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Monitoring proves better than active treatment for low-risk prostate cancer

Men over 60 with low-risk prostate cancer could spend ten years with no active treatment, have a better sex life as a result, yet still be very unlikely to die from the disease, new research has found.

The findings come from two new studies looking at ‘active surveillance’ of prostate cancer – when the disease is closely monitored but not treated – presented at the 2021 European Association of Urology congress today.

Atezolizumab translates into survival benefit for bladder cancer patients with ctDNA positivity

Researchers who treated a group of post-surgery bladder cancer patients with the immunotherapy drug atezolizumab have found that patients whose blood contained circulating tumour DNA (ctDNA), responded very well to the treatment.

Obesity increases survival in advanced prostate cancer

Obese patients with a form of advanced prostate cancer survive longer than overweight and normal weight patients, new research has found.

The study, presented today at the European Association of Urology congress, EAU21, followed more than 1500 patients over three years. Patients classed as obese – with a BMI over 30 – had a ten percent higher survival rate than thinner patients over 36 months.

New imaging technology less accurate than MRI at detecting prostate cancer, trial shows

A team of researchers in Australia and New Zealand has found that MRI scans can detect prostate cancer more accurately than the newer, prostate-specific -PSMA PET/CT scanning technique.

Only through international cooperation can AI improve patient lives

The largest prostate cancer biopsy dataset – involving over 95,000 images – has been created by researchers in Sweden to ensure AI can be trained to diagnose and grade prostate cancer for real world clinical applications.

The researchers will call today, at the European Association of Urology Annual Congress (EAU22), for large-scale clinical trials of artificial intelligence (AI) algorithms and greater global coordination to ensure that AI enhanced diagnostics, prognostication, and treatment selection can help save lives.

New use of old drug reduces risk of kidney cancer returning

Using an existing drug for late-stage kidney cancer at an earlier stage of the disease could reduce the risk of cancer recurring by a third, according to new research.

The findings from the Phase III trial are presented today at the European Association of Urology congress (EAU21).

There is a high risk of kidney cancer returning, following surgery to remove tumours, but there is currently no treatment to help prevent this.

Machine learning goes with the flow

An artificial intelligence (AI) algorithm trained to listen to patients pass urine is able to identify abnormal flows and could be a useful and cost-effective means of monitoring and managing urology patients at home. It is presented today at the European Association of Urology Annual Congress (EAU22), in Amsterdam.

Beautiful VR setting could reduce pain in unpleasant medical procedure

Being immersed in a stunning ‘virtual’ Icelandic landscape can reduce the pain caused by uncomfortable medical procedures, new research has found.

The study compared patients with and without virtual reality (VR) headsets having rigid cystoscopies, where a rigid telescope is inserted through the urethra into the bladder. The research is being presented today at the European Association of Urology congress, EAU21.

New concept drug hunts down late stage prostate cancer

A new class of drug successfully targets treatment-resistant prostate cancers and prolongs the life of patients. The treatment delivers beta radiation directly to tumour cells, is well tolerated by patients and keeps them alive for longer than standard care, found a phase 3 trial to be presented at the European Association of Urology congress, EAU21, today.

Despite progress in medicine in recent years, metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer remains untreatable and fatal. The new treatment, known as Lu-PSMA-617, takes a new approach, targeting a molecule called PSMA, which is known to be increased on the surfaces of the tumour cells, destroying them and their surrounding microenvironment.

New research supports risk-based prostate cancer screening

Data from the world’s largest prostate cancer screening study provides further evidence to support the introduction of a targeted screening programme for the disease, say researchers.

In 2009, the European Randomised Study of Screening for Prostate Cancer (ERSPC) showed that screening can reduce mortality from prostate cancer by between 20-35 percent. But the earlier and more frequent diagnoses which screening enables, also mean men spend longer living with their cancer – and concerns have persisted about the impact of this on their quality of life.

Testosterone therapy reduces heart attack and stroke

Supplementing testosterone significantly reduces heart attacks and strokes in men with unnaturally low levels of the hormone, according to new research presented at the European Association of Urology congress today.

The ten-year study involved over 800 men from Germany and Qatar with testosterone deficiency, whose family history, blood pressure, cholesterol levels, diabetes or weight put them at high risk of heart attack or stroke.

Gut microbes differ in men with prostate cancer

Researchers have found a significant difference in the gut microbiota of men with prostate cancer, compared with those who have benign biopsies. The study is presented at the European Association of Urology Annual Congress (EAU22), in Amsterdam. Although the finding is an association, it could partly explain the relationship between lifestyle effects and geographical differences in prostate cancer.

MRI can cut overdiagnoses in prostate-cancer screening by half

Most countries have not introduced nationwide prostate-cancer screening, as current methods result in overdiagnoses and excessive and unnecessary biopsies. A new study by researchers at Karolinska Institutet in Sweden, which is published in The New England Journal of Medicine, indicates that screening by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and targeted biopsies could potentially cut overdiagnoses by half. The results are presented today at the European Association of Urology Congress.

Nicotine by-product can predict recurrence of cancer

A by-product of nicotine, found in the urine of smokers, could be used to identify when bladder cancer has returned, new research has found.

The pilot study, presented today at the 2021 European Association of Urology Congress, found that patients with high levels of cotinine were four times more likely to have their cancer return, compared to those with lower levels of the chemical. The researchers’ goal is that a simple urine test for cotinine could reduce the number of invasive investigations that cancer patients undergo following diagnosis and treatment.

Women with incontinence suffer poorer mental health, says new research

Women with urinary incontinence report higher rates of depression and lower levels of self-worth than those who don’t suffer with the condition, according to recent research presented today at the European Association of Urology congress, EAU21. The team behind the study are urging clinicians to ask women with incontinence about their mental health and to offer potential treatments.

Female urinary incontinence is a common disorder, particularly among older women, but there has been very little research into its impact on women’s mental health.

Men with low testosterone more likely to die from Covid-19

Men with symptomatic Covid-19, who were found to have low testosterone following admittance to hospital, were more likely to become severely ill and die from the disease, new research has shown.

The study, carried out in Milan during the first wave of coronavirus in 2020, found that the lower the levels of testosterone, the higher the likelihood that male patients would need intensive care, be intubated on a ventilator and remain in hospital over a longer period. Their likelihood of dying increased six-fold.

Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan brings hope for better prostate cancer outcomes

We warmly welcome today’s launch of Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan by the European Commission, in particular the planned activities under early detection. The Commission aims to propose an update on the European Council’s Recommendation on cancer screening by 2022, including the potential addition of new cancers such as prostate cancer.

This gives the EU a unique opportunity to tackle the current unacceptable rise in mortality rates and ‘too late’ diagnoses of prostate cancer while avoiding the overdiagnosis and overtreatment challenges of the past and assuring the best possible quality of life for patients. If Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan can harmonise an approach across the EU with regards to early detection of prostate cancer, we believe this will not only decrease mortality from prostate cancer, but also support EU member states to sort out the current mess of opportunistic testing for prostate cancer.

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