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Brachytherapy causes iatrogenic shedding of prostate cancer cells? 2002 Reuters

By: Reuters Healt

NEW YORK (Reuters Health), Sep 28 - Brachytherapy can result in the iatrogenic shedding of prostate cancer cells,
which may increase the risk of metastatic deposits and systemic failure, researchers report. Dr. Mansoor M. Ahmed from the
University of Kentucky, Lexington, and colleagues studied 25 prostate cancer patients who were treated with brachytherapy. Controls included four normal men and one woman. Case controls consisted of four men who underwent prostate biopsy for prostate cancer. The researchers collected peripheral blood at baseline, during and after brachytherapy. They isolated RNA from mononuclear cells nd analyzed the mRNA expression of prostate specific antigen (PSA) and G6PDH genes.Before brachytherapy, 23 patients were negative for PSA mRNA expression and 2 patients were positive. Among the 23 negative patients, 15 patients tested positive for PSA mRNA expression during or after brachytherapy, while the other 8 patients continued to test negative for PSA mRNA throughout therapy. Eight of the 25 patients developed rising levels of PSA. One of these patients did not express PSA mRNA before, during or after brachytherapy, while the other seven expressed PSA mRNA after brachytherapy, according to the report in the August issue of Urology. "Our results suggest for the first time in published reports that a substantial number of patients undergoing brachytherapy have iatrogenic dissemination of prostate cancer cells in peripheral  blood caused by the insertion of needles in the prostate gland," the researchers conclude."The detection of PSA mRNA in the peripheral circulation appears to have a significant correlation with biochemical failure after interstitial brachytherapy and needs additional study in a larger patient population."

 (Reuters Health)

Urology 2002;60:270-275.


Lisa Deffendall

When David Soleimani-Meigooni was a fourth-grader, he was experimenting with middle school science concepts.In fifth and sixth grades, his analyses of chromosomes and DNA were on par with high school work. From seventh grade on, David's annual science fair projects were clearly college-level endeavors.Now 17, the Paul Laurence Dunbar High School senior is doing cancer research that most scientists do not tackle until they are pursuing doctoral degrees.This weekend, he will present his work at the regional finals of the Siemens Westinghouse Competition, one of the nation's leading science, math and technology contests for high school scholars.David is the only student from Kentucky chosen to travel to Georgia Tech for the southern region finals. Although 1,200 students across the country entered the contest this year, only 70 have reached this level of the competition, said Marie Martin, spokeswoman for the Siemens Foundation. Thirteen teen-age scientists will face off in Atlanta.The top individual and group projects chosen today will each win $3,000 and advance to the finals in Washington next month to vie for a first-place $100,000 scholarship.David is the son of Ali Soleimani-Meigooni, a professor of medical physics at the University of Kentucky, and Sharifeh Dini, a nurse who is completing her third master's degree.His project examines the effects of curcumin, related to the cooking spice turmeric, on prostate cancer cells. In the research, which he said will be published soon in a scientific journal, David found that curcumin enhances the effect of radiation therapy on cancer cells by disrupting their natural survival instincts and causing them to die in greater numbers.With curcumin, seven times less radiation can be used to kill the same number of cancer cells, David said. He hopes his work will eventually lead to advancements in the treatment of the prostate cancer. A conversation with David is challenging, forcing a listener to recall long-forgotten vocabulary from high school biology. Arcane terms -- micromolar, chromosome aberrations, mitochondrial pathways, apoptosis and radiosensitization -- roll easily off his tongue as he explains the latest evolution of work he began eight years ago. He admits with a smile that his discoveries are difficult to explain.David said he found his calling as a fourth-grader at Cassidy Elementary School when he was out of ideas for the upcoming science fair."One day I was at home glued to the television, and my mom was outside in the sun, gardening and sunbathing and all that stuff," he said. "When she came back in she said, 'You're receiving too much radiation, get back from the TV.' That kind of sparked my imagination."Using a film that measures radiation, David set out to prove to his mother that the radiation she was getting from the sun was worse than his exposure watching television or heating a snack in the microwave.He wanted to learn more about radiation, but he was also curious about biology. His father introduced him to a colleague at a radiobiology lab at UK. Monsoor Ahmed became a mentor for David, who has been experimenting in Ahmed's lab ever since.

His projects have built upon themselves, beginning with studies of radiation treatments on prostate cancer cells, continuing with experiments mixing curcumin and radiation, and most recently, examining the inner workings of cells to understand why the curcumin enhances the killing properties of radiation. He is thankful for the help of other scientists in Ahmed's lab, including Damo-daran Chendil, who have been patient with his questions and have helped him do radiation protocols that he is not old enough to do legally.For David, a perennial standout at Fayette County and regional and state science fairs, the work leading up to the competition is as much fun as the contests themselves."When you can prove something so significant, something that no one has ever known before, or something that may be new and interesting, ... there's no other feeling like it in the world," he said.The teen-ager spends three days a week and most Saturdays working in the lab. Science is not his only endeavor though.At school, he is involved in several clubs, including the National Honor Society and the Cultural Society, which works to promote cross-cultural understanding. He is an accomplished violinist, speaks fluent Farsi, volunteers at the UK Chandler Medical Center and serves on the Mayor's Youth Council and the Lexington Youth Leadership Academy.In the future, David wants to be a pediatric oncologist. He is applying to eight colleges, including Yale, UK and the University of Louisville, with a desire to continue his cancer research and go to medical school.He says he is encouraged every year by the number of elementary school students he sees competing in local science fairs, but he would like to see Fayette County's public school system encourage more middle and high school students to participate."A lot of the reason that kids don't do research is maybe a little of the stigma of being a science nerd or spending all your time at labs and that whole 'lab rat' kind of image, but it's not really that at all," he said. "Science is just another outlet of expressing yourself.please visit http://www.kentucky.com

Lexington Herald Leader, 2003.     

Going for the GRID: Last Chance Radiation therapy Gives patients New Hope.  In Odyssey Online (Medicine)

Gov. Paul Patton recognizes UK and U of L Lung Cancer Researchers, 2001










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