Signs which tell prostate cancer patients the risk of death
Mark Buyyounouski is a radiation oncologist at Fox Chase and he led the development of a new tool which can be used to estimate the risk of dying from prostate cancer for patients who underwent radiation treatment. Mark calls this new tool a nomogram and he introduced it to the world at the 53rd Annual Meeting of the American Association for Radiation Oncology on Oct. 2.
Mark and with the help of his international collaborators tested the nomogram with the existing data of 2132 men from around the world who had biochemical failure. The data was collected from three different countries and five institutions. The device works by measuring the time between the last radiation treatment and the biochemical failure and according to the result the device can accurately predict what risk of death the patient is facing.
The nomogram uses many types of data to give its prediction, among these types of information we can find, patient age, tumor stage, Gleason score and PSA characteristics.
When a patient is faced with advanced prostate cancer he asks tough questions related to his survival chances. So far doctors haven’t been able to give accurate responses because little is known about the metastasis-death timeframe. But scientists have discovered that the sooner a patient experiences biochemical failure after the radiation treatment the more likely he is to develop metastasis and die.
In case a doctor has such a device he only has to type various factors, leave the machine to do the math and in a couple of minutes he will have a very accurate answer. This machine is also very useful for researchers who want to explore new prostate cancer treatments as it can be used as a monitoring tool.
Mark worked year is testing and tweaking the device so that he may bring it at an operating level. But all those year of hard work have not gone unrewarded. His next project is to bring an online version of his device for free for everyone. The tool will be available at the Fox Chase Cancer Center web site early next year.