A recent study evaluated androgen deprivation therapy with and without radiation therapy in individuals with locally advanced prostate cancer. Individuals who received combination treatment had a better overall survival rate. Bowel-related side effects were similar for both groups 24 months after treatment.
Researchers at the Fox Chase Cancer Center have identified a relationship between testosterone levels after radiation therapy and the risk of prostate cancer recurrence in a small number of patients. They found that individuals with a significant drop in testosterone were more likely to see a rise in prostate-specific antigen (PSA), possibly indicating recurrence. Further studies need to be conducted.
In a phase I clinical trial, a new drug that specifically targets prostate cancer cells has shown promising results. The drug, which combines an antibody protein that targets prostate cancer cells with a cancer-killing drug, has shown antitumor activity in advanced prostate cancer. A phase II clinical trial is being held to further evaluate the drug.
A recent study evaluated the effects of beta-carotene antioxidant supplements in patients undergoing radiation therapy for advanced prostate cancer. Researchers were concerned that the supplements could reduce the benefits of radiation. The study followed participants for 10 years and did not find a difference in progression to lethal prostate cancer in individuals who took beta-carotene and those who did not.
Focal laser thermal therapy (FLTT) is being studied at the Princess Margaret Hospital in Toronto for treating men with low- to intermediate-risk prostate cancer. The procedure uses a focal laser to kill cancer cells, while sparing surrounding tissue and decreasing the risk of unwanted side effects. A phase III clinical trial is planned to start in the near future.
Accuray Incorporated announced positive data for CyberKnife stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT) for the treatment of cancer confined to the prostate. Several studies indicate that SBRT is as effective and possibly less toxic than traditional radiotherapy. Treatment with SBRT was effective with far fewer treatment sessions than are often required with traditional radiotherapy.
The FDA has approved a new chemical, choline C 11, to be used at the Mayo Clinic to help detect recurrent prostate cancer. The chemical will be used with PET imaging and may help detect recurrent prostate cancer much earlier than current methods. The chemical is not known to cause any significant side effects.
A recent study evaluated the use of sildenafil (Viagra) for preventing sexual side effects when taken after radiation therapy for prostate cancer. Participants were treated with sildenafil for 6 months and evaluated for 2 years. Erectile function questionnaire scores were significantly higher in the group who received sildenafil, suggesting an overall improvement in sexual satisfaction in these individuals.
In a phase III clinical trial, a new drug called enzalutamide (Xtandi) increased survival from 13.6 to 18.4 months in patients with castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC). Early-stage prostate cancer is often treated with medications known as androgen receptor blockers, but patients may eventually stop responding to these drugs and progress to an advanced stage known as CRPC. Enzalutamide is a more potent androgen receptor blocker and may offer an additional treatment option for patients with CRPC.