Prostate cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths in African men, and the most commonly diagnosed cancer in African American men. It is the second most common solid tumour in men of any race worldwide.
With statistics as striking as this, it is no surprise that the health industry will be researching ways to combat this prevalent cancer.
News came out recently of a study which had shown that some men who had previously shown resistance to hormone based therapy, were able to respond to the same therapy, after being treated with an experimental drug which prevented their white blood cells from being taken up by the cancer cells. Prostate cancer cells can hijack the white blood cells and turn off certain signals which allow the white blood cells to recognize the cancer cells as intruders and destroy them.
The experimental drug in this study was given the label AZD5069. The trial study was run by the Institute of Cancer Research, the Royal Marsden and the Institute of Oncology Research in Switzerland. 21 men were evaluated, although 23 men were initially drafted.
5 out of the 21 men with prior drug resistance, after receiving the experimental drug and a hormone based therapy Enzalutamide, had their tumours shrink by more than 30%. They also had significant decreases in their levels of prostate specific antigen (PSA), a marker often elevated by cancer. Some out of the five showed a decrease in the blood levels of circulating tumour cells. Additionally, there was a decrease in the white blood cells targeted by the treatment, which are called myeloid cells.
Scientists are hopeful that this study’s findings may prove a good treatment resource for men with advanced prostate cancer, that has stopped responding to hormone based therapies.
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