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Insights Into Cancer – July 10, 2012

Surveillance vs. Treatment for Prostate Cancer

Presented by Leonard S. Marks, MD

About the Lecture

In 2011 more than 200,000 men were diagnosed with prostate cancer. Most men currently diagnosed will not suffer from the disease and yet many are receiving invasive treatments. It has been firmly established by an autopsy study that many men, who lived full lives, died from other causes and were believed to be prostate cancer free, actually have small cancer spots in their prostates that were never symptomatic or related to their deaths. The older the man is, the more likely his prostate is to contain one or more of these insignificant cancer spots. For these men, active surveillance may be the best approach. Active Surveillance refers to the organized follow-up of men, who on the basis of biopsy findings, are believed to have ‘low-risk’ prostate cancer, i.e. small, bland tumors unlikely to soon, if ever metastasize or cause symptoms. Until recently, prostate cancer, unlike other major cancers, has proved difficult to image when confined to the prostate. However, recent advances in MRI technology are allowing visualization of localized prostate cancer in many cases and this is enhanced with ultrasound-guided biopsy via a new device known as Artemis (Greek goddess of the hunt), currently in testing at UCLA. These strategies and their role in active surveillance are discussed along with current treatment approaches, thus opening up a wider range of options for men with a cancer diagnosis of the prostate.

About the Speaker

Leonard S. Marks, MD is a Professor of Urology at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA in the Department of Urology. He returned to the UCLA faculty in late 2008, following a lengthy career as a private practitioner and research foundation director in West L.A. He currently directs the UCLA “ASCAP” program (Active Surveillance for Carcinoma of Prostate). Dr. Marks has served on active duty as a Lt. Commander in the U. S. Public Health Service , been a Research Fellow at Cedars/Sinai Medical Center Post- Doctoral Research Scholar at UCLA School of Medicine and has received awards for his work relating to serum PSA levels to prostate histology and cross cultural studies in prostate cancer. His current research interests focuses on prostate disease, both benign and malignant, particularly the role of tissue androgens, cancer markers, prostate imaging, and minimally invasive treatments.

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