Of Schemes and Memes Blog

Prostate Cancer Awareness Month – Emphasizing lifestyle-related research

Freedland Picture

Dr. Stephen Freedland is a Urologist within the Duke Prostate Center at Duke University.  He is an Associate Professor of Surgery (Urology) and Pathology.  He also holds an appointment as a staff physician at the Durham VA Hospital.  He is Editor-in-Chief of Prostate Cancer and Prostatic Diseases, the North American Editor for European Urology, and sits on the editorial board of several other international urology journals.

It is a great honor to be the Editor-in-Chief of one of the only research journals in the world dedicated to prostate diseases, Prostate Cancer and Prostatic Diseases. My journey with this journal began several years ago when I joined the faculty at Duke University where my boss at the time, Dr. Judd Moul, was the co-Editor-in-Chief.  I watched him manage the journal for 5 years, learning the ropes, before taking over the reins myself in the summer of 2010.  Over the past 3 years, the journal has grown tremendously and this year we are on track for a 50% increase in submissions vs. just 3 years ago.  We have been able to do all of this while decreasing the time it takes to review a paper to 4 weeks or less (from when an author submits to hearing a decision).


PCan awareness month logoWith September being Prostate Cancer Awareness Month, I thought I would highlight some of the exciting work published in our journal since I took over 3 years ago with a special emphasis on lifestyle-related research:

  • One common treatment for prostate cancer is hormonal therapy (aka castration). While very effective, hormonal therapy comes with many side effects, one of which is a reduced interest and ability to have sex.  However, a new study published in our journal shows that in a randomized controlled trial, men who exercise regularly are better able to maintain their sexual function. Thus, exercise is not only good for the heart, but apparently the penis too!
  • The lack of exercise coupled with not eating right can result in problems with sugar control and high blood pressure. While both of these factors are risk factors for heart disease, new research in our journal suggests that high blood sugar levels or high blood pressure may also be associated with increased prostate cancer recurrence after treatment.  Thus, another link between heart healthy and urological health!
  • Finally, one hot area has been in complementary treatments for prostate cancer and in particular in the role of pomegranates. New research published in our journal suggests that men with a rising PSA after failed primary treatment who take either 1 or 2 pomegranate supplement tablets a day may experience a slowing in the rate of PSA rise.  Unfortunately as there was no control group who took no supplements, we cannot say for sure that the pomegranates had a benefit, but the data are certainly intriguing and justify future studies.

In summary, the last 3 years has been a very exciting and rewarding one for both me and the journal. I am very pleased with where the journal stands, but we will continue to strive to make the journal better and better.  I believe our best days are ahead of us.

If you have any comments or suggestions, please feel to contact us at pcan@us.nature.com. And don’t forget to check out PCAN’s Top Ten articles from 2012 which are available for FREE during Prostate Cancer Awareness Month.


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