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Abiraterone minimizes levels of Prostate-specific Antigen
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July 17, 2009  |  Posted in  Steroids Blog

Abiraterone minimizes levels of Prostate-specific AntigenA new drug candidate, abiraterone, has been showing enough promise in initial trials for helping prostate cancer patients whose tumors have not stopped growing despite medical or surgical castration.

Abiraterone has proved to be an effective option for reducing the levels of prostate-specific antigen and tumors in prostate carcinoma patients who have undergone hormone therapy but were not benefited from it and also in patients who had previously treated with chemotherapy.

Dr. Alison Reid from the Institute of Cancer Research and Dr. Gerhardt Attard from The Institute and The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust in London described the two ongoing Phase II related trials of abiraterone in men with an advanced prostate cancer.

From News-Medical.Net:

Dr. Alison Reid from The Institute of Cancer Research and Dr. Gerhardt Attard from The Institute and The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust in London described two ongoing Phase II trials of the drug in men with advanced prostate cancer.

Men in both studies were given 1000mg of abiraterone daily. The first study treated men who had not previously received chemotherapy. So far 34 men have been treated, of whom 22 have seen their PSA levels drop at least 50% after 2 months. Some patients have also had shrinkage of their tumors (partial response).

This represents “significant anti-tumor activity,” the researchers say.

In the second study, the UK team studied 28 men whose cancer was growing despite treatment with the chemotherapy drug docetaxel. Ten of these men have seen PSA declines of more than 50% that have lasted at least 3 months from the start of taking abiraterone, with no major toxicities or adverse events.

Overall, the results are significant, the authors say. The drug has produced PSA decline rates by greater than 50% in 60% of pre-docetaxel patients and 50% of post-docetaxel patients. These results are supported by evidence of tumour shrinkage on scans, drops in circulating tumor cell counts and improvements in symptoms.

Abiraterone, an oral drug, showed promise in inhibiting an enzyme known as CYP450c17 that is highly critical to the production of male hormones in testes as well as other sources.

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