20 years. A lot can happen in 20 years. A child can be conceived, born, and grow up to be an adult. A child can grow up, finish college, finish graduate school, and get a job. A mortgage can almost be paid off. A new drug can come on the market, lose patent protection, and become generic. New countries can be born. World unions can be formed—or dissolved. A research journal can be born and grow up. In short, a lot can happen in 20 years.
I am proud to announce that we just completed our 20th year of Prostate Cancer and Prostatic Diseases (PCAN). From humble beginnings, has sprung a vibrant journal, with a devoted following, and a rising reputation. Like a child that is just now becoming an adult, PCAN is finally coming in to its own. Before discussing where we are today, I want to take a stroll down memory lane.
What started out as the brain-child of several prominent urologists and medical oncologists was quickly turned over to two world-renowned urologists—Dr. Roger Kirby and Dr. Judd Moul. In those days, PCAN was a mere toddler, still finding its way. Submissions were low and the impact factor was below 1.0. However, due to the grit and perseverance of its editors and tremendous support from Nature Publishing Group (now Springer Nature), PCAN began to build an international reputation for publishing cutting edge research, and the impact factor rose to 2.0. It is this commitment to excellence that I inherited in 2010 when I had the honor to take over as Editor-in-Chief. Since then, PCAN has continued to climb. As the workload of the Editor increased and to expand our horizons, we brought on four Associate Editors from around the globe to help bring PCAN to the next level. I am highly indebted to these dedicated physician scientists—Drs. Ashley Ross, J. Kellogg (“Kelly”) Parsons, Henry Woo, and Andrew Armstrong. Today, as we celebrate the completion of our 20th year, our impact factor is 3.73 and we are the 14th highest ranked journal in the field of “Urology and Nephrology”. Not bad in just 20 years.
While we are pleased with our success, we are far from satisfied and are not sitting on our laurels. Nonetheless, it is important to periodically stop and realize what we have accomplished. Toward that end, we have compiled a list of the top 20 papers we have published over the last 20 years. This is not simply the highest cited papers, but a curated list, hand selected by myself, that includes the highest impactful papers on the field and our best science. That list can be found on our website. Below, I provide a brief highlight reel of our top 20.
PCAN has been a source for publication of new technologies for years. For example, we published an early paper on surface enhanced laser desorption/ionization (SELDI) and mass spectrometry creating a protein chip to search for prostate cancer biomarkers in 1999 . In 2014, we published one of the first studies and largest series at the time on irreversible electroporation in the focal treatment of prostate cancer, showing acceptable toxicity profile, though follow-up was too short to assess oncological outcomes .
A big area of interest for PCAN has been the impact of metabolic disorders and obesity and its effects on prostate diseases. Now well established, a paper in PCAN from nearly 20 years ago was one of the first to show that metabolic syndrome was linked with benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) . Similarly, also well-established now, prior work published in PCAN helped to further confirm the link between obesity and larger and higher grade prostate cancers .
In consort with an interest in studying how obesity influences prostate disease, there is an interest in studying “natural” treatments for prostate diseases. Indeed, multiple studies in PCAN have explored and reviewed exercise to reduce side effects of hormonal therapy showing that exercise can prevent and reverse many of the adverse effects of hormonal therapy  while still preserving sexual function . Yet other studies published in PCAN have explored the role of pomegranates for prostate cancer finding initially that treatment appeared to slow the rate of PSA rise in men with recurrent prostate cancer with no dose-effect . However, a subsequent placebo-controlled trial found no benefit in that both placebo and treatment equally slowed the rate of PSA rise among men with recurrent prostate cancer . Alternatively, a polyphenol-rich supplement did slow rates of PSA rise in a placebo-controlled randomized trial .
Another area of interest to PCAN is genetics and how these influence prostate cancer biology. For instance, we published an important paper on the role of ERG in prostate cancer . More recently, several papers have highlighted that molecular signatures—either in the urine  or in the tumor  can be used to predict either risk of prostate cancer or metastases, respectively. Indeed, given the growth in molecular signatures for prostate cancer, we also published a helpful review for clinicians .
Finally, PCAN publishes papers that cannot easily be put into a single category, but are far ranging. This includes one of the earliest descriptions of pathological progression in the TRAMP mouse model;  an early multi-center paper showing cross-resistance between enzalutamide and abiraterone ; and a paper showing an increasing rate of men presenting with metastatic prostate cancer in recent years, which received considerable media attention .
As clearly seen from the above highlights and the full top 20 on our website, and in reviewing any issue of the journal, our breadth is wide. Any study that moves the field forward for prostate diseases—male lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS), prostate cancer or prostatitis is welcome. Not sure if your paper is a good fit—send me an e-mail and we can discuss. I made that pledge 7 years ago, when I took over—that I would keep an open communication with authors. Don’t be afraid to contact me. I enjoy a healthy discussion about the journal. Likewise, if you have suggestions to improve the journal—don’t hesitate to contact me. While we have made major strides with the journal, nearly doubling the impact factor and now with a guaranteed 28-day turnaround, there is plenty of room to grow.
In summary, the past 20 years have been very good for PCAN. With the team in place and continued strong backing from Springer Nature, I am confident the next 20 years will be even better!
Jr GW, Cazares LH, Leung SM, Nasim S, Adam BL, Yip TT, et al. Proteinchip(R) surface enhanced laser desorption/ionization (SELDI) mass spectrometry: a novel protein biochip technology for detection of prostate cancer biomarkers in complex protein mixtures. Prostate Cancer Prostatic Dis. 1999;2:264–76.
Valerio M, Stricker PD, Ahmed HU, Dickinson L, Ponsky L, Shnier R, et al. Initial assessment of safety and clinical feasibility of irreversible electroporation in the focal treatment of prostate cancer. Prostate Cancer Prostatic Dis. 2014;17:343–7.
Hammarsten J, Hogstedt B, Holthuis N, Mellstrom D. Components of the metabolic syndrome-risk factors for the development of benign prostatic hyperplasia. Prostate Cancer Prostatic Dis. 1998;1:157–62.
Freedland SJ, Banez LL, Sun LL, Fitzsimons NJ, Moul JW. Obese men have higher-grade and larger tumors: an analysis of the duke prostate center database. Prostate Cancer Prostatic Dis. 2009;12:259–63.
Galvao DA, Taaffe DR, Spry N, Newton RU. Exercise can prevent and even reverse adverse effects of androgen suppression treatment in men with prostate cancer. Prostate Cancer Prostatic Dis. 2007;10:340–6.
Cormie P, Newton RU, Taaffe DR, Spry N, Joseph D, Akhlil Hamid M, et al. Exercise maintains sexual activity in men undergoing androgen suppression for prostate cancer: a randomized controlled trial. Prostate Cancer Prostatic Dis. 2013;16:170–5.
Paller CJ, Ye X, Wozniak PJ, Gillespie BK, Sieber PR, Greengold RH, et al. A randomized phase II study of pomegranate extract for men with rising PSA following initial therapy for localized prostate cancer. Prostate Cancer Prostatic Dis. 2012;16:50–5.
Pantuck AJ, Pettaway CA, Dreicer R, Corman J, Katz A, Ho A, et al. A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study of the effects of pomegranate extract on rising PSA levels in men following primary therapy for prostate cancer. Prostate Cancer Prostatic Dis. 2015;18:242–8.
Thomas R, Williams M, Sharma H, Chaudry A, Bellamy P. A double-blind, placebo-controlled randomised trial evaluating the effect of a polyphenol-rich whole food supplement on PSA progression in men with prostate cancer--the U.K. NCRN Pomi-T study. Prostate Cancer Prostatic Dis. 2014;17:180–6.
Furusato B, Tan SH, Young D, Dobi A, Sun C, Mohamed AA, et al. ERG oncoprotein expression in prostate cancer: clonal progression of ERG-positive tumor cells and potential for ERG-based stratification. Prostate Cancer Prostatic Dis. 2010;13:228–37.
Donovan MJ, Noerholm M, Bentink S, Belzer S, Skog J, O’Neill V, et al. A molecular signature of PCA3 and ERG exosomal RNA from non-DRE urine is predictive of initial prostate biopsy result. Prostate Cancer Prostatic Dis. 2015;18:370–5.
Ross AE, Feng FY, Ghadessi M, Erho N, Crisan A, Buerki C, et al. A genomic classifier predicting metastatic disease progression in men with biochemical recurrence after prostatectomy. Prostate Cancer Prostatic Dis. 2014;17:64–9.
Ross AE, D’Amico AV, Freedland SJ. Which, when and why? Rational use of tissue-based molecular testing in localized prostate cancer. Prostate Cancer prostatic Dis. 2016;19:1–6.
Gingrich JR, Barrios RJ, Foster BA, Greenberg NM. Pathologic progression of autochthonous prostate cancer in the TRAMP model. Prostate Cancer Prostatic Dis. 1999;2:70–5.
Cheng HH, Gulati R, Azad A, Nadal R, Twardowski P, Vaishampayan UN, et al. Activity of enzalutamide in men with metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer is affected by prior treatment with abiraterone and/or docetaxel. Prostate Cancer Prostatic Dis. 2015;18:122–7.
Weiner AB, Matulewicz RS, Eggener SE, Schaeffer EM. Increasing incidence of metastatic prostate cancer in the United States (2004-2013). Prostate Cancer Prostatic Dis. 2016;19:395–7.
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The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
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Freedland, S.J. 20 years—A retrospective of prostate cancer and prostatic diseases. Prostate Cancer Prostatic Dis 21, 1–3 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41391-017-0025-6