Recent findings are suggesting two drugs may help to slow the development of prostate cancer by up to two years.
Overview of the Clinical Trials
Worldwide, prostate cancer is the second most common cancer in males. The study looked at patients who were at a mid-point between being past the point of hormonal treatment but not having reached the point where the cancer is detectable by scans. Cases in this category can too often be missed, with cancer then quickly spreading to lymph nodes, bones, and organs.
Two independent clinical trials have looked at the effect of two different drugs on patients who fall within this category, funded by the respective drug manufacturers. The drugs included the experimental apalutamide and the already approved drug enzalutamide. Both are androgen receptor inhibitors, which prohibit testosterone from catching on to, and entering, cancer cells.
Each of the studies included over 1,200 patients. They had all had prior treatment but thereafter showed increases in the protein linked to prostate cancer – the prostate-specific antigen (PSA). Typical treatment of androgen deprivation therapy was unsuccessful in each case; yearly, around 150,000 men are diagnosed with this type of non-metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer worldwide.
In the research, two-thirds of patients received one of the drugs and the other one third a placebo, while all also receiving androgen deprivation therapy. Research and adaptive phase 1 clinical studies, such as those supported by http://www.richmondpharmacology.com/specialist-services/adaptive-phase-i-studies, are vital in advancing disease and cancer treatments.
The Encouraging Findings
It was discovered that for those taking apalutamide the metastases of cancer to the point where it could be picked up on scans took 40.5 months on average; for those in the placebo group, it took 16.2 months. For those taking Enzalutamide, it took an average of 36.6 months for cancer to spread, versus 14.7 months for those receiving the placebo.
No serious side effects were noted, but lower level negative effects in some of the patients included the likes of rashes, fatigue, nausea, falls, slight cognitive impairment and hypertension.
The findings indicate such drugs could provide a further two years before the metastasis of cancer and thus extra time before the advancement of pain and the need for chemotherapy or other cancer treatment. Follow-up research is required to assess long-term implications and survival rates.