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Prostate Cancer: Clinical Study Demonstrates Superior Efficacy of,Docetaxel Chemotherapy

s when a cancer is progressing, were similarly conclusive. While 62.5% of the patients treated with docetaxel exhibited an over 50% reduction in PSA, a reduction of only 11.1% was detected among those treated with vinorelbine. This is a clear indication that docetaxel restricts tumour growth.

Even the team working on the study were surprised at the scale of the reduction in PSA produced by docetaxel. Prof. Krainer explains: "We used a much lower dose than that used during the TAX 327 study, which was the first to demonstrate the efficacy of docetaxel in a phase III trial, and we also chose not to boost the efficacy of the chemotherapy drug with cortisone premedication. Nevertheless, we still achieved a similar effect on PSA." Prof. Krainer believes this effect could be due to the lower toxicity which was produced by using a lower dose and which helped improve the efficacy of the therapy regimen.

Cancer specialist Dr. William K. Oh from the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute at Harvard Medical School also highlights this finding in his editorial comment attached to the publication. In his opinion, the therapy regimen used in Vienna offers a good alternative for patients in whom steroids are contraindicated. He also points out that the study demonstrated a 28.6% reduction of PSA in patients who had stopped responding to docetaxel and were instead using vinorelbine as second line chemotherapy, indicating that this drug will continue to play an important role in cancer treatment.

SMALL STUDY ­ BIG ISSUE This open-label, randomized phase II trial involved a total of 40 chemotherapy-naïve patients with histologically proven androgen-independent prostate cancer. The patients were divided into two groups that were given 25mg/m2 weekly doses of docetaxel or vinorelbine. Referring to the scope of the trial, Prof. Krainer states: "Of course, smaller studies such as this phase II trial cannot produce definitive conclusions. These can only be generated by
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