Hormone-depleting drug shows promise against localized high-risk prostate tumors

May 16, 2012

A hormone-depleting drug approved last year for the treatment of metastatic prostate cancer can help eliminate or nearly eliminate tumors in many patients with aggressive cancers that have yet to spread beyond the prostate, according to a clinical study to be presented at the annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), June 1-5, in Chicago.

The phase II clinical trial, led by investigators at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and other research centers, examined the use of the drug abiraterone acetate (Zytiga(R)) in combination with prednisone and surgery in 58 men with high-risk prostate cancer isolated to the prostate gland. Participants received either three or six months of the two-drug regimen followed by surgery to remove the prostate. When the treatment was complete, pathology exams showed that one-third of the participants had no or almost no tumor tissue left.

"Very high-risk cancers localized to the prostate are rarely cured by prostatectomy alone," says the study's lead author, Mary-Ellen Taplin, MD, of Dana-Farber. "Therapies that combine surgery with older androgen-inhibiting drugs have not historically improved outcomes. This unmet need has given rise to efforts to develop capable of more completely reducing within the ."

Taplin will present the data (abstract 4521) on Saturday, June 2, at 8 a.m. CT, Arie Crown Theater, McCormick Place.

Androgen, the male hormone, provides the fuel for prostate cancer growth. Conventional therapies target androgen production in the testes and , but not within the tumor itself. Abiraterone acetate is capable of blocking androgen production in all three sites.

In the study, researchers used half the dose of prednisone (a steroid) standardly given with abiraterone acetate. This lower dose, it is hoped, would reduce the side effects associated with steroids while maintaining its benefits of protecting particular steroid imbalances associated with abiraterone. Since there were no increased side effects from abiraterone, the researchers feel that the lower dose of prednisone (5mg daily) is adequate for most patients.

"Most of the patients in this study had large tumors, high grade prostate cancers and were at high risk for cancer spread," Taplin remarks. "We're very encouraged by the results and have begun another phase II study investigating another novel androgen signaling inhibitor, MDV3100, in the neoadjuvant setting for high risk prostate cancer. We are also developing a clinical trial program investigating the addition of the investigational drug ARN509 to abiraterone. To prove the overall benefit of intensive androgen deprivation treatment in conjunction with prostatectomy, a large randomized clinical trial will need to be done."

Explore further: Drug treatment extends lives of men with prostate cancer

Related Stories

Drug treatment extends lives of men with prostate cancer

May 26, 2011
(Medical Xpress) -- A drug recently approved by the Food & Drug Administration for the treatment of prostate cancer is proving to give some patients the gift of time.

Abiraterone acetate improves fatigue in prostate cancer patients, says international clinical trial

September 25, 2011
Stockholm, Sweden: Men with prostate cancer that has spread to other parts of the body and that is resistant to hormone therapy suffer less from fatigue if they are treated with a combination of abiraterone acetate and prednisone, ...

Baseline hormone levels may predict survival in metastatic, castration-resistant prostate cancer

April 3, 2012
Patients with castration-resistant prostate cancer treated with the androgen inhibitor abiraterone and who had high baseline hormone levels had longer overall survival compared with patients with low hormone levels, according ...

Drug shown to significantly improve survival in men with metastatic prostate cancer

June 6, 2011
The final survival analysis of an international study of a new drug for prostate cancer has found an even greater median survival benefit than previously reported, and has established a new class of treatment for men with ...

Recommended for you

'Labyrinth' chip could help monitor aggressive cancer stem cells

September 21, 2017
Inspired by the Labyrinth of Greek mythology, a new chip etched with fluid channels sends blood samples through a hydrodynamic maze to separate out rare circulating cancer cells into a relatively clean stream for analysis. ...

Drug combination may improve impact of immunotherapy in head and neck cancer

September 21, 2017
Checkpoint inhibitor-based immunotherapy has been shown to be very effective in recurrent and metastatic head and neck cancer but only in a minority of patients. University of California San Diego School of Medicine researchers ...

Whole food diet may help prevent colon cancer, other chronic conditions

September 21, 2017
A diet that includes plenty of colorful vegetables and fruits may contain compounds that can stop colon cancer and inflammatory bowel diseases in pigs, according to an international team of researchers. Understanding how ...

New kinase detection method helps identify targets for developing cancer drugs

September 21, 2017
Purdue University researchers have developed a high-throughput method for matching kinases to the proteins they phosphorylate, speeding the ability to identify multiple potential cancer drug targets.

Poliovirus therapy induces immune responses against cancer

September 20, 2017
An investigational therapy using modified poliovirus to attack cancer tumors appears to unleash the body's own capacity to fight malignancies by activating an inflammation process that counter's the ability of cancer cells ...

Brain cancer growth halted by absence of protein, study finds

September 20, 2017
The growth of certain aggressive brain tumors can be halted by cutting off their access to a signaling molecule produced by the brain's nerve cells, according to a new study by researchers at the Stanford University School ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.