Tags: Chronic Pain | immunotherapy | prostate | cancer | metastatic

New Hope for Aggressive Prostate Cancer

New Hope for Aggressive Prostate Cancer
(Copyright DPC)

Thursday, 14 July 2016 03:08 PM

Immunology drugs are achieving remarkable results in different types of cancer, and now a preliminary study is reviving hope the approach may also work for men with life-threatening prostate cancer.

The results of this new, small study are surprising because prior trials of such therapy showed no evidence of success, the researchers say.

Oregon Health and Science researchers performed an experiment in which they treated 10 men with advanced prostate cancer with an immunology drug that using the drug pembrolizumab, a monoclonal antibody that binds to the PD-1 receptor.

Pembrolizumab, known also under its brand name Keytruda, is approved for the treatment of both advanced melanoma and lung cancer, based on studies that show it is effective and also causes fewer side effects than traditional cancer treatment.

Three of the first 10 participants enrolled in the ongoing clinical trial experienced rapid reductions in prostate specific antigen, or PSA, an early measure of treatment effect. Subsequent imaging scans showed that tumors shrank in two of these three men, including metastatic liver tumors in one patient. Two of the three participants who responded to the treatment gained relief from cancer pain and were able to stop taking opiate pain medication.

Three of the 10 men in the study had stable disease at 30, 47 and 50 weeks, while the remaining four patients did not show evidence of clinical benefit. One of those four men died of prostate cancer.

"It's pretty remarkable, especially in light of the fact that many people doubted this approach could work at all," says lead study author Dr. Julie Graff. "You don't get responses like this with almost any other treatment,” she adds of the study findings, which appear in the journal Oncotarget.

Even though the drug did not work for all of the men, the results for those for which it did clearly stood out,” she says, adding that future studies are planned.

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In a surprising turnaround, a preliminary study shows immunotherapy may help stop aggressive prostate cancer.
immunotherapy, prostate, cancer, metastatic
Thursday, 14 July 2016 03:08 PM
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