Top Stories of 2017: #1 Protein Discovery Offers New Hope for Lethal Prostate Cancer

#1: New Life Extending Treatment Protocol

The Prostate Cancer Foundation funded the research that was instrumental in eventually getting FDA approval for abiraterone in 2011. You may be aware of this drug as a second-line treatment to be given when primary ADT (Androgen Deprivation Therapy) fails.

In 2017, results were reported from two separate clinical trials, LATITUDE and STAMPEDE, which tested giving men abiraterone earlier, in combination with ADT, at a time when men would normally just be starting ADT. The results were pretty remarkable: this combination of drugs reduced risk of death by at least 35% and delayed cancer progression by an average of 18 months.

But for some men, it worked even better. “This is practice-changing,” says Jonathan Simons, M.D., CEO of the Prostate Cancer Foundation.  “I have never seen a treatment where you could, five years later, see no progression in some men.  There are some extreme responders who get a very significant remission. It may be that abiraterone does not just stop cancer from proliferating, but it also stops, or significantly delays, cancer from mutating and becoming more resistant to treatment.”

What this means for patients: This is one of those game-changers that really brings hope to patients with advanced prostate cancer. These results are new, and it may take a while for the practice to pick up steam among medical oncologists. If you think you are at a stage of treatment where this protocol might be useful to you, don’t wait for your doctor to tell you: ASK.

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