NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. Researchers at Rutgers Ernest Mario School of Pharmacy have shown that administering a combination of the widely used drugs Celebrex (celecoxib, a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug) and Lipitor (atorvastatin, a cholesterol lowering drug) stops the transition of early prostate cancer to its more aggressive and potentially fatal stage.
Prostate cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in men in the United States, with more than a quarter-million new cases appearing each year, according to the American Cancer Society. The findings are being presented by Rutgers Professor Xi Zheng at the annual meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research in San Diego, April 14th.
In the early stage of the disease, when it is typically diagnosed, prostate cancer cells depend on androgen hormones, such as testosterone, to grow. Treatment at this stage involves either decreasing the production of the hormone or blocking its actions on the cancer cells.
Anti-androgen therapy slows the prostate cancer but eventually the cancer becomes androgen-independent, the therapy becomes ineffective and the cancer cells become more aggressive, said Xi Zheng, assistant research professor at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, who conducted the study.
Treatments available for the later stage cancers are not very good, said Allan Conney, director of Rutgers Susan Lehman Cullman Laboratory for Cancer Research, another researcher on the project. Oncologists employ classical chemotherapy drugs which are very toxic and dont work all that well.
Zheng and Conneys research objective was to find a way to indefinitely delay the transition to androgen-independence, prolonging the time during which the cancer would be responsive to effective, low-toxicity, anti-hormone therapy.
Zheng explained that their experiments were first conducted on cell cultures in the laboratory, where the researchers tested th
|Contact: Joseph Blumberg|