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Tags: new | prostate | cancer | drugs

New Drugs Target Prostate Cancer

Monday, 20 February 2012 05:06 PM

Four new drugs that target advanced prostate cancer could improve patients’ health and change the way the disease is managed, according to a new report.
After almost 15 years of little change in standard care and drug treatment, four recently developed drugs that act on innovative mechanisms may transform advanced prostate cancer from a terminal to a chronic disease, leading Colorado prostate cancer experts say.
“It’s not just chemotherapy. The drugs have different and innovative methods of action. One is a bone protective agent; another’s a more effective hormone agent; another is radiotherapy; and the final one is the first drug tested for cancer immunotherapy,” said Dr. E. David Crawford, of the University of Colorado Cancer Center, in a new report in the journal Oncology.

“Even without the addition of any more drugs, we may now have the tools that in combination will allow us to extend the survival prognosis of a prostate cancer patient long enough to make prostate cancer a disease a patient is more likely to die with than from,” he said.

The new drugs cited by Crawford and colleague Dr. Thomas Flaig:

• Denosumab can prevent bone fractures; osteoporosis in patients whose calcium is depleted as a result of hormone therapy; and (pending federal approval) hold off the spread of tumors to the bone.
• Alpharadin, a “radiopharmaceutical,” emits radiation to precisely target tumor sites with less damage to healthy surrounding bone marrow.
• Prostvac, the first “immunotherapy” drug used for the treatment of cancer, acts like a vaccine, priming the immune system to fight prostate cancer cells.
• Abiraterone Acetate suppresses the body’s ability to make testosterone, which many prostate cancers need to grow (as opposed to previous drugs, which imperfectly controlled testosterone production).

Crawford said these drugs are being approved for use only after more established therapies have failed and they may become first-line therapies.

“Before we just had hormone therapy, then we got chemo, and each therapy we added packed on another couple months of survival. Now with these news drugs we’re tacking on even more time. The light at the end of the tunnel is the hope that we’ll turn this into a chronic disease and now we might have the tools that in some combination will do it,” Crawford said.

© HealthDay

Several recently developed medications offer a new approach to treating prostate cancer.
Monday, 20 February 2012 05:06 PM
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