Tags: Health Topics | Cancer | prostate | death risk | treatment | medicine

Does New Treatment Really Lower Death Risk From Prostate Cancer by 71 Percent?

Does New Treatment Really Lower Death Risk From Prostate Cancer by 71 Percent?
Dmitry Yenikeyev (second left), Deputy Director of the Research Institute of Uronephrology and Reproductive Health Care of the I.M. Sechenov First Moscow State Medical University, conducts a cryoablation for prostate cancer. (Sergey Guneev/AP)

By    |   Friday, 17 August 2018 10:53 AM

A recent study offers promise for a "new treatment" in the war against deadly prostate cancer. An aggressive form of prostate cancer that does not respond to traditional hormonal therapies for the disease will affect some of the more than 165,000 U.S. men who will be diagnosed with prostate cancer this year.

However, the new study conducted at Chicago's Northwestern Memorial showed taking a drug called enzalutamide resulted in a 71 percent lower risk of cancer spread or death from this form of prostate cancer. The men taking the drug also had delayed cancer reappearance for almost two years.

Researchers say that enzalutamide, an oral medication, is effective because it targets—and shuts down—the receptor on the cancer cell that receives male hormones such as testosterone.

Without these hormones, the cancer cell can die or lie dormant. Dr. Maha Hussain, an oncologist at Northwestern Memorial who conducted the study, has been studying prostate cancer since the 1980s when there were no methods for early detection and few treatments.

"I'm delighted to say in my lifetime we have seen huge progress in managing this cancer," she says according to an article published in the Chicago Tribune. "Cancer is being diagnosed, relatively speaking, at a much earlier stage, where it is potentially curable."

Hussain's study was sponsored by Pfizer and Astellas Pharma, which manufacture enzalutamide under the brand name Xtandi, and was also recently published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

But Dr. Herman Kattlove, a Los Angeles-based oncologist and former spokesperson for the American Cancer Society, tells Newsmax that the drug is not new, and one should be wary of a study that was sponsored by a pharmaceutical company.

"This is not really a new treatment," he says. "The original article was published in 2012 and showed that the drug may reduce death rate. This study only looked at signs of spread, not quality of life or survival.

"There is no mention of any improved survival with the drug. Most disturbing, however, is that the treatment was rigged because the control group did not receive treatment with other drugs that block the androgen receptor. So, maybe it's a 'small step for men' — but no home run—an infield single maybe?

"Another problem is the study involved 32 institutions worldwide with the control of the data in the hands of Pfizer, the drug company. Do you trust them?"

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Taking a drug called enzalutamide resulted in a 71 percent lower risk of cancer spread or death from this form of prostate cancer, according to a new study conducted at Chicago's Northwestern Memorial.
prostate, death risk, treatment, medicine
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2018-53-17
Friday, 17 August 2018 10:53 AM
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