Advanced Prostate Cancer: Types & Treatments

Author: Damian Sorce, MD, Board-Certified Urologist, Advanced Urology

Not all prostate cancer is the same. Some cancers are more advanced than others. It is estimated that between five and 10 percent of newly diagnosed prostate cancer cases are advanced1. Ideally, we like to find prostate cancer when it is in its earlier stages so that there are more treatment options and better survival rates. However, even for patients whose prostate cancer is diagnosed in advanced stages, there are still several treatment options available.

There are four types of advanced prostate cancer:

  1. Locally Advanced – cancer has filled the prostate and maybe surrounding areas
  2. Rising Prostate-Specific Antigen (PSA) – PSA continues to rise even after prostate cancer treatment with no evidence that cancer has spread
  3. Metastatic (hormone sensitive) – recurrent prostate cancer that spreads to another location, such as the adrenal gland, bone, liver or lung
  4. Castrate Resistant – cancer continues to grow without the presence of male hormones

It is important to know that advanced prostate cancer is complex and there is no cure. Available treatment options enable doctors to control the cancer by slowing its growth and reducing symptoms for patients.

Current treatment options for advanced prostate cancer include:

  • Hormone Therapy (androgen deprivation) – Also known as endocrine therapy, used to reduce the amount of male hormone in order to shrink the tumor and lower the PSA
  • Immunotherapy – Doctors remove immune cells, genetically engineer them to fight the prostate cancer, then put them back into the body
  • Chemotherapy – Used to prevent cancer cells from growing and dividing. Usually used as a last resort
  • No Treatment – If the risks of treatment outweigh the benefits

At Advanced Urology, we were one of the first urology practices in the nation—and Colorado—to treat advanced prostate cancer patients with PROVENGE® (sipuleucel-T), the first in a newer therapeutic class known as autologous cellular immunotherapies. Provenge works by stimulating a patient’s immune system to target prostate cancer cells. Each dose is manufactured specifically for the patient using his own immune cells.

In addition, researchers are working hard to find new treatments for advanced prostate cancer and hopefully, one day, a cure. In many cases, participating in a research studies will provide access to treatment options prior to FDA approval. Advanced Urology participates in clinical research to ensure that our patients have the widest variety of treatment options. Currently Advanced Urology is studying a new oral medication for patients with Advanced Castrate Resistant prostate cancer and new studies are being added all the time. Discussions about treatment planning should include the availability of related research studies.

Please contact our offices to speak to one of our urologists about prostate cancer. Our staff is always willing to provide second opinions. Plus, we can talk about open research studies for advanced prostate cancer.