Breakthrough with new prostate cancer immune system drug

Some men with prostate cancer could live longer thanks to immunotherapy

Image Some men with prostate cancer could live longer thanks to immunotherapy

Prostate cancer is the development of cancer in the prostate, a gland in the male reproductive system.

"Our study has found that immunotherapy can benefit a subset of men with advanced, otherwise untreatable prostate cancer, and these are most likely to include patients who have specific DNA fix mutations within their tumours". In many of them, the cancer had spread to their bones, usually a sign there is no more hope. And one in ten were still actively benefiting from treatment. Prostate cancer is treated in a number of ways, but the more extreme treatments which include surgical interventions may cause physical and psychological side effects.

Visit the American Cancer Society for more on prostate cancer. Last month he told how he had "just had six rounds of chemo" and was expecting to undergo more.

Professor de Bono said: "We are planning a new clinical trial, specifically in men with prostate cancer whose tumours have mutations in DNA fix genes, to see if immunotherapy can become a standard part of their treatment". However, numerous men who were at death's door have been on the drug for more than 18 months and show no signs of the disease'.

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De Bono said that while patients with DNA fix mutations responded to treatment, further investigation is still needed to confirm this. Some were nearly too unwell to have any treatment at all and they have been resurrected'. The immunotherapy drug also stopped the tumor growth in 11 percent of patients.

"One of the major challenges with immunotherapy is that we don't have many reliable tests to pick out who will benefit", Workman said.

According to ASCO expert Dr. Robert Dreicer, "This study adds to the growing body of evidence showing that black men with advanced prostate cancer who participate in clinical trials have the same, if not better, chances of survival as white men". These findings show the glimmer of promise for them'.

An early stage trial, presented at the world's biggest meeting of cancer doctors and scientists in Chicago, is the first to show that this approach works on prostate cancer too. It will then have to be assessed by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence to see if it is cost-effective enough for prostate NHS cancer patients to receive it.

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"This study underscores the importance of increasing the participation of racial minorities in clinical trials".

He says he's now planning out the next 20 years of his life, not the next two.

The tests picked up nearly 90 per cent of late-stage cancers.

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