Treatment of prostate cancer
Prostate cancer is the commonest cancer in men, with more than 70,000 new cases annually in France. This is usually a slowly developing cancer. It can be completely silent or may be the cause of urinary symptoms such as difficulty in passing urine or frequency of micturition.
The invasiveness of the cancer is mainly defined by three criteria: the extent of the cancer (restricted to the prostate, spread to lymph nodes or to other organs), the characteristics of the cancer cells as seen under the microscope (Gleason score) and the PSA level (Prostate Specific Antigen) in blood.
The care (diagnosis and treatment) of prostate cancer necessitates collaboration of doctors from various disciplines: chemotherapy, surgery, radiotherapy, imaging and histology. This is coordinated with the work of private doctors outside the Institute. Any major decision is taken in the multidisciplinary consultative committee meetings (RCP). In some instances, the patient is asked to attend the meeting.
Clinical research on prostate cancer
There are a number of research projects on prostatic cancer at Gustave Roussy. In recent years these have resulted in the development of increasingly effective treatment. Clinical trials are focusing on the assessment of other treatments and novel techniques as well as various drug administration regimens.
At present this research is concentrated in three areas:
- Prediction of tumour responsiveness to chemotherapy and elucidation of mechanisms of drug-resistance, so as to prevent metastasis and improve drug treatment
- Identification of tumour characteristics in the individual patient to lead to personalised treatment
- Development of less toxic and incapacitating therapies which remain just as effective, and would, therefore, improve the patient’s quality of life