Published: Wed, June 06, 2018
Medicine | By Douglas Stevenson

Immunotherapy for Prostate Cancer Could Have Spectacular Results

Immunotherapy for Prostate Cancer Could Have Spectacular Results

The drugs alter the body's immune system that focuses directly on tackling cancer.

Immunotherapy is transforming the treatment of cancer and is now part of routine practice for some skin and lung cancers.

"Our study has found that immunotherapy can benefit a subset of men with advanced, otherwise untreatable prostate cancer, and these are most likely to include patients who have specific DNA fix mutations within their tumours", said Johann de Bono, Director of the Drug Development Unit at the Institute of Cancer Research.

Drugs that boost the immune system have saved the lives of some men with terminal prostate cancer, say doctors in the UK. Prostate cancer can develop when cells in the prostate start to grow in an uncontrolled way. The study involved 258 men who had undergone many treatments for cancer, including surgery, hormonal treatments and chemotherapy, but all it showed unsuccessful results. In many of them, the cancer had spread to their bones, usually a sign there is no more hope.

The research was presented at the American Society of Clinical Oncology annual meeting in Chicago. And one in ten were still actively benefiting from treatment.

Nonetheless, for sufferers reminiscent of these within the new examine with docetaxel-refractory metastatic castration-resistant prostate most cancers, there may be at present no efficient therapy. Among these types are those linked to the BRCA gene, the mutation carried by actress Angelina Jolie, which is best known for raising the risk of breast and ovarian cancer. About 164,690 men are diagnosed of the disease per year.

As such, they intend to explore this finding in a further trial to determine whether there is a particular subset of prostate cancer patients that might benefit most from immunotherapy. However, more than a third of those men who have been treated with a new drug, could stop the proliferation of malignant cells. We have several patients who have had a complete response. Some were nearly too unwell to have any treatment at all and they have been resurrected'. The immunotherapy drug also stopped the tumor growth in 11 percent of patients.

Prof de Bono said the drug was "well tolerated" by patients "with relatively few severe 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.

"Our study has found that immunotherapy can benefit a subset of men with advanced, otherwise untreatable prostate cancer, and these are most likely to include patients who have specific DNA fix mutations within their tumours".

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