Studies led by Nathan Sheets, MD, and Mark Jesus Magbanua, PhD, were recently featured in the Genitourinary Cancers Symposium press program. Both researchers are 2012 Conquer Cancer Foundation of ASCO Merit Award recipients, and each has made noteworthy discoveries in prostate cancer.
Dr. Sheets, a third-year radiation oncology resident at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and his team of researchers compared two types of radiation therapy that are designed to aim beams of radiation directly at a tumor. The researchers discovered that intensity-modulated radiation therapy is better than conventional conformal radiation therapy at reducing side effects and the recurrence of prostate cancer after treatment. In addition, intensity-modulated radiotherapy is less expensive than either conformal radiotherapy or proton-beam radiotherapy, another type of radiation therapy, which uses protons instead of x-rays to treat cancer.
Exercise–Prostate Cancer Link
Dr. Magbanua, Associate Specialist in the Department of Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco, and his team found that men with early-stage prostate cancer who exercise vigorously at least 3 hours a week have genes that are expressed differently in the prostate than those who do not exercise as intensely. In two previous studies, the researchers involved in this study found links between exercise—especially vigorous activity—and a lowered risk of death from prostate cancer or worsening of the disease. The goal of this study was to try to understand why exercise showed these benefits; the results showed that vigorous exercise may help some genes work better at controlling cancer growth.
The Conquer Cancer Foundation of ASCO Merit Awards are designed to promote clinical research by young oncology scientists. Awardees are selected based on the scientific merit of their abstracts, and recipients of the GU Merit Awards have the opportunity to present their research and interact with other clinical investigators at the GU Symposium.
Learn more about the Merit Awards at www.conquercancerfoundation.org. ■
© 2012. American Society of Clinical Oncology. All rights reserved.