Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Fox Chase Gleason scores better predict prostate cancer's recurrence after radiation, study finds

Date:
October 5, 2011
Source:
Fox Chase Cancer Center
Summary:
In a new study, researchers have found that Gleason scores determined by pathologists at Fox Chase Cancer Center more accurately predict the risk of recurrence than Gleason scores from referring institutions.

In a new study led by Fox Chase Cancer Center radiation oncologist Natasha Townsend, M.D., researchers have found that Gleason scores determined by pathologists at Fox Chase Cancer Center more accurately predict the risk of recurrence than Gleason scores from referring institutions.

She presented the new research at the 53rd Annual Meeting of the American Society for Radiation Oncology on Oct. 3.

When a man is diagnosed with prostate cancer, his tumor is assigned a Gleason score -- a number between 2 and 10 indicating the aggressiveness of the cancer and likelihood that the cancer will spread to other parts of his body. In general, Gleason scores 2 to 6 are considered low, 7 is intermediate, and 8 to 10 are high. A patients Gleason score is used to make important treatment decisions.

Townsend and her team looked at the records of 1,649 men who had undergone radiation therapy at Fox Chase between 1994 and 2007. Fox Chase pathologists reviewed the cases of every patient referred to the Center from another institution and determined the Gleason score, so Townsend compared those scores to scores from pathologists at the referring institutions (e.g. urologists, private pathologists' offices, and other centers that specialize in prostate cancer treatment).

A minor increase or decrease in Gleason score can significantly alter a patient's treatment, says Townsend. "We learned that twenty percent, or one in five men, with a Gleason score 7 by the referring institution were determined to have a Gleason score 2 to 6 at Fox Chase," Townsend added. "This is important because not only is the prognosis much better but, it changes what treatment might be recommended. For example, patients with Gleason 6 disease are more likely to be offered brachytherapy (i.e. prostate radioactive seeding) and uncommonly treated with androgen deprivation therapy, which strongly impacts quality of life."

Even greater benefits were seen in patients determined to have Gleason score 8 to10 disease by the referring institution. "An alarming 58% of patients with Gleason score 8 to 10 disease in our study were unconfirmed. These patients were found to have lower Gleason scores and similarly better prognosis," says Townsend. Patients with Gleason score 8 to 10 are universally characterized as having "high-risk" disease and a common practice standard is treatment with combination external beam radiotherapy and hormone therapy. When the Gleason score is lower, physicians are more confident omitting hormone therapy and avoiding the side effects that go along with that treatment.

Pathologists who specialize in prostate cancer likely explain the difference between the Gleason scores. "Most cases were examined by an oncologic pathologist with a special experience in urologic pathology," says Tahseen Al-Seleem, M.D., Fox Chase pathologist and co-author on the study. "Cases with discrepancy in diagnosis or grading with the outside institutions were examined by a panel of at least two oncologic pathologists until a consensus diagnosis was reached."

Changing the Gleason score is meaningless however, unless the changes better predict how patients will do following treatment. "Historically, we know Gleason score 6 patients fare better than Gleason 7, who fare better than Gleason 8 to10. Our study shows that the Fox Chase Gleason scores better predicted this pattern than the referring institutions. This reassures us that the changes made by Fox Chase pathologists were more accurate, enabling our doctors to better advise patients about treatment options and outcomes," says Mark K. Buyyounouski, M.D., M.S., Fox Chase radiation oncologist and senior author on the study. "Quality treatment for prostate cancer begins with understanding how aggressive the cancer may be and how far along it may have progressed. This study is an example of how a second opinion about the biopsy results improves quality."

Co-investigators include Karen Ruth, Tahseen Al-Saleem, Eric Horwitz, Mark Sobczak, Robert Uzzo, Rosalia Viterbo, and Mark Buyyounouski from Fox Chase.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Fox Chase Cancer Center. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Fox Chase Cancer Center. "Fox Chase Gleason scores better predict prostate cancer's recurrence after radiation, study finds." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 5 October 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/10/111005111402.htm>.
Fox Chase Cancer Center. (2011, October 5). Fox Chase Gleason scores better predict prostate cancer's recurrence after radiation, study finds. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 30, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/10/111005111402.htm
Fox Chase Cancer Center. "Fox Chase Gleason scores better predict prostate cancer's recurrence after radiation, study finds." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/10/111005111402.htm (accessed July 30, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 30, 2014) Obamacare-related costs were said to be behind the profit plunge at Wellpoint and Humana, but Wellpoint sees the new exchanges boosting its earnings for the full year. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Concern Grows Over Worsening Ebola Crisis

Concern Grows Over Worsening Ebola Crisis

AFP (July 30, 2014) Pan-African airline ASKY has suspended all flights to and from the capitals of Liberia and Sierra Leone amid the worsening Ebola health crisis, which has so far caused 672 deaths in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. Duration: 00:43 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey

At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey

AP (July 30, 2014) At least 20 New Jersey residents have tested positive for chikungunya, a mosquito-borne virus that has spread through the Caribbean. (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Generics Eat Into Pfizer's Sales

Generics Eat Into Pfizer's Sales

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 29, 2014) Pfizer, the world's largest drug maker, cut full-year revenue forecasts because generics could cut into sales of its anti-arthritis drug, Celebrex. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins