The way prostate cancer is treated could have a radical re-think as two international clinical trials go ahead.
The Australian and New Zealand Urogenital and Prostate (ANZUP) Cancer Trials Group will involve more than 1,900 sufferers from Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, UK and Canada.
ANZUP is an active and emerging cancer cooperative clinical trials group established to bring together all the professional disciplines and groups involved in researching and treating urogenital and prostate cancers.
Founder of the ANZUP Cancer Trials Group Professor Ian Davis from Monash University's Eastern Health Clinical School said the trials would involve a new hormone treatment called Enzalutamide.
"While Enzalutamide had not been approved in Australia for prostate cancer, it had been shown to be effective in treating late stages of the disease," Professor Davis said.
"Clinical trials are imperative. All the medical research in the world means nothing if we can't improve outcomes for patients. Clinical trials are how we find out whether something works, how best to use it and how it stacks up against what we are already doing.
"These two trials aim to answer basic questions that patients and their doctors face every day in the clinic - what is the best way to treat men with prostate cancer? They will be two of the largest trials into prostate cancer and people around the world are already intensely interested in them and what their outcomes might be."
Professor Davis said trials needed to be conducted in Australia as our health systems were not the same as the US or Europe.
"We need to know how a treatment could or should be used in the Australian setting. A clinical trial is also often a good way of getting access to new treatments for our patients," Professor Davis said.
"Australian research is recognised around the world as being of the highest quality. These trials might be the opportunity needed to change the lives of prostate cancer sufferers around the world."
The clinical trial groups will be led by clinicians and scientists, and will include men with prostate cancer that has spread but not yet been treated with hormones, and men with cancer that has not spread and is planned for treatment.
Urogenital cancers include cancers of the prostate, testis, kidney and bladder and other cancers associated with the urinary system.