Drug Lengthens Prostate Survival
For men with advanced prostate cancer who have had chemotherapy, a new drug has been shown to increase survival by an average of five months. In fact the results were so stunning that the researchers immediately halted the trial so that they could begin giving the drug to participants who had been taking a placebo.
Lead author Howard I. Scher MD, chief of the genitourinary oncology service at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York City, and colleagues published their findings in the New England Journal of Medicine. The drug, enzalutamide, is produced by Pfizer, which funded the research.
"Enzalutamide (formerly called MDV3100) targets multiple steps in the androgen-receptor–signaling pathway, the major driver of prostate-cancer growth," the team wrote. "Enzalutamide significantly prolonged the survival of men with metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer after chemotherapy." Side effects were noted, however, including hot flashes, fatigue, diarrhea, and seizures.