Tuesday, 18 September, 2018

Abiraterone May Be More Effective in Black Men With Prostate Cancer

Getty Images Prostate cancer symptoms Research has shown a possible new treatment option for some men Getty Images Prostate cancer symptoms Research has shown a possible new treatment option for some men
Melissa Porter | 06 June, 2018, 16:30

Prostate expert Dr David Graham at Levine Cancer Institute, North Carolina, said: 'These men have the most aggressive type of disease and have been through the gamut of what we have available now.

Speaking with The Independent about the study, lead researcher Professor Johan de Bono explains: "In the last few years immunotherapy has changed the way we treat many advanced cancers - but up to now no one had demonstrated a benefit in men with prostate cancer".

The earlier trails conducted using immunotherapy in prostate cancer did not prove to be successful.

Pembrolizumab, also known by its brand name Keytruda, is one of a new class of drugs called "checkpoint inhibitors".

Nell Barrie, from Cancer Research UK, said: "The next step will be to find out how to tell which men will benefit from taking this drug".

In the study involving 258 men with an advanced form of prostate cancer, researchers found that men lived much longer when they were treated with the immunotherapy drug pembrolizumab.

Just 5 percent of men in the trial saw their tumours actually shrink or disappear after treatment, but the proportion was higher in a small group of men whose tumours had mutations to genes involved in repairing DNA, the researchers noted.

They stop cancers turning off the immune system so the body can keep on attacking the tumour.

"Our examine has discovered that immunotherapy can profit a subset of males with superior, in any other case untreatable prostate most cancers, and these are most definitely to incorporate sufferers who've particular DNA restore mutations inside their tumours".

However, the therapy will not work for most patients.

"It's exciting that immunotherapy could offer some men more time with their loved ones where they have such advanced disease that they have run out of existing treatment options".

If patients who can respond to immunotherapy are identified, some of them may be able to avoid treatments that come with unwanted side effects.

"One of the major challenges with immunotherapy is that we don't have many reliable tests to pick out who will benefit", Workman said.

"This new trial has found that testing for mutations in DNA fix genes could be a valuable marker of who will respond".

"African-Americans have a 2.5 times greater chance of dying from prostate cancer compared to whites", said Daniel George, M.D., director of Duke's Prostate & Urologic Cancer program, who presented the findings at the 2018 annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology in Chicago.