Advances in Prostate Cancer Treatment

May 17, 2012

We continue to see exciting developments in the treatment of prostate cancer. Although DaVinci Robotic Prostatectomy and Radiation therapy continue to be mainstays of therapy, we continue to see improvements in the diagnosis and treatment of prostate Cancer.

Several recent articles came out just recently, see below for more information:

The Wall Street Journal (5/17, Dooren, Loftus, Subscription Publication) reports that a study examining a group of men with prostate cancer found that the drug Zytiga (abiraterone) was able to eliminate or significantly reduce the size of the prostate tumors in one-third of the patients treated for six months before surgery. As the Journal notes, the data from the study was highlighted Wednesday by the American Society of Clinical Oncology, which released about 4,500 studies ahead of its annual meeting in June.

Reuters (5/17, Beasley) notes that abiraterone is already approved to treat advanced prostate cancer in patients who have already had chemotherapy. The most recent trial may eventually lead to the drug being approved for patients who have not received chemotherapy. Oncologist Dr. Nicholas Vogelzang, chair of ASCO’s cancer communications committee, is quoted as saying, “Theoretically … when you get a complete disappearance of the primary cancer, patient outcomes are much better.”

HealthDay (5/17, Gardner) quotes Dr. Vogellzang as saying, “This is one of the first — if not the first — study to show that you can make prostate cancer in the prostate gland itself disappear in a reproducible number of patients.”

Therapy Before Surgery May Help To Clear Prostate Cancer. MedPage Today (5/17, Bankhead) reports, “A third of men with localized, high-risk prostate cancer achieved pathologic complete response or near-complete response following neoadjuvant therapy with abiraterone (Zytiga) and leuprolide, results of a preliminary clinical study showed.” According to the story, “A 6-month course of abiraterone more than doubled the pathologic response rate compared with 12 weeks… The regimen resulted in a low rate of systemic toxicity, Mary-Ellen Taplin said during a telebriefing in advance of the American Society of Clinical Oncology meeting, which begins May 31 in Chicago.”


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