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Prostate Cancer -- Who Needs Treatment?

By Jeffrey Norris, UCSF Science Cafe | January 10, 2007

Many men with early-stage prostate cancers may be undergoing treatment unnecessarily with surgery or radiation, according to a leading prostate cancer surgeon.

Heads-up diagnosis and treatment have undoubtedly played an important role in decreasing deaths due to prostate cancer. But even so, "about half the men currently being treated for prostate cancer have low-risk disease," says Peter Carroll, MD, chair of urology at UCSF. Some of these men may never need treatment.

Carroll also is clinical director of one of 11 collaborating centers nationwide that are funded by the National Cancer Institute (NCI) to conduct innovative prostate cancer research, heads a committee that is revising screening guidelines for the American Urological Association, and is principal investigator for CaPSURE, a longitudinal observational study of prostate cancer patients nationwide.

Carroll and leading experts from across the nation and overseas are convening at UCSF's Mission Bay campus on Jan. 12 and 13 to discuss how to arrive at better guidelines about who needs treatment - and when - among the increasing number of men being diagnosed with early-stage prostate cancer.

These international clinical and research leaders aim to develop a new research agenda, as well as new approaches to collaborating on and sharing research data across national boundaries.

Read more at Jeffrey Norris, UCSF Science Cafe