Diet changes reduce all-cause mortality risk in prostate cancer patients | Urology Times

The authors found that men who replaced 10% of their total daily calories from carbohydrates with healthy vegetable fats had a 29% lower risk of developing lethal prostate cancer and a 26% lower risk of dying from all causes.

Adding a single serving of oil-based dressing per day (one tablespoon) was associated with a 29% lower risk of lethal prostate cancer and a 13% lower risk of death, the authors found. And adding one serving of nuts per day (one ounce) was associated with an 18% lower risk of lethal prostate cancer and an 11% lower risk of death.

via Diet changes reduce all-cause mortality risk in prostate cancer patients | Urology Times.

I have been telling patients for many years about eating a heart healthy diet. This study reveals that replacing calories from carbohydrates and animal fat with vegetable fat will help prevent prostate cancer deaths and deaths from other causes.

An easy way to accomplish this is to have a small portion of nuts with dinner as a replacement for sweets or animal fat.

First Man Has Prostatectomy Because of BRCA Gene Mutation

The man who underwent the surgery is described as a 53-years-old businessman from London who is married with children and has several family members who have had breast or prostate cancer. When he found out he was carrying the BRCA2 mutation, he asked to have his prostate removed.

Initially, the ICR researchers were reluctant, the newspaper reports, because there was no indication of a problem, either from prostate-specific antigen tests or from a magnetic resonance imaging scan. However, a biopsy showed microscopic malignant changes.

via First Man Has Prostatectomy Because of BRCA Gene Mutation.

This report describes a young man who has his prostate removed because he has an oncogene that means he has a much higher risk of developing prostate cancer. It is unclear whether his biopsy showed cancer or premalignant changes. I once felt that men with genetic changes would one day have prophylactic prostatectomies similar to women having prophylactic mastectomies. The key is to find men that are more likely to develop aggressive cancers at younger ages.

Nephron-Sparing Treatments Underused in CKD Patients – Renal and Urology News

Of particular concern, the researchers noted, is that patients with pre-existing chronic kidney disease (CKD) had a nearly twofold increased likelihood of undergoing RN than NSM compared with patients without CKD. Even though NSM use increased over the study period, most CKD patients still received RN, the investigators found.

via Nephron-Sparing Treatments Underused in CKD Patients – Renal and Urology News.

This study looked at data from the 1998-2008 and found that most renal masses were being treated by removing the entire kidney, even in patients with kidney disease.  I have been performing partial nephrectomies for renal masses that were less than 4cm since I was at Indiana in 1997.  Over the last 5 years, I have performing partial nephrectomies for tumors as large as 9cm if the location would allow it.

AUA: Five tests, treatments may be unnecessary | Urology Times

The AUA’s list identified the following five recommendations:

A routine bone scan is unnecessary in men with low-risk prostate cancer.

Do not prescribe testosterone to men with erectile dysfunction who have normal testosterone levels.

Do not order creatinine or upper tract imaging in men with BPH.

Do not treat an elevated PSA with antibiotics for patients not experiencing other symptoms.

Do not perform ultrasound on boys with cryptorchidism.

via AUA: Five tests, treatments may be unnecessary | Urology Times.

The AUA has made recommendations on several areas.  There were two that were important for men in the area of prostate cancer.

Men with early stage prostate caner do not need a routine bone scan.  During my training at Indiana University from 1997-2003 this was the standard of care in my residency. Historically, all men with prostate cancer had a bone scan and CT scan.  Both of these are not necessary for men with low grade prostate cancer.  I have not ordered routine bone scans since coming to west Orange, NJ in 2003.

The other important recommendation was in the treatment of an elevated PSA with antibiotics.  This is the first time I have seen the AUA make the recommendation.  If men have stable urinary symptoms and no inflammatory (WBC) cells in the urine, antibiotics should not be prescribed.  I have been practicing in this fashion my entire career, but many physicians including urologists would often prescribe antibiotics to see if an elevated PSA  would return to normal values.

Intuitive Robot Probe Threatens Trend-Setting Surgeries – Bloomberg

The safety of robots made by Intuitive Surgical Inc. (ISRG) is being probed by U.S. regulators, raising questions about the prospects of one of the hottest technologies in health care.

The Food and Drug Administration asked surgeons at key hospitals to list the complications they may have seen with the machines, which cost about $1.5 million each and were used last year in almost 500,000 procedures. The doctors were also surveyed on which surgeries the robots might be most and least suited for, and asked to discuss their training, according to copies of the survey obtained by Bloomberg News.

via Intuitive Robot Probe Threatens Trend-Setting Surgeries – Bloomberg.

Bloomberg has reported that The FDA has inquired into complications resulting during robotic surgery.  I believe this inquiry is targeted towards gynecologic surgery.

I have been involved with robotic surgery for 9 years and have seen many different instruments and different robotic platforms (davinci, davinci S, davinci Si).  There is inherent risk in any surgical procedure, whether surgery is performed robotically, laparoscopically, or with an open incision.  I believe an experienced surgeon and team can  lead to lower complication rates and I do feel that robotic surgery is inherently safer in that it has a lower complication rate in my personal experience at least.

BBC News – TED 2013: Uchek app tests urine for medical issues

Uchek tests for 25 different health issues and could help diagnose and treat diseases in the developing world.Increasingly mobile health is being talked up as a lifesaver in such areas.The app is the brainchild of TED fellow Myshkin Ingawale.”I wanted to get medical health checks into users hands,” he told the BBC.

via BBC News – TED 2013: Uchek app tests urine for medical issues.

As technological advances are made, how we screen and test for many conditions will be simplified and streamlined.

This article discussed an app for the iPhone that will read a dipstick in an automated manner.  This will need to be tested against current standards, but I am confident in the near future (5 years) there will be testing available in ways that we would not have thought possible 5 years ago.




FDA approves Botox to treat overactive bladder

FDA approves Botox to treat overactive bladder

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today expanded the approved use of Botox (onabotulinumtoxinA) to treat adults with overactive bladder who cannot use or do not adequately respond to a class of medications known as anticholinergics.

via Press Announcements > FDA approves Botox to treat overactive bladder.

Men and women both can suffer from overactive bladder.  Patients usually are treated with exercises and medications (anticholinergics) to help reduce the overactivity of the bladder.  Symptoms such as frequency of urination, urgency of urination, and leakage of urine from the overactive bladder usually improve.  These medications can cause constipation, dry mouth, and other side effects.  Patients that can not tolerate medications have another option now.  Urologists can inject botox into the bladder and improve urinary symptoms.

Patients that have had prostatectomies sometimes have urge incontinence after prostatectomy and botox should be considered if other options have not worked or have not been tolerated.

Partial Nephrectomy Offers Better Renal Preservation, Survival – Renal and Urology News

The median follow-up for patients still alive at the last follow-up was 8.3 years. The estimated overall survival rates at 10 and 15 years were 69% and 53%, respectively, for RN compared with 80% and 74%, respectively, following PN. Compared with PN-treated patients, patients who underwent RN were 75% more likely to die from any cause and more than four times more likely to develop stage IV chronic kidney disease, after adjusting for covariates, according to findings published online in European Urology. All of these differences between the RN and PN group were significant.

via Partial Nephrectomy Offers Better Renal Preservation, Survival – Renal and Urology News.

There have been several studies that concluded that patients that have kidney tumors and have only part of their kidney removed (partial nephrectomy) vs. the entire kidney removed (total or radical nephrectomy) have less kidney problems in the future.  They patients with nephron sparing surgery (partial) lived longer as well.

Not all patients are candidates for removing only part of the kidney, but most with tumors under 4cm and most with tumors not in the middle of the kidney should have a partial nephrectomy as a consideration.

At Newark Beth Israel, I have been performing robotic partial nephrectomy since 2005.  In 2007 I started using intraoperative renal ultrasound to better show the kidney anatomy.  In 2012 I started using firefly to help me perform more accurate kidney surgery for suspected kidney cancer.

Europe Gives Nod to Prostate Cancer Pill Before Chemo

The European Medicines Agencys Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use CHMP has recommended extending the use of the prostate cancer pill abiraterone acetate Zytiga, Janssen to include men with advanced prostate cancer who fail on androgen-deprivation therapy.The drug is currently approved in Europe and the United States for these same men, but only as second-line treatment, after docetaxel chemotherapy. If approved, abiraterone could be used by European clinicians as a first-line treatment for men who progress on androgen-deprivation therapy.Specifically, CHMP recommended that abiraterone be administered in combination with prednisone for the treatment of patients with metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer mCRPC who are asymptomatic or mildly symptomatic after the failure of androgen-deprivation therapy.

via Europe Gives Nod to Prostate Cancer Pill Before Chemo.

Abiraterone is a well tolerated oral medication that currently has been FDA approved in the treatment of men with advanced (metastatic castrate resistant prostate cancer {mCRPC}) prostate cancer who have received previous chemotherapy containing docetaxel.  This indication is being sought in the US as well.


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