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UPDATE
n° 146 | March 18, 2021
In this issue:
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Call for more biomarker testing across Europe

Report from patient, industry and pathology bodies points to inequalities
10 Mar 2021
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Making the case for prostate screening programmes

New scientific update is aimed at European policy makers
15 Mar 2021
Prostate research and treatments

MRI-Guided Prostate Biopsy

Results from PRECISE Trial

Here’s welcome news for men of a certain age: These new results from the PRECISE trial appear to support a less invasive approach to investigations for suspicion of prostate cancer (PCa).
An approach using MRI of the prostate followed by targeted biopsy (TB) in men with images suggesting a high risk had better results than the conventional approach of using transrectal ultrasound systematic biopsy. Results come from the phase 3 PRECISE trial and were published online in JAMA Oncology last month.
The trial showed that, by taking an imaging-first strategy, you could reduce the number of men needing a biopsy by about 40% and actually find more significant cancer. The approach also appeared to reduce the number of indolent tumours and reduce the risk of overtreatment.

To read more: MRI-Guided Prostate Biopsy Prevails in PRECISE Trial (medscape.com)

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Barbershops and PSA Screening

The medical profession in Europe has recognised for some time that Black African Afro-Caribbean men are more likely to develop prostate cancer. The reported lower participation rate of Black men in prostate cancer screening programmes has also been noted. In Cleveland Ohio a community-based programme has been launched to increase the number of African Americans screened for prostate cancer.

The project’s principal instigator Dr. Erika Trapl said: “The best bet is to identify prostate cancer early and reduce late-stage diagnosis.”

To do so, Dr. Trapl has established a team of researchers that includes expertise in cancer disparities, social work, bioethics, culturally-specific intervention development, urology, genetic epidemiology, community outreach and dissemination and implementation science. The collaboration includes many other groups and institutions.

The project is designed to develop and evaluate a community-based prostate cancer screening programme, increase the number of African American men who receive baseline prostate-specific antigen (PSA), establish awareness of prostate cancer risk and reduce cancer disparities. Mens’ hairdressers or barbershops are key locations for community involvement.

To read more see Prostepedia: New initiative aims to increase prostate cancer screening in African Americans men (news-medical.net)

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Radiotherapy's Role in Metastatic PCa

Men with no more than three bone lesions and no visceral metastases see a clear benefit in adding radiation therapy (RT) to standard treatment.  Men seem to have improved failure-free survival (FFS) and overall survival (OS) for prostate cancer (PCa) patients with only a few bone metastases.  These conclusions arise from an exploratory analysis of the multi-arm, multi-stage STAMPEDE trial.

There were nearly 2,000 men in this English study, adding RT to mostly androgen deprivation therapy (ADT). The findings were published online ahead of print in JAMA Oncology.

Primary findings from this part of STAMPEDE, showed that men with “low metastatic burden” had improved 3-year OS with the addition of RT to standard of care (SOC), 81 vs. 73%. The definition of low metastatic burden is not agreed upon internationally; it includes a range of definitions based on metastasis number but the authors seem to suggest that the take-home message should be that local RT matters most in men with few metastases and good systemic control and that local RT should be applied more cautiously as the burden of disease increases.

To read a fuller account of this topic see the article in March issue of HotSheet Pages 3 & 6.

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Europa Uomo News

EUPROMS II

The Board approved the plans for the EUPROMS II the follow-up to our successful Quality of Life Study. The Chairman and Treasurer have secured sufficient pledges of financial support to proceed with the activation of planning scoping exercises.

Board meeting 16.03.2021

The Board of Europa Uomo held a virtual meeting on Tuesday 16th March.

Among the matters discussed were the following:

Special General Assembly Friday 26th March
Final arrangements discussed for the meeting to consider changes to the Statutes will take place at 16.00 CET on Friday 26 March. The details of how to join the Zoom meeting will be sent to all registered delegates during the coming week.

Virtual General Assembly 2021 Sat. 19 June
Because of the Covid-19 pandemic we will again hold our General Assembly by way of Zoom on 19th June. Member organisations are reminded that they can submit motions for consideration by the GA. The provision adopted at the Birmingham GA in 2019 allowing a maximum of 9 Board members will be put into effect at this GA and therefore member organisations may nominate persons for election to the two new positions for the Board at the General Assembly.

The Board will meet again on 18th May to finalise the Annual Report and to settle the Agenda for the General Assembly.

General Assembly 2022 in Netherlands
The Board has accepted a proposal to hold the 2022 GA in the Netherlands. The date and location have yet to be agreed. 2022 also marks the 25th Anniversary of the founding of the PKS (ProstaatKankerStichting).

European Patient Forum (EPF)
The Board considered the latest correspondence from the EPF. Their admissions procedure is very similar to that of Europa Uomo and the Board was pleased to note that EUomo now has Candidate Status and may participate as an Observer in EPF meetings and deliberations in advance of formal accession to membership of EPF.

Active Surveillance Programme
The Board approved the proposal of Cosimo Perieri for an Active Surveillance programme under the aegis of Europa Uomo.

ASPI – Next meeting
After the very successful meeting last month which featured a presentation by Prof. Dr Chris Bangma which was attended by 120 people via Zoom a meeting with patient accounts of their Active Surveillance experience will take place on 27th March 27 at 5 PM CET – 6:30 PM CET.

ASPI International Webinar: Learning from Active Surveillance Patients’ Experience

Active Surveillance Patients International is pleased to announce the next international webinar March 27 at 5 PM CET – 6:30 PM CET (12 PM EDT – 1:30 PM EDT).

This Webinar will be a unique opportunity to learn from personal experience of men who have been on AS for up to 15 years. There has been helpful information from webinars featuring doctors, but this webinar will allow you to learn from patients who have learned to live with their prostate cancer.

For more information and registration, click here.

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Items of Interest

How Cancer Cells May Evade Chemotherapy

Chemotherapy is an aggressive systemic treatment for various forms of advanced cancer. It is termed aggressive because it can not only attack and destroy cancer cells but also healthy tissue. Despite the intent of the chemotherapy treatment some cancer cells seem to have an avoidance mechanism which allows them to survive the drugs and regenerate the cancer.

These cancer cells appear to be able to dodge the impact of the chemotherapy drugs by entering a state that bears similarity to a certain type of “active hibernation” also known as senescence. This state enables them to weather the stress induced by aggressive treatments aimed at destroying them. This new study by scientists at Weill Cornell Medicine has findings that have implications for developing new drug combinations that could block senescence and make chemotherapy more effective.

In a study published Jan. 26 in Cancer Discovery, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research, the investigators reported that this biologic process could help explain why cancers so often recur after treatment.

To read further on this topic click on the link: Study finds cancer cells may evade chemotherapy by going dormant (medicalxpress.com)

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