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New drug targets vitamin D receptors in hormone resistant prostate cancers
Date:11/17/2010

rognosis is poor and treatment is currently limited to docetaxel chemotherapy. The average time of survival with HRPC is around 19 months.

Inecalcitol is a novel vitamin D receptor agonist [2], which is extremely effective at inhibiting cancer cell proliferation and differentiation. It is a synthetic derivative of calcitriol, the natural active metabolite of vitamin D3, but it is ten times more potent and one hundred times less toxic than calcitriol.

Dr Medioni, who is associate professor of medical oncology and head of the Clinical Oncology Centre for Early Trials at the Hpital Europen Georges Pompidou in Paris (France), and his colleagues in other centres in France enrolled 54 patients in groups of three to six to test the drug for efficacy and toxicity and to discover the maximum tolerated dose.

In this first clinical trial of the drug in HRPC, the patients had an average age of 71, ranging from 49-87; 83% had bone metastases; and the median average PSA levels were 31.7 nanograms per millilitre of blood (ng/ml), ranging from 0.8-962.4 ng/ml. [3]

The researchers found the maximum tolerated dose of inecalcitol was 4000 micrograms a day, as none of the patients treated at this level experienced side effects more serious than mildly raised calcium levels in their blood (hypercalcaemia). Follow-up of a few patients is ongoing, but analysis of 47 patients who were treated with doses up to 2000 micrograms a day showed that PSA levels dropped by 30% or more in 83% of patients within three months of treatment.

"These are really interesting results," said Dr Medioni. "This study was of a small group of patients and so it is difficult to extrapolate to the wider population of prostate cancer patients; however, the majority of men had very advanced disease and, therefore, it is very encouraging to see PSA levels dropping in such a high proportion of patients and a time to biochemical relapse of nearly half a year. The trial has
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Contact: Emma Mason
wordmason@mac.om
ECCO-the European CanCer Organisation
Source:Eurekalert

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