New drug trial results offer hope to men with advanced prostate cancer

MEDIA RELEASE | 5 June 2017

The Urological Society of Australia and new Zealand welcomes the findings of two important trials showing the earlier use of the drug abiraterone increases life expectancy of men diagnosed with advanced prostate cancer.

“The results of these trials are a significant breakthrough and should change how we treat advanced disease,” says Adjunct Professor Peter Heathcote, President of the Urological Society of Australia and New Zealand.

Currently men with advanced prostate cancer are treated with androgen deprivation therapy (ADT), commonly known as hormone therapy. Abiraterone is approved for use after ADT has failed.

However researchers on the British STAMPEDE study1 have looked at what happens if abiratone is instead used earlier on, in combination with ADT.

The study of nearly 2000 men shows that when abiraterone was added to ADT it improved the 3-year survival rate to 83% compared to 76% with treatment by ADT alone.

Adding abiraterone to ADT increases the impact on the production of testosterone which fuels prostate cancer. ADT works by preventing testosterone production in the testicles. Abiraterone, which is a steroidal CYP17A1 inhibitor, stops the production of testosterone throughout the rest of the body including the adrenal glands and by the prostate cancer cells themselves, thus reducing the hormone levels even further.

Another study, the LATITUDE2 trial which involved 1200 men show that abiraterone (plus prednisolone) added to ADT more than doubled median progression-free survival to 33 months, compared to 14.8 months with ADT alone.

Results from both the STAMPEDE and LATITUDE trials have been presented at the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) 2017 Annual Meeting.

Around 22 000 men in Australia and New Zealand are diagnosed with prostate cancer annually.

Media enquiries or to arrange an interview with Adjunct Professor Peter Heathcote:

Please email Edwina Gatenby or call +61 402 130 254

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