LONDON, Nov. 12, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Statement author: Paul Villanti, Executive Director of Programs, the Movember Foundation
The development of a new genetic "signature" to identify prostate cancer patients who are at high risk of their cancer recurring after surgery or radiotherapy is a significant development and one that is designed to positively impact the treatment for many men around the world.
As a strategic funder of men's health programs, our prostate cancer goal is for men living with the disease to have the treatment and care needed to be physically and mentally well. This piece of work is a significant step in helping to achieve our goals in this space.
Current methods for identifying the risk of prostate cancer recurrence using pre-treatment biopsies are inadequate. New and improved tests are urgently needed to better predict which patients are likely to relapse after their primary therapy. These men can then be offered a more tailored and intensified treatment plan, ensuring a higher chance of survival. The ability to build more personalized medicine plans using the personal genetics of each man will also ensure that fewer people undergo unnecessary treatments that can have serious side effects.
The Movember Foundation believes that building powerful collaborative teams from around the world represents one of the most significant opportunities to reduce the number of deaths and improve quality of life for men living with and beyond prostate cancer. This research project is a great example of international collaboration, involving researchers and institutions from not only Canada, but from around the world.
The Canadian researchers will work with other countries to validate the test over the next two to three years in larger and more diverse groups of patients to ensure that it will successfully work in hospitals worldwide. If validated, this will lead to a new test for prostate cancer that will inform doctors quickly which patients are most likely to need only a local treatment (such as surgery or radiation therapy) versus those patients that will require additional systemic treatments such as hormone therapy, chemotherapy or novel molecular therapies.
This research proves the considerable impact that Movember funds are having, the results of which are benefitting hundreds of thousands of men and their families around the world. Research demonstrates that Movember funds are having, the results of which have the potential to benefit hundreds of thousands of men and their families around the world. The Movember Foundation would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has supported the cause to date and ask that they once again get behind the cause and make a donation in order that the Foundation is able to continue to fund important work, such as this piece of transformative research, that will have an ever-lasting impact on the face of men's health.
To donate, visit Movember.com.
Dr. Anthony Lowe, Chief Executive Officer, Prostate Cancer Foundation, Australia said:
"One of the key challenges in localised prostate cancer is to distinguish between indolent and aggressive disease. If we were able to do that reliably we could potentially offer active surveillance in the former case and radical treatment (surgery or radiotherapy) in the latter thus avoiding side effects like incontinence and erectile dysfunction in men who may not need radical treatment for their cancer. It has been postulated that tumours that exhibit hypoxia (the situation where the cancer grows so rapidly that it outgrows the blood supply and is deprived of oxygen) and genomic instability (the situation where the cancer exhibits a high frequency of genetic mutations) may be predictors of aggressive disease. This study developed indices based on hypoxia and genomic instability to predict the risk of prostate cancer recurring within 18 months after treatment. It shows the potential to stratify the risk of disease recurrence and to tailor treatment options accordingly."
Dr. Iain Frame, Director of Research at Prostate Cancer UK said:
"Being able to distinguish aggressive cancers from those which are less so is one of the critical questions surrounding prostate cancer which are still left unanswered. A test which could help doctors do this would be hugely important for all men diagnosed with the disease every year. This new research is interesting because it suggests that looking at the DNA from individual tumours as well as the surrounding environment could tell us early on whether a cancer is going to develop in to one of the more harmful forms. It's too early to tell for sure whether this method could help diagnose aggressive prostate cancers accurately and quickly in the clinic but if further research shows that it can then it could help to ensure men are offered the best possible treatment options for their individual situation and ultimately improve outcomes.
This research is an example of how through global research collaboration we can make great strides towards unlocking the secrets of prostate cancer. Working together, and with adequate funding we can and will be able to beat prostate cancer sooner."
About the Movember Foundation
The Movember Foundation is the leading global organization committed to changing the face of men's health.
The Movember community has raised over $550 million to date, funding over 800 programs in 21 countries. This work is saving and improving the lives of men affected by prostate cancer, testicular cancer and mental health problems.
The Movember Foundation challenges men to grow moustaches during Movember (formerly known as November), to spark conversation and raise vital funds for its men's health programs.
SOURCE Movember Foundation