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News Archive: Michigan Oncology Journal Spring 98

Advancements in Clinical and Basic Science Research from the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center


From the Editor

Recent Changes in Michigan’s Prostate Cancer Incidence: What Does It Mean?

PSA Screening, Surgery and Recombinant Vaccine Gene Therapy: A Strategy to Reduce Prostate Cancer Mortality

New Therapy for Hormone Refractory Prostate Cancer

NCI Grant to University of Michigan Targets Prostate Cancer

Of Interest



Laurence H. Baker, D.O.
Deputy Director and
Director for Clinical Research
U-M Comprehensive Cancer Center

Assistant Editor
Maria McKinney White
Marketing and Public Relations

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Michigan Oncology Journal
Copyright ©1998
University of Michigan
Comprehensive Cancer Center

From the Editor

Among health professionals concerned with cancer, few issues rival the intensity of debate now raging on the subject of prostate cancer. Of the more than 40,000 patients who will die this year of prostate cancer, not to mention the effect on families and friends, the debate seems ludicrous. However, to those concerned for the overall public health of our society and the limited financial resources available, the debate over PSA screening is very much a continued concern. Will broad screening of PSA lead to improved survival? Why hasn’t survival improved? And for those diagnosed with metastatic cancer, what are the therapeutic options?

These are the subjects discussed in this issue of the Journal. Drs. John Wei and Rodney Hayward, from the departments of Surgery (Urology) and Internal Medicine, discuss the controversy and its meaning to the citizens of Michigan. They also discuss their approach using a case control study design to answer this question.

Dr. Martin Sanda, from the departments of Surgery (Urology) and Internal Medicine (Hematology/Oncology), discusses his views on the PSA screening debate and lessons learned from his experiences at the Johns Hopkins’ urology program with Drs. Walsh and Coffey. Sanda also describes his experience with a novel recombinant vaccine strategy, which uses a poxvirus encoding a specific tumor associated antigen (PSA) that is administered to patients in the setting of intermittent androgen blockade. The goal of this therapy is to induce PSA-specific T cells cytotoxic to prostate cancer.

Drs. David C. Smith and Kenneth Pienta, from the Department of Internal Medicine (Hematology/Oncology), describe their current treatment strategies for patients with hormone-refractory metastatic prostate cancer. They review the importance of maintaining castration levels of testosterone even in the setting of hormone refractoriness, and the series of clinical trials Pienta and others have developed using the nuclear matrix as a target of prostate cancer chemotherapy. The ongoing trial is now a four-drug regimen including estramustine, etoposide, taxol and carboplatin.

Briefly described is the SPORE (Specialized Program of Research Excellence) in prostate cancer awarded to Pienta and his colleagues. There are only two other such grant awards in the U.S. Clearly, we at the University of Michigan Cancer Center are most proud of our Prostate Oncology Program under the suburb leadership of Drs. Ken Pienta and James Montie. The SPORE award is only one example of why we are proud.

Laurence H. Baker, D.O.

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Please note: The articles listed in the Cancer Center's News Archive are here for historical purposes. The information and links may no longer be up-to-date.
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