A new drug that tackles advanced prostate cancer in three different ways has passed its first hurdle towards being approved.
Scientists reported promising early trial results using galeterone, which is designed to treat cancer that no longer responds to hormone therapy. However, researchers counselled caution as tests on the “triple whammy” drug have been carried out on only a small number of patients.
In their tests, scientists based at Harvard University reported that galeterone reduced levels of prostate specific antigen (PSA), a prostate cancer blood marker, by 30% or more in about half of patients. Eleven patients had PSA reductions of 50% or more, and in some there was significant shrinkage in tumour size.
A total of 49 patients took part in the phase one study, which primarily looked at safety and dosing levels. All had “refractory” or “castration resistant” cancer that had ceased to respond to hormone therapy. Currently there is little doctors can do to help prostate cancer patients who progress to this stage.