Discovery Surrounding Prostate Cancer Subtype Has Potential for Better Treatment
A newly-published research study recently found that a specific subtype of prostate cancer occurs much more often than previously thought, prompting medical experts to predict it will soon become easier to treat that type of cancer in the future.
Treatment-emergent small cell neuroendocrine prostate cancer, referred to as t-SCNC for short, was once thought to just effect less than 1 percent of those who were diagnosed with prostate cancer. However, the study found that t-SCNC instead occurred at a rate of around 17 percent, prompting researchers to take a second look at the cancer subtype.
A Statistically Significant Difference
The distinction matters, study co-author Dr. Rahul Aggarwal remarked in a press release. The University of California-San Francisco assistant professor of medicine told the San Francisco Chronicle that differentiating different types of aggressive prostate cancers made it easier to treat them individually instead of in a more homogeneous manner.
The study concerned itself exclusively with treatment-resistant prostate cancers that don’t respond well to standard hormone therapy. Identifying the ratio that these subtypes occur in the male population will help set the groundwork for creating more targeted approaches to treatment.
The Roadmap To Better Treatment
The revelation that t-SCNC, one of the deadlier types of metastatic prostate cancers, is not nearly as rare as was previously assumed might seem to be cause for alarm at first. However, gaining a more complete knowledge of just how prevalent t-SCNC can and will be highly beneficial.
Dr. Aggarwal cited the clear understanding oncologists have of the different subtypes of breast cancer as the ultimate goal for treating prostate cancer more effectively. It’s these targeted approaches that can then increase survival rates for diagnosed patients, both in developing more accurate testing methods for specific strains and in designing treatments that are more effective in addressing the specific characteristics of prostate cancer strains such as t-SCNC.