Astonishing benefits reported from new prostate cancer drug
According to a new trial in the UK, men afflicted with prostate cancer that was previously untreatable could reap the benefits from a treatment that stimulates the immune system, helping to halt or stop the cancer growing and prolonging their lives.
The paid medical trials, conducted by the Institute of Cancer Research and the Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust, found that one-third of the men in the study had not succumbed to the disease one year after the administering of new immunotherapy drug pembrolizumab. More than one in 10 men reported that the disease had not spread.
This is significant. In the UK, prostate cancer is the third deadliest strain of the disease and has led to researchers looking at why some men seem to be benefitting more than others.
The immune system is kick-started, which then identifies cancer cells. It is already being used to treat other types of cancer, such as lung cancer. Immunotherapy had previously not been effective in treating prostate cancer, although recent research looked at tumour genetics and suggested that certain patient groups may benefit.
The results will be presented in Chicago at the annual American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) meeting.
Whilst not all men who took part in the trial saw their tumours reduce or disappear completely, many saw gene mutations that can help to repair their tumour DNA.
Researchers say the cancer cells that are mutating could be more easily recognisable for the immune system to attack because their appearance is different from that of healthy cells.
Similar results have emerged through data from other types of cancer, such as bowel cancer. Immunotherapy could particularly benefit tumours that have DNA defects in repair mutations.
This is very encouraging and shows that paid medical trials through organisations such as Paid Medical Trials Trials4us can really make a difference.
Symptoms of prostate cancer
The symptoms of prostate cancer can include:
– Experiencing difficulty or pain passing urine.
– Needing to pass urine more regularly, especially at night.
– Feeling that the bladder has not been completely emptied after passing urine.
– Finding blood in the semen or urine (this is uncommon).
– Experiencing pain when ejaculating (rare).
– Back, leg or hip pain.