Health Care As It Should Be June 2014

Upcoming Events

  • For information call the number listed, or visit Most events require early pre-registration, unless otherwise stated.

    Quit Smoking Now! Series LC
    760-834-3798 Read More

    Advances in the Treatment of Lung Cancer LC
    TU, Jun 17, 10:30 to 11:30 a.m.
    760-834-3798 Read More

    Summer Food Safety Tips AC
    TU, Jun 17, 11 a.m. to noon
    Rosalind Elemy, Registered Dietitian
    760-610-7205 Read More

    Chronic Pain Slowing You Down?
    TH, Jun 19 5:30 to 6:30 p.m.
    Eisenhower Desert Orthopedic Center, 3rd Floor Learning Center
    Hazmer Cassim, DO and P. Jeffrey Smith, DO
    760- 766-1207  Read More

    Advances in the Treatment of Metastatic Prostate Cancer LC
    TU, Jun 24, 10:30 to 11:30 a.m.
    760-834-3798 Read More

    Sex After Breast Cancer LC
    W, Jun 25, noon to 1:30 p.m.
    Nina Grace Ruedas, Desert Center for Sexuality Awareness
    760-834-3798. Complimentary light lunch; register by Jun 23. Read More

    Coping with a Loved One’s Metastatic Prostate Cancer LC
    CancerCare® Live, Interactive Teleconference
    F, Jun 27, 10:30 to 11:30 a.m.
    760-834-3798 Read More

    Gastric Cancer: Current Perspectives and Treatment Options LC
    CancerCare® Live, Interactive Teleconference
    M, Jun 30, 10:30 to 11:30 a.m.
    760-834-3798 Read More

    Primary Care Q&A Session with Dr. Allison Lovell MZ
    TH, Jul 10, 1 to 2 p.m.
    Allison Lovell, MD, Internal Medicine
    760-834-7956 Read More

    Signs and Symptoms of a Stroke AC
    TH, Jul 10, 4:30 to 5:30 p.m.
    Deborah Bayer, RN, BSN, CCRN, Stroke Program Coordinator
    760-834-7956; register by Jul 9. Read More

    Bariatric Surgery Information AC
    SA, Jul 12, 10 a.m. to noon, or Read More
    W, Jul 23, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.  Read More
    Bobby Bhaskar-Rao, MD, General Surgery

    Eating Seasonally: Fantastic Foods of the Summer AC
    Great Living Starts Here
    TU, Jul 15, 11 a.m. to noon
    Maureen McCarthy, RD, Registered Dietitian
    760-610-7205; register by Jul 15. Read More


    AC Annenberg Center for Health Sciences at Eisenhower
    LC Eisenhower Lucy Curci Cancer Center
    LQ Eisenhower George and Julia Argyros Health Center, La Quinta
    MZ Mizell Senior Center, Palm Springs

    Would you like to have someone from Eisenhower Medical Center speak to your organization on a health-related topic? Please contact Vanessa Shanks at 760-834-7956 for more information.




Advanced Prostate Cancer: The Latest Treatments

Murthy Andavolu, MD
Murthy Andavolu, MD
When prostate cancer is in its early stages, immediate treatment may not be necessary. Depending on a patient’s age and other determining factors, watchful waiting is an option — followed by radiation and surgery as the next line of defense. However, if the cancer has metastasized, spreading to other parts of the body, physicians have access to an array of systemic treatments.

According to Eisenhower Medical Center physician Murthy Andavolu, MD, MBA, Board Certified in Internal Medicine, Medical Oncology and Hematology, prostate cancer is the medical parallel to breast cancer in women. “Pathologically and physiologically, prostate cancer is the equivalent of female breast cancer — a hormonally dependent, hormonally driven cancer,” says Dr. Andavolu. “And, advanced prostate cancer is responsive to hormone treatments. As a result, hormone treatments are becoming more and more center stage in the treatment of prostate cancer as opposed to chemotherapy, although it is not the only mode of treatment.”

Hormone Therapies
Two of the most recent hormone therapies garnering good results are Zytiga® and Xtandi®. Zytiga, a prescription medicine used in combination with prednisone (a synthetic corticosteroid drug), works by interrupting the androgen-making process (androgen is a male hormone such as testosterone). Xtandi is a oncea- day prescription medicine that lessens the ability of androgens to attach to and activate the androgen receptor which may decrease prostate cancer cell growth. “A trial with Xtandi in patients who have not yet received chemotherapy has shown a significant prolongation in survival for patients who are receiving the hormone therapy even before chemotherapy,” notes Dr. Andavolu.

If hormonal treatments do not prove effective in a patient, physicians look to immunotherapy.

“There are currently two different immunotherapies available, one of which is approved and one which is undergoing clinical trails and could be approved,” explains Dr. Andavolu.

Provenge® is an approved immunotherapy for advanced prostate cancer patients. “This is a very personalized treatment where we take the patient’s blood cells and deliver an antibody against an antigen [any substance that causes the immune system to produce antibodies against it] that is expressed by the prostate cancer cells. The antibody goes to the prostate cancer and the antigen on the prostate cancer cells. This is a targeted, individualized therapy for a patient’s prostate cancer antigen,” says Dr. Andavolu.

If patients fail to respond to hormone therapies and immunotherapy, physicians turn to chemotherapy to treat advanced prostate cancer patients. The chemotherapy drug Taxotere® works by preventing cancer cells from dividing and growing. A newer chemotherapy, Jevtana®, may fight tumors that have become resistant to Taxotere. In patients suffering from bone pain due to advanced cancer metastases, radiation treatment can help to ease pain. A radiopharmaceutical bone-seeking isotope delivered intravenously can also help with painful bone metastasis.

On the Horizon
Although the treatment of advanced prostate cancer from a surgical standpoint has remained relatively static, the availability of hormone therapy treatment during the past two years has significantly prolonged the survival of patients. “Hormone therapies should be used first, followed by immunotherapy, and then chemotherapy,” says Dr. Andavolu. “It’s the best approach for the management of advanced prostate cancer.”

September is Prostate Cancer Awareness Month! See the calendar on the left side of the newsletter for all of the 8th Annual Arnold Palmer Prostate Center Community Symposium events.