Prostate cancer patients given hope by new 'triple-whammy' drug
At the annual meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research in Chicago, Harvard University scientists presented the results of a trial of a new drug - galeterone - which has recorded early success in treatment of advanced stage prostate cancer.
According to the scientists, the small phase one trial, involving 49 patients, showed that galeterone is effective in tackling advanced prostate cancer in three different ways --- it can block the "receptor" proteins which respond to testosterone; bring down the number of receptors in tumours; and successfully target an enzyme that is connected with hormone pathways involved in prostate cancer.
Revealing that the `triple whammy' galeterone drug has chiefly been developed for the treatment of cancer which stops responding to hormone therapy, the scientists said that even though the early galeterone trial results have been promising, the trial has been carried out on only a small number of patients.
The scientists also said that a larger phase two trial to further test the effectiveness of the drug, as well as to fully investigate the treatment's safety and all possible side-effects, has been planned for later this year.
Nonetheless, welcoming the results of the phase one trial - while also acknowledging that the new galeterone drug is in its "infancy" and full results are still to published -, Prostate Cancer Charity's research head Dr Kate Holmes said: "This very early stage research, conducted among a small group of men, indicates that galeterone shows potential as a new treatment for men with advanced prostate cancer."