The Once-a-Day Pill That Battles Cancer When Others Give Up

Daily Mail (London), April 9, 2009 | Go to article overview

The Once-a-Day Pill That Battles Cancer When Others Give Up


Byline: Fiona MacRae

A NEW 'wonder drug' could help save the lives of prostate cancer patients, scientists have revealed.

Breakthrough tests showed that the once-a-day pill cut signs of the disease in men with advanced tumours.

Research also suggested that the treatment could shrink tumours or stop their growth.

Given earlier in the disease, the drug, which could be on shelves in as little as three years, may prove a life-saver.

Every year more than 2,000 men in Ireland are diagnosed with the cancer, while 500 will die as a result.

Most of these lives are lost after the cancer stops responding to drugs used to suppress male hormones it needs to grow.

The new treatment, known only as MDV3100, appears to work when the other drugs fail, the journal Science says.

U.S. doctors treated 30 men with late-stage prostate cancer.

In 22 cases, levels of PSA, a pro- tein linked to tumour growth, fell.

And in 13 cases, levels more than halved, according to a series of blood tests.

Researcher Dr Charles Sawyers of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York, said: 'For this group of patients, it is a very impressive result.'

He added that at higher doses the drug may shrink the tumours, or at least stop them from getting any bigger.

Used with existing drugs, MDV3100 could be even more effective. …

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