Navigation Links
New Drug Appears to Extend Survival in Advanced Prostate Cancer Patients

By Steven Reinberg
HealthDay Reporter

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 15 (HealthDay News) -- A new investigational drug known as enzalutamide adds an average of five months to the lives of men with advanced prostate cancer, a new study has found.

This is such a significant finding that the trial was stopped early so men receiving a placebo could opt to take enzalutamide.

"We found a hormonal drug prolongs the lives of men who have failed traditional hormones as well as chemotherapy," said lead researcher Dr. Howard Scher, chief of the genitourinary oncology service at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York City.

In addition, these results show that even after failing regular hormone therapy these tumors can still react to a hormone-based treatment, he said.

Scher said he believes enzalutamide might be even more effective if used in men with earlier stages of prostate cancer. Trials testing that theory are under way, he said.

One of the reasons for testing the drug in late-stage cancer is to speed U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval, Scher said.

The results of the study were published online Aug. 15 in the New England Journal of Medicine.

In this phase 3 trial, nearly 1,200 men with advanced prostate cancer were randomly selected to take either enzalutamide, which is taken orally, or a placebo. The men had already undergone chemotherapy, the researchers noted.

Compared to those on placebo, men taking enzalutamide lived an average of nearly five months longer and their risk of dying was reduced by 37 percent, the researchers found.

The drug is not without side effects, however, the most serious of which were seizures.

"[Seizures] occurred in five of the 800 patients who received the drug," Scher said. Many of these patients had factors making them susceptible to seizures, he said.

Enzalutamide patients also reported hot flashes, fatigue and diarrhea.

Whether the drug will cause side effects like those seen with regular hormone therapy isn't yet known, Scher said. That's something the current trials may reveal.

The possible side effects can reduce patient's quality of life and include constipation or diarrhea, nausea, loss of or decrease in appetite, dizziness or headache, trouble sleeping, impotence, and decreased sex drive.

Enzalutamide is a type of hormonal therapy that, through another pathway, acts like traditional hormone therapy. It was created to help men who develop resistance to regular hormone therapy and go on to develop an aggressive cancer called castration-resistant prostate cancer, the most advanced form of the disease, Scher said.

Researchers found that men build resistance to hormone therapy because the tumor increases the production of androgen (a male hormone) receptors, he added.

Enzalutamide binds to androgen receptors in cancer cells, blocking the ability of these receptors to promote cancer growth, Scher explained.

If approved, enzalutamide would join a similar drug, abiraterone (Zytiga), as a new treatment for prostate cancer that is resistant to traditional hormone therapy.

Although it is too early to know how much enzalutamide will cost, the wholesale cost of abiraterone is about $5,000 a month, according to Bloomberg News. The retail cost is, of course, higher.

"This is good news for men with advanced prostate cancer," said Dr. Anthony D'Amico, chief of radiation oncology at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston.

"It's likely a drug that will be FDA approved," he said.

D'Amico cautioned, however, that if the drug is used in men with early prostate cancer who are prone to seizures, it needs to be carefully monitored.

"The bottom line is, it's good news," D'Amico said. "I predict in the next five to seven years we will be using drugs like this as opposed to what we currently use to treat men with earlier-stage disease."

More information

To learn more about prostate cancer, visit the American Cancer Society.

SOURCES: Howard Scher, M.D., chief, Genitourinary Oncology Service, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York City; Anthony D'Amico, M.D., Ph.D., chief, radiation oncology, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston; May 17, 2012, Bloomberg News; Aug. 15, 2012, New England Journal of Medicine online

Copyright©2012 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Off-Label Drug Use Appears Common
2. Exercise Appears to Ease Nerve-Damage Pain in Rat Study
3. New Pill Appears Effective, Safe for Ulcerative Colitis: Study
4. Healthy Behaviors Extend Life After Cancer, Experts Say
5. Exercise and a healthy diet of fruits and vegetables extends life expectancy in women in their 70s
6. New Melanoma Drug May Extend Survival
7. New treatment protocol extends survival in some cases of once inoperable pancreatic cancer
8. Spaceflight may extend the lifespan of microscopic worm
9. Gene therapy treatment extends lives of mice with fatal disease, MU study finds
10. Experimental drug may extend therapeutic window for stroke
11. Golden age of prostate cancer treatment hailed as fourth drug in 2 years extends life
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
New Drug Appears to Extend Survival in Advanced Prostate Cancer Patients
(Date:11/30/2015)... ... December 01, 2015 , ... The National Association of Professional Women (NAPW) ... of the Year Circle. She is recognized with this prestigious distinction for leadership in ... women, boasting more than 850,000 members and over 200 operating Local Chapters. , “I’m ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... ... November 30, 2015 , ... 1Heart Caregiver Services’ Executive Team ... of Philippine American Chambers of Commerce held from November 6-8, 2015 at the ... Services, as an active delegate from the Philippine American Chamber of Commerce of ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... ... November 30, 2015 , ... ... stressful. At the VA Maryland Health Care System, the Caregiver Support Program ... “Caregivers have a difficult job. Seventy-four percent report that their role as ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... VA (PRWEB) , ... November 30, 2015 , ... ... Research Foundation (Meso Foundation) released information for caregivers and held two webinars on ... are available on demand free of charge at . , With ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... ... November 30, 2015 , ... According to research by the ... dental technicians to be certified or obtain continuing education. To increase awareness of ... Your Mouth?” campaign to inform dentists that the technicians they trust could lack ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/30/2015)... MAPLE GROVE, Minn. and BASEL, ... Upsher-Smith Laboratories, Inc. (Upsher-Smith), through its wholly-owned ... for the further development of a novel, oral small ... cell-adhesion molecule that may be effective in the treatment ... Phase II clinical development. --> ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... TOKYO , 1 décembre 2015 ... plus grande exposition et conférence d,Asie ... médicaux et sur l,industrie manufacturière, se ... du 20 au 22 avril ... - Photo - ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... 1, 2015 ... "Endometriosis - Pipeline Review, H2 2015" market ... therapeutic pipeline of Endometriosis and helps enhance ... strategies to gain competitive advantage. It strengthens ... MOAs to produce first-in-class and best-in-class products. ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: