Prostate cancer drug extends the lifespan of cancer patients

Jun 06, 2018, 12:49
Prostate cancer drug extends the lifespan of cancer patients

"Our study has found that immunotherapy can benefit a subset of men with advanced, otherwise untreatable prostate cancer, and these are most likely to include patients who have specific DNA fix mutations within their tumours", said Johann de Bono, Director of the Drug Development Unit at the Institute of Cancer Research.

An worldwide trial led by The Institute of Cancer Research, London, and The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust has shown that immunotherapy can benefit men with prostate cancer.

More than a third of men with a very advanced form of the cancer were still alive, and one in 10 had not seen the cancer grow, after a year on the drug pembrolizumab, the study found.

World-leading prostate cancer expert Professor Johann de Bono, of the Institute for Cancer Research, said: 'We hope for a cure but we can't call it that yet.

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Visit the American Cancer Society for more on prostate cancer. We have several patients who have had a complete response. Still, the authors said the study suggests a potential strategy for new therapies and hormonal treatment regimens that could narrow the prostate cancer survival disparity between blacks and whites.

Just 5 percent of men in the trial saw their tumours actually shrink or disappear after treatment, but the proportion was higher in a small group of men whose tumours had mutations to genes involved in repairing DNA, the researchers noted.

Further trials will be needed before the drug, already licensed for certain types of skin cancer, lung cancer and lymphoma, is approved for routine clinical use in prostate cancer.

They stop cancers turning off the immune system so the body can keep on attacking the tumour.

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"Our examine has discovered that immunotherapy can profit a subset of males with superior, in any other case untreatable prostate most cancers, and these are most definitely to incorporate sufferers who've particular DNA restore mutations inside their tumours".

"It's exciting that immunotherapy could offer some men more time with their loved ones where they have such advanced disease that they have run out of existing treatment options".

However, the therapy will not work for most patients. They showed that this approach could work in treating prostate cancer. However, the researchers were expecting it, since immunotherapy only works for some patients. In addition, they are more likely to be diagnosed at a younger age and with advanced, aggressive cancer, the researchers said. He added: 'The next stage is to try and develop tests to help us better identify which patients will benefit most'.

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