A new chemotherapy drug that may help treat prostate cancer has been identified by researchers from Oregon Health and Science University.
The new study showed that men with a certain type of prostate cancer responded well to new drug, Sagopilone, plus prednisone.
To analyse the effectiveness of the drug, the researchers conducted the study on men with androgen-independent prostate cancer with the most advanced form of prostate cancer.
Their cancer had metastasized, which means it had spread beyond the prostate and was no longer responding to hormonal therapies.
"We are showing solid activity that this drug shows promise," said Dr Tomasz Beer, principal investigator, Grover C. Bagby Endowed Chair for Cancer Research, director of the Prostate Cancer Research Program at the OHSU Cancer Institute and associate professor of medicine (hematology/medical oncology), OHSU School of Medicine.
The participants were given Sagopilone and prednisone. A majority showed positive results in the reduction of their prostate specific antigens, or PSA, which is often elevated in the presence of prostate cancer.
The findings revealed that thirteen study participants had a more than 50 percent reduction in their PSA. Another 23 showed a 30 percent reduction and one who had radiographic measurable disease showed complete response
Four had unconfirmed prostate response. A 30 percent reduction in PSA levels in three months is a strong indicator of survival.
"We look forward to completing this study and to the further investigation of Sagopilone as a new treatment option for men with advanced prostate cancer," said Beer.
Sagopilone, a fully synthetic derivation, is a new class of drug that inhibits growth and the spread of malignant cell, similar to docetaxel, which has been the gold standard for this type of hormone independent prostate cancer.
This research was presented at the annual American Association of Clinical Oncology in Chicago.