Prostate cancer abstract: So few words, so much impact

May 3, 2013 | by Tami Dennis

The title was this: “Expressed Prostatic Secretions Biomarkers Improve Stratification of National Comprehensive Cancer Network Active Surveillance Candidates.”

Prostate cancer, illustrated here, doesn't always need immediate treatment. The dilemma is trying to decide when "active surveillance" is all that's necessary. A new abstract, from researchers at City of Hope, could help doctors and patients decide.Prostate cancer, illustrated here, doesn't always need immediate treatment. The dilemma is trying to decide when "active surveillance" is all that's necessary. A new abstract, from researchers at City of Hope, could help doctors and patients decide.

And the conclusions were these: “Secondary screening by non-invasive EPS testing may improve patient acceptance of Active Surveillance by dramatically reducing the presence of occult risk factors in patients eligible for Active Surveillance under NCCN guidelines.”

  • In between were the details on the number of patients, their risk classifications when it came to the likelihood of the disease’s spread, how the secretions were obtained, various biomarkers and the like.

To those uninitiated in the world of research, this abstract on prostate cancer staging might have seemed standard fare. After all, it consisted of the usual introduction and objectives, methods, results and conclusions – and it was short. That's the nature of abstracts. (Think of them as a movie trailer for the full-length film.)

But when all was said and done, not only had the researchers – from none other than City of Hope – produced a tidy synopsis of some impressive science, they’d also won the Best Abstract award from the American Urology Association. And they'll be presenting their work at the association’s annual meeting in San Diego, held May 4 to 8.

“The award provides salience at the meeting and recognizes basic science research that will likely alter clinical practice by moving the presentation to the plenary session,” said Steven Smith, Ph.D.,   professor of molecular science in the Division of Urology and the principal investigator on the study. “This is a huge national meeting attended by thousands of practicing urologists and scientists.”

In short, City of Hope is helping shape the practice of urology.

The researchers were Christopher Whelan, M.D., Mark Kawachi, M.D., David Smith, Ph.D., Jennifer Linehan, M.D., Gail Babilonia, B.S., Timothy Wilson, M.D., and Steven Smith, Ph.D.

What they set out to do was determine whether non-invasive testing, using the aforementioned prostatic secretions, was an effective way to assess a prostate cancer patient's candidacy for what's known as active surveillance, as opposed to actual treatment. Apparently, it can.

For doctors, and patients, the impact is significant.

The study was supported by grants CA102521 and CA136055 from the,  U.S. National Cancer Institute of the National Institutes of Health.

Back To Top

Search Blogs