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Health, Wellness, Sex and Body Discuss Prostate cancer drug so effective trial stopped at the General Discussion; A new drug for advanced prostate cancer patients has proved so effective that researchers stopped the clinical trial early to ...

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Old 06-03-2012, 11:34 PM
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Post Prostate cancer drug so effective trial stopped

A new drug for advanced prostate cancer patients has proved so effective that researchers stopped the clinical trial early to give all patients a chance to receive the life-extending medication, according to a UCSF-led study released Saturday.

The hormone treatment, Johnson & Johnson's Zytiga, when added to a standard steroid therapy doubled the time it takes for the disease to progress in patients treated with the standard therapy alone, said the lead researcher, Dr. Charles Ryan, associate professor of clinical medicine at the UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration last year approved Zytiga, also known as abiraterone, for use in men whose prostate cancer had spread to other parts of their body and had already been treated with chemotherapy. The FDA will have to approve it for patients who have not had chemotherapy before it can be marketed for broader use.

This trial focused on patients whose cancer had metastasized, may have been treated with other hormone therapies but had not yet gone through chemotherapy. The interim results are to be presented Saturday at the American Society of Clinical Oncology's annual meeting in Chicago.

"If the FDA looks favorably upon the data ... it will really change the standard of care in advanced prostate cancer away from chemotherapy toward a well-tolerated, oral therapy," Ryan said from Chicago. "It opens up the possibility of this life-prolonging therapy being given to a larger population of patients."

A treatable disease

Prostate cancer, the second most common form of cancer in males after only lung cancer, is diagnosed in about 200,000 men in the United States each year. And while it is generally treatable, the disease kills nearly 30,000 men a year.

Because their disease is often slow-growing, about a third of patients diagnosed with prostate cancer won't be treated. Another third will undergo successful treatment, which could include surgery, various hormone therapies or chemotherapy.

Still, a third of patients will have recurrent or aggressive disease that may have been caught too late. Ryan said men tend to die when the cancer spreads outside the prostate, mostly to bone, and the patient becomes resistant to hormonal therapy. The cancer cells rely on testosterone to exist, so typically doctors treat patients with testosterone-blocking hormone therapy.

But patients become resistant when the cancer cells develop the ability to make their own hormone and learn to survive even in the face of the testosterone-blocking drugs, giving the disease the ability to progress, Ryan said.

Zytiga is the first FDA-approved drug that can go inside the cancer cell and block it from making its own testosterone.

The trial involved 1,088 men who were being treated by 151 cancer centers in 12 countries. Each was given a low dose of the steroid prednisone, which works to combat the cancer, but some received Zytiga while others were given a placebo.

All participants receiving the placebo drug were allowed in March to start taking Zytiga. Not only did they notice a slowdown in the progression of the disease, but patients also reported reduced pain and went longer before having to resort to chemotherapy.

If the FDA extends Zytiga's approval to include patients who have not yet gone through chemotherapy, more health insurers will cover the drug. The final results of the trial are expected next year.
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This is pretty awesome news.
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Old 06-03-2012, 11:41 PM
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Default Re: Prostate cancer drug so effective trial stopped

Thank you. I have two friends each of whose husbands are suffering with prostate cancer. Obviously being in the UK it is too late for them by the time it gets approved here, but it is a truly nasty disease causing a lot of suffering and the sooner the illness is found a cure the better.
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Old 06-19-2017, 02:51 AM
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Lightbulb Re: Prostate cancer drug so effective trial stopped

Blood tests could help target precision drugs at the right people with cancer...

Prostate cancer blood test 'helps target treatment'
Mon, 19 Jun 2017 : By detecting cancer DNA in blood, the test can identify which men will benefit from precision drugs.
Scientists have developed a blood test that could pick out which men with advanced prostate cancer would benefit from a new drug treatment. The test detects cancer DNA in the blood, helping doctors check whether precision drugs are working. Cancer Research UK said the test could "greatly improve survival". But larger studies involving more men needed to take place to confirm if doctors could rely on the test, the charity said. Blood samples from 49 men with advanced prostate cancer were collected by researchers, as part of the phase II clinical trial of a drug called olaparib.

Blood tests could help target precision drugs at the right people with cancer

This type of precision drug is seen as the future of cancer medicine but because it is a targeted treatment, the drug does not work for everyone. Researchers from The Institute of Cancer Research and the Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust said the test could help target treatment better and also reduce its side effects. They used it to identify men who were not responding to the treatment in four to eight weeks and also to pick up signs that the cancer was evolving and becoming resistant to the drugs.

'Major impact'

Prof Johann de Bono, consultant medical oncologist at the two organisations, said: "From these findings, we were able to develop a powerful, three-in-one test that could in future be used to help doctors select treatment, check whether it is working and monitor the cancer in the longer term. He added: "Not only could the test have a major impact on treatment of prostate cancer, but it could also be adapted to open up the possibility of precision medicine to patients with other types of cancer."

Dr Aine McCarthy, senior science information officer at Cancer Research UK, said the blood test was an "exciting" development. "The test has the potential to greatly improve survival for the disease by ensuring patients get the right treatment for them at the right time and that they aren't being given a treatment that's no longer working," she said. Further studies involving a larger group of men will confirm if doctors should use this test when treating patients with advanced prostate cancer."

Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men. Over 46,000 men are diagnosed with the disease every year in the UK. Dr Matthew Hobbs, from Prostate Cancer UK, said: "The results from this study and others like it are crucial as they give an important understanding of the factors that drive certain prostate cancers, or make them vulnerable to specific treatments."

Prostate cancer blood test 'helps target treatment' - BBC News
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