Team work against lung and prostate cancer

Pharmaceutical manufacturer Merck has teamed up with rival companies to develop novel treatments for lung and prostate cancer.
Merck’s pembrolizumab is an immunotherapy that enables the body’s defence mechanisms to recognise and kill cancer cells by promoting programmed cell death. It is currently being evaluated by …

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Baldness pattern linked with aggressive prostate cancer

Male-pattern baldness at age 45 is associated with an increased risk of developing aggressive prostate cancer compared with men not balding at that age, say US researchers (J Clin Oncol 2014; pii: JCO.2014.55.4279).
Their study included 39 070 men who were part of the ‘usual treatment’ …

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Robots taking over prostatectomy

The proportion of US surgeons using robot-assisted radical prostatectomy (RARP) increased from 0.7% in 2003 to 42% in 2010 (BJU Int 2014; doi: 10.1111/bju.12850).
An analysis of 489 369 procedures found that uptake of RARP was greater among surgeons with a higher workload (more than 24 …

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Metabolic syndrome may increase risk of urinary symptoms in men

An observational study from France has found that metabolic syndrome – a combination of impaired glucose control, being overweight, hypertension, high blood levels of triglycerides and low levels of HDL-cholesterol – is associated with an increased risk of lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS) (BJU Int …

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Physical activity builds boys’ brains

Being physically active helps boys read better, a study from Finland suggests (PLoS One 2014; doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0107031).
186 boys and girls aged 6–8 years were followed up for three academic years. In boys, more physical activity overall, walking or cycling to school, as well as sedentary …

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E-cigarettes don’t increase smoking cessation

Electronic cigarettes are not an effective tool to increase smoking cessation rates in people with cancer, according to a US study (Cancer 2014; doi: 10.1002/cncr.28811).
The review, which included 1074 people with cancer enrolled in a smoking-cessation programme, found that the prevalence of e-cigarette use was …

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NHS restrictions on generic sildenafil lifted

The Department of Health has removed restrictions on prescribing sildenafil for NHS patients – as long as it is done by generic name and not the more familiar Viagra brand.
Until recently, sildenafil and other PDE5 inhibitors (avanafil, tadalafil and vardenafil) could be prescribed at NHS …

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Active surveillance has ‘excellent outcomes’ for early testicular cancer

Active surveillance for men with clinical stage 1 testicular cancer has ‘excellent outcomes’, say US investigators (J Clin Oncol 2014; pii: JCO.2014.56.2116).
Their retrospective analysis of active surveillance in 2843 men with non-seminoma or seminoma cancers found relapse rates of 19 and 13% respectively, mostly within …

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Infection increasing after prostate biopsy

The incidence of infection following prostate biopsy is increasing, say Canadian researchers (J Urol 2014; doi: 10.5489/cuaj.1751).
Their review of the records of 927 men who underwent transrectal ultrasound-guided biopsy in the first 6 months of 2012 showed that 6.3% were admitted to hospital within 30 …

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Fracture risk drug now for men

Denosumab, a monoclonal antibody that reduces bone resorption, is now licensed for the treatment of osteoporosis in men who are at increased risk of fractures. Under the brand name Prolia, denosumab was formerly restricted to women as a treatment for osteoporosis but it has long …

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