New drug combination could give prostate cancer patients months of extra life and revolutionise treatment
- Scientists have added olaparib to the testosterone blocker abiratone
- The combination was found to extend the life of stage 4 patients by 7.4 months
A new drug combination could give prostate cancer patients months of extra life and revolutionise treatment.
The usual procedure when the disease has spread is to fight tumours with drugs that block testosterone.
In aggressive cases, however, this hormone therapy can cease to be effective.
According to The Mirror, scientists have added olaparib – a DNA repair enzyme blocker in cancer cells – to the testosterone stopper abiratone.
After a trial involving 800 men, the combination was found to prolong the life of stage 4 patients by an average of 7.4 months compared with abiratone on its own.
A new drug combination could give prostate cancer patients months of extra life and revolutionise treatment. [File image]
68-year-old Dave Kinsey, from Wigan, Lancashire, went to the Christie NHS Foundation Trust in Manchester to participate in the PROpel trial, which is funded by Merck and AstraZeneca.
When he was diagnosed in 2016 and given three to five years, a blood test found that the retired civil engineer’s PSA level was 36 against a normal range of 4 or below.
Mr Kinsey continued taking the drug combination after the trial ended last October and his PSA level now less than 0.1. He has no signs of active cancer.
The usual procedure when the disease has spread is to fight tumours with drugs that block testosterone. [File image]
According to The Mirror, Mr Kinsley said: ‘The cancer was in the lymph nodes, in the neck, chest and my groin. Then the bone scan I had when I was assessed for the trial showed cancer in my spine.
‘Since then, there’s been no progression.’
Meanwhile, the study also found that adding olaparib means chemotherapy might not be required.
The treatment will now be considered by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence.