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New bone-targeting drug delays onset of metastases in hormone-resistant prostate cancer patients
Date:9/24/2011

ed events (SREs), such as fractures and spinal cord compression. SREs can be profoundly disrupting to a patient's life and strategies to prevent or delay the spread of cancer to the bone can give them a respite from this.

If the osteoclast-mediated bone destruction can be hindered through inhibiting the RANKL protein, the cycle of bone destruction and tumour proliferation can be held back. Given that 90% of men with advanced prostate cancer will have their tumour spread to the bone, the potential advantages of RANKL inhibition are great, the researchers say.

"In this group of patients with castrate resistant prostate cancer, once they have developed bone metastases they are only likely to survive for around two years," says Prof Oudard. "Our trial has shown that denosumab prolongs the period before metastasis where the patients' quality of life has not yet suffered to a great extent. For the first time, we have shown that targeting the bone micro-environment can work in this way. We believe that in future we may be able to do even better by combining denosumab with other targeted treatments," he will conclude.

ECCO President Professor Michael Baumann said: "This is the first large clinical trial to demonstrate that targeting of the bone micro-environment significantly delays onset of bone metastases in hormone resistant prostate cancer patients with high risk for development of bone metastases. What is really striking here is that the effect holds true for all sub-groups of patients evaluated. This offers new options for a considerable group of patients and also will stimulate important further research in this field."

ESMO spokesman Dr. Joaquim Belmunt, from the Medical Oncology Service, Hospital del Mar, Barcelona, said: "Denosumab, being the first agent able to delay the onset of bone metastasis in castrate-resistant prostate cancer, represents a paradigm shift in our beliefs about the limited efficacy of the presently availa
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Contact: Mary Rice
mary.rice@riceconseil.eu
ECCO-the European CanCer Organisation
Source:Eurekalert

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