Researchers have developed a new technique to combat metastatic prostate cancer (which is called castration-resistant), which could delay the start of chemotherapy until more than two years, representing a gain of quality life for these patients. The treatment, which involves using these antineoplastic agents before a drug called enzalutamide (a powerful hormone therapy) may prolong the lives of people who have this type of resistant tumor about a year.
Until now, patients with metastatic prostate cancer who did not respond to hormone therapy, had no alternative to chemotherapy. The results of this international phase III study in which involved 1,717 patients with this specific type of cancer, show that treatment with enzalutamide (drug approved since 2012) reduces more than 80 % progression of the disease and to a 29 % risk of death, as the data published in the New England Journal of Medicine.
The work, which has participated among others Vall d’ Hebron Hospital the Barcelona these days has been presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) and represents a breakthrough in the treatment of one of the tumors most Frequently, the prostate, which has a higher incidence in males. In Spain, where every year 25,000 new cases are diagnosed, affecting 57 out of every 100,000 men. Between 20% and 30% of them will fall and eventually will develop metastasis.
In prostate cancer cases, treatment is usually surgery and radiation therapy. These patients often develop resistance to hormonal treatments that seek to reduce male hormones (androgens) of cancer cells to grow. The use and the power of enzalutamide, however, it has proved useful, because it blocks these hormones in patients without symptoms.
“We are conducting the first study to identify a strategy that prolongs the life of those diagnosed with metastatic prostate cancer,” said Christopher Sweeney, cancer specialist at the Dana -Farber Institute in Boston, who presented the work in Chicago, where more than 30,000 physicians, researchers and industry representatives meet to discuss the latest advances in oncology – a congress to which this newspaper goes invited by Boehringer Ingelheim -. For this expert, the study results imply that clinical practice in these patients should be changed, as it is an option at the beginning of the ‘chemo’. The research, he says, is a step forward. One of the few in the last 50 years in patients with this type of tumor.