Promising results in US trials of a new drug for advanced prostate cancer have been reported in the journal Science.
A 50% reduction in the levels of chemicals that indicate cancer have been recorded in 13 of the first 30 patients to be treated with MDV3100.
A team led by Charles Sawyers of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York has been researching treatments for prostate cancer that has spread to other parts of the body.
These metastasised cancers are often treated with drugs that inhibit male hormone activity that drive tumour growth, but which tumours develop resistance to. MDV3100 retains the anti-cancer activity by binding to receptors for the hormones.
The trials are only phase 1 and 2 – checking for safety, side effects and early indications of effectiveness – and the drug faces more comprehensive phase 3 tests before it can be proposed for use.
Maker Medivation described MDV3100 as “an investigational novel small-molecule androgen receptor antagonist that is one of a series of small molecule compounds, known as the MDV300 series … to treat castration-resistant and hormone-sensitive prostate cancer”.
Copyright Press Association 2009