December 31, 2015 – No Worries


Anchor lead: A new grading system should reduce fears for many men with prostate cancer, Elizabeth Tracey reports

Among the many prognostic indicators for prostate cancer is the Gleason score, used for decades by pathologists to identify how advanced a tumor is, but the score is complex at best.  Now a new grading system developed by Jonathan Epstein and colleagues at Johns Hopkins may help.

Epstein: If you’re a patient and you go on the Internet, which many patients do nowadays, and they say the scale goes from 2, which is low, to 10, which is high,  and they have a six, in the middle, they think not as good as they could be.  So whenever I talk to patients now I saw your grade is six, that’s as low as you can get,  even despite the scale looking like you’re in the middle of the scale.   :17

Epstein says the new score should be much more practical.

Epstein: For future research and for treatment purposes, people will now be put in the appropriate prognostic group that mirrors how they will do in terms of their prognosis.  :12

Epstein hopes the system will allow more men to feel comfortable with active surveillance as a management strategy.  At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.