PCa test which can be carried out at home has been developed by university experts. Medics hope patients can receive an earlier and more accurate diagnosis by providing a urine sample. The test has been developed further so urine samples can be collected at home (Nov ’19). See more here. And scientists have created another urine test for PCa after trials on 155 men in Bristol (2016). See here

Anti-fatigue app approved

Untire has become the first Cancer-Related Fatigue (CRF) app to be approved by the NHS, and is now available to download for free via the NHS apps library. It aims to tackle CRF, one of the most common side effects of cancer and its treatment (Aug ’19). See more at

New hope for men whose cancer has spread

US clinical trials are likely to lead to approval of a new class of life-extending treatment options for men with metastatic hormone-sensitive PCa. This refers to men whose cancer has spread outside of the prostate and who are responsive to testosterone-lowering agents (July ’19). See more here

Broadcasters thanked

NHS head Simon Stevens thanked broadcasters Bill Turnbull and Stephen Fry for urging men to seek help (Oct ’18). See here.

Defeating therapy resistance

A new US study sheds light on a signalling circuit in cells that drives therapy resistance in PCa. Targeting the components of this circuit suppresses advanced cancer development. See here.

World first hailed

Scientists in Belfast claim a major breakthrough in PCa treatment. It is hoped the new discovery could help stop the spread of the disease and prevent relapses. Researchers have found that combining hormone therapy with a new drug, OCT1002, can improve treatment effectiveness. See here.

Drug targets tumours

A radioactive drug, which behaves like the substance used to kill Russian ex-spy Alexander Litvinenko, could be used to treat PCa patients. It targets tumours that have spread to the bones and has been approved by NICE. See here

Early detection claimed

Scientists at Israel’s Weizmann Institute might have found a PCa cure, at least if it’s caught early. See here.

New diagnosis tool; Zytiga affordable

A new risk assessment tool for GPs is set to revolutionise PCa diagnosis. See here. And NICE has agreed that abiraterone (Zytiga) is affordable after a lower price was agreed with the makers. See here.

More accurate predictions?

Patients might be offered a more accurate prediction of their PCa risk with a novel method developed by Cambridge University researchers. See here

Biopsies may be ‘out’

Urologists are committed to rolling out diagnostic use of the new MRI scans once their benefits are officially confirmed. The scans make it possible to rule out the need for a biopsy in many men who don’t have a clinically significant PCa. See here. Latest on this here.

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