Drug hope for prostate cancer treatment

A new drug has been developed that could treat up to 80 per cent of patients with aggressive prostate cancer, according to UK research.

In a trial of 21 patients with advanced, aggressive prostate cancer, abiraterone was found to cause significant tumour shrinkage and a reduction in PSA levels.

It is hoped that the drug could soon be available in a simple pill form in as little as two or three year’s time.

Lead researcher Dr Johann de Bono, from the Institute of Cancer Research in London, said that the drug abiraterone worked by blocking the generation of key hormones that drive the growth of prostate cancers.

‘Abiraterone works not only in blocking the generation of these hormones in the testes, but also elsewhere in the body, including generation of hormones in the cancer itself.

‘Clinical benefits included evidence of PSA falls and tumour shrinkage which was observed in 70-80 per cent of patients.’

John Neate, chief executive of the Prostate Cancer Charity, added: ‘This is an exciting development which has been eagerly anticipated.

‘We look forward to the results of the larger trials already underway or being planned for this drug to prove its potential effectiveness for the thousands of men diagnosed with advanced prostate cancer every year in the UK.’

sanjay.tanday@haymarket.com

Journal of Clinical Oncology Online 2008

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