October 15, 2010

Bone Biopsies Identify Men at Risk for Fractures

(Ivanhoe Newswire) --A new virtual bone biopsy may be a key tool to identify future bone problems for men with prostate cancer.

Prostate cancer is the second most common cancer in men worldwide. The most commonly known treatment for this disease is androgen deprivation therapy or ADT. ADT suppresses or blocks the production or action of male sex hormones. But the same thing that has been used to treat cancer for years is actually associated with the decay of cortical and trabecular bone.

Researchers at the University of Melbourne in Australia studied 26 men with prostate cancer who began ADT for 12 months. Measurements were taken for sex steroid levels, bone turnover markers and bone mineral density. Then they used a three-dimensional high resolution peripheral quantitative computed tomography to assess bone micro architecture. This technology allows researchers to take virtual bone biopsies.

"We used a new technology that allows us to assess bone micro architecture and we found ADT is associated with structural decay of cortical (hard outer shell) and trabecular (spongy inner mesh) bone," Emma Hamilton, MBBS and Mathis Grossmann, MD, PhD, of the University of Melbourne in Australia and lead authors of the study were quoted saying. "This technology may be a useful test in predicting fractures in patients, but further research is needed in identifying individuals at greatest fracture risk as well as optimal therapeutic strategies."

SOURCE: Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, October 2010