Prostate cancer

The prostate gland produces the seminal fluid that transports semen through the urethra. The prostate is also where the vas deferens and the urethra meet.

Prostate cancer is the second most frequently diagnosed cancer in men, with more than 903,000 new cases diagnosed annually. With more than 258,000 deaths occurring annually, prostate cancer is the sixth leading cause of cancer death in men worldwide. Prostate cancer incidence rates vary widely throughout the world with nearly 75 percent of diagnoses in developed countries. The number of prostate cancer diagnoses is increasing, probably as a result of the overall increase in life expectancy and the emergence of biomarker testing. Prostate cancer is more common in older men, black men, and men with a family history of the disease. It is very rare for men under the age of 40 to be diagnosed with prostate cancer. While some prostate cancers can grow and metastasize quickly, most prostate cancers grow slowly.

Image: prostata cancer

Detecting Prostate Cancer

A higher-than-normal concentration of a protein called prostate specific antigen (PSA) can be the first sign of malignant disease in the prostate. PSA screening recommendations vary worldwide. The risk benefit profile of regular PSA screening remains inconclusive despite intense and ongoing study. Early stage prostate cancer is typically asymptomatic. At more advanced stages of disease, prostate cancer patients may experience weak or interrupted urine flow, difficulty urinating, frequent urination, blood in the urine, painful urination, and/or lower back, pelvis or upper thigh pain. Whether a prostate cancer diagnosis is suspected because of a PSA test or because of patient symptoms, a physician can only make a diagnosis after performing a prostate biopsy.

Treating Prostate Cancer

Recent advancements in prostate cancer treatments administered alone or in combination have given patients new options and better prognoses. At times, treating physicians may recommend an initial “wait and see” approach to find out how the disease develops and observe it closely before beginning a course of treatment. As with other cancers, patients whose cancers are diagnosed at an early stage have better survival outcomes and more therapeutic options available to them. These treatments include surgery, radiation, cryotherapy, chemotherapy, vaccine treatments and anti-androgen hormone-agents. These treatments can help stop or slow the growth and spread of prostate cancer.

Unmet Need

If a patient’s prostate cancer is diagnosed at an advanced stage, or progresses to an advanced stage despite the fact that hormone therapy is keeping the testosterone in the body at very low levels, there are no curative options available. This disease state is known as castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC). A majority of men with CRPC have radiological evidence of bone metastases meaning they present with secondary tumors present in bone. Prostate cancer bone metastases typically target or occur in the lumbar spine, vertebrae and pelvis and cause painful and debilitating symptomatic skeletal events (SSEs). In fact, bone cancer metastases are the main cause of morbidity and death in patients with CRPC.

Bayer Treatment for CRPC

Bayer HealthCare has developed a novel therapeutic alpha particle-emitting pharmaceutical which was approved in the US in June 2013. In November 2013 Bayer HealthCare has received approval for another drug for the treatment of adults with castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC), symptomatic bone metastases and no known visceral metastases.

Advice for patients

Every body reacts differently to medicines. Therefore it is impossible to tell which medicine works best for you. Please consult your physician.

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Annual Report 2013


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