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New drug shows promise in stopping prostate cancer spread to bone

June 8, 2011 - Washington

A new drug designed to target mainly two important pathways linked to the growth and spread of Prostate cancer is showing promise to kill tumors that have spread to the bone, a new study has shown.

Researchers enrolled 171 men in the trial with metastatic Prostate cancer, in which more than three-quarters of the men enrolled, had seen their cancer spread to the bone.

They found 76 percent of patients saw some or all of their tumors shrink on bone scans following treatment with Cabozantinib.

Among patients who were on narcotics due to bone pain, 67 percent reported less pain and 56 percent either stopped taking narcotics or reduced the dosage.

In addition, more than two-thirds of patients had some tumor regressions in areas of spread outside the bone. The treatment effects lasted on average 29 weeks.

"Not only did three-quarters of bone scans have partial or complete resolution, but this was accompanied by improvement in bone pain and decreased need for narcotic use," says lead study author Maha Hussain, professor of internal medicine and urology and associate director of clinical research at the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center.

"What's interesting about this drug is it brings to the table something we haven't seen before. Dramatic improvements in bone scans are unprecedented in this disease," Hussain said.

Hussain cautions that this is very early data, but it opens a new door for further investigation.

The findings were presented at the American Society of Clinical Oncology annual meeting.


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