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Spotlight on prostate cancer

Guest Editors: Dr Sigrid Carlsson and Dr Andrew Vickers

Prostate cancer is the second most common cancer in men worldwide, and is responsible for over 300,000 deaths every year. The causes of prostate cancer are not fully understood, but older age, family history of the disease and African-Caribbean race are known risk factors. Diet is also thought to play a role, with research suggesting that high consumption of red and processed meat and low consumption of vegetables could increase the risk of developing prostate cancer.

Incidence rates for prostate cancer have increased dramatically in the last two decades, which is largely attributed to increased availability of screening. Prostate-specific antigen (PSA) testing for prostate cancer remains controversial and the risk:benefit ratio of regular screening is not fully established. Some international guidelines recommend regular PSA testing, whereas other countries have no national screening program.

While some cases of prostate cancer are very slow-growing and can be managed with active surveillance, men with more aggressive cancers require treatment with radiotherapy, surgery, pharmacological therapy, or a combination of these options. Current research aims to distinguish those at risk of more severe disease through biochemical, molecular and clinical approaches, as well as to develop new targeted therapies for advanced prostate cancer.

BMC Medicine’s Spotlight on prostate cancer article collection aims to highlight recent progress in all areas of prostate cancer research and treatment. We welcome submissions of research articles covering prostate cancer epidemiology and prevention, screening and risk stratification, disease management and new therapies, biomarkers, molecular genomics and translational studies. The collection also includes invited reviews and commentaries.

  1. Epidemiological studies have observed a positive association between an earlier age at sexual development and prostate cancer, but markers of sexual maturation in boys are imprecise and observational estimates...

    Authors: Carolina Bonilla, Sarah J. Lewis, Richard M. Martin, Jenny L. Donovan, Freddie C. Hamdy, David E. Neal, Rosalind Eeles, Doug Easton, Zsofia Kote-Jarai, Ali Amin Al Olama, Sara Benlloch, Kenneth Muir, Graham G. Giles, Fredrik Wiklund, Henrik Gronberg, Christopher A. Haiman…
    Citation: BMC Medicine 2016 14:66
  2. Although life expectancy estimation is vital to decision making for localized prostate cancer, there are few, if any, valid and usable tools. Our goal was to create and validate a prediction model for other ca...

    Authors: Matthew Kent, David F. Penson, Peter C. Albertsen, Michael Goodman, Ann S. Hamilton, Janet L. Stanford, Antoinette M. Stroup, Behfar Ehdaie, Peter T. Scardino and Andrew J. Vickers
    Citation: BMC Medicine 2016 14:25
  3. Androgen deprivation therapy (ADT) has been used in the treatment of metastatic prostate cancer since the first description of its hormonal dependence in 1941. In 2004, docetaxel chemotherapy became the mainst...

    Authors: Robert J. van Soest and Ronald de Wit
    Citation: BMC Medicine 2015 13:304
  4. Prostate cancer screening using prostate-specific antigen (PSA) is highly controversial. In this Q & A, Guest Editors for BMC Medicine’s ‘Spotlight on Prostate Cancer’ article collection, Sigrid Carlsson and Andr...

    Authors: Sigrid Carlsson, Michael Leapman, Peter Carroll, Fritz Schröder, Peter C. Albertsen, Dragan Ilic, Michael Barry, Dominick L. Frosch and Andrew Vickers
    Citation: BMC Medicine 2015 13:288
  5. Multiple mechanisms of resistance contribute to the inevitable progression of hormone-sensitive prostate cancer to castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC). Currently approved therapies for CRPC include sys...

    Authors: Thenappan Chandrasekar, Joy C. Yang, Allen C. Gao and Christopher P. Evans
    Citation: BMC Medicine 2015 13:206
  6. Castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC) is associated with wide variations in survival. Recent studies of whole blood mRNA expression-based biomarkers strongly predicted survival but the genes used in thes...

    Authors: Li Wang, Yixuan Gong, Uma Chippada-Venkata, Matthias Michael Heck, Margitta Retz, Roman Nawroth, Matthew Galsky, Che-Kai Tsao, Eric Schadt, Johann de Bono, David Olmos, Jun Zhu and William K. Oh
    Citation: BMC Medicine 2015 13:201
  7. In the UK, a man’s lifetime risk of being diagnosed with prostate cancer is 1 in 8. We calculated both the lifetime risk of being diagnosed with and dying from prostate cancer by major ethnic group.

    Authors: Therese Lloyd, Luke Hounsome, Anita Mehay, Sarah Mee, Julia Verne and Alison Cooper
    Citation: BMC Medicine 2015 13:171