The final challenge

Neuroendocrine Prostate Cancer

What is NEPC?
NEPC is a small cell of prostate cancer. A different type from “normal” adenocarcinoma prostate cancer. It is more lethal. Where does NEPC come from?
Under survival stress, “normal” prostate cancer sheds its outer layer and becomes NEPC. NEPC is not vulnerable to most prostate cancer treatments except radiation (or surgery). How does NEPC kill me? Generally, NEPC attacks the bones causing excessive calcium to be released into the blood. Hypercalcemia may cause a fatal heart attack. Additionally, NEPC tumors may arise in kidneys, liver, lungs, heart, or brain and grow large enough to cause the failure of that organ.

Who is Dr Hamisha Beltran?

Dr. Beltran is a medical oncologist at Dana-Farber Boston. She is head of the Beltran Lab, which includes doctors, scientists, nurses, and techs. For the past several years, Dr. Beltran has been researching the process by which “normal” prostate cancer becomes NEPC. She hopes to develop a personalized treatment plan for each individual that will prevent the switchover.

Bring it all together

How does this help me? Dr. Beltran ran several blood tests on me. My red blood count and hemoglobin are a bit low, and my glucose is 130, but otherwise in good shape. Two special tests were run, showing that my prostate cancer is expanding, but it has not yet gone over to NEPC. So What?


I have been watching Dr. Beltran for quite a while, and I recently switched to her care. The goal was to put the perfect patient with the perfect doctor at the perfect time. I figure this is the best chance I could ever get. I’m a wee bit proud that I made it happen. Now, if it pays off?

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