Prostate Cancer Gene May Determine Tumor Growth, Return

A recent study found a relationship between the SPARCL1 gene and prostate cancer recurrence. Individuals who had lower activity of the gene had a higher risk of prostate cancer recurrence over 10 years. A test to detect SPARCL1 is being designed.

Primary source: http://www.pnas.org/content/109/37/14977.full.pdf+html


New Drug Improves Survival in Advanced Prostate Cancer

In a recent phase III clinical trial, the anti-androgen drug abiraterone (sold as Zytiga) improved survival from 11.2 months to 15.8 months in patients with castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC). Participants were treated with abiraterone in combination with prednisone, a common steroid medication. The most common side effects were fatigue, anemia, and back and bone pain.

Primary source: http://www.thelancet.com/journals/lanonc/article/PIIS1470-2045(12)70379-0/fulltext


FDA Approves New Drug for the Treatment of Advanced Prostate Cancer

The FDA has approved enzalutamide (sold as Xtandi) 3 months ahead of deadline. The drug improved survival by nearly 5 months in men with advanced prostate cancer. It is approved for individuals who have not responded to chemotherapy. However, manufacturers hope to expand approval to include patients not previously treated with chemotherapy.


Drop in Testosterone Levels after Radiation Therapy May Point to Early Prostate Cancer Recurrence

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.


New Prostate Cancer Drug Performs Well in Early Clinical Trials

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.


New Laser Treatment May Decrease Side Effects in Men with Prostate Cancer

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.


Mayo Clinic Approved to Use New PET Scan Chemical to Detect Recurrent Prostate Cancer

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.


Ipilimumab Could Treat Small Melanomas in the Brain

A study in The Lancet shows that the drug ipilimumab could treat melanomas that have spread to the brain, particularly in people who do yet not have neurological symptoms. Of 51 such patients treated with ipilimumab, 12 had tumors in the brain that shrank or did not get worse and 14 had tumors outside the brain that shrank or did not get worse. Ipilimumab (Yervoy) is an immune system booster that the FDA has approved for treating advanced melanomas.

Primary source: http://www.thelancet.com/journals/lanonc/article/PIIS1470-2045%2812%2970090-6/abstract


FDA Grants Priority Review for EGFR-Mutant Lung Cancer Drug Afatinib


A promising new drug for a subtype of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) was recently granted priority review status by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). If approved, afatinib would be the first drug on the market specifically for treating advanced or metastatic NSCLC associated with epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) mutations. Continue reading…