Medicine

Breakthrough with new prostate cancer immune system drug

Breakthrough with new prostate cancer immune system drug

"We need to look closely at the underlining genetic differences that associate with treatment response and build on that to improve survival for these patients".

The trial had 258 men with prostate cancer getting immunotherapy.

The world's leading expert on prostate cancer Professor Johann de Bono from the Institute of cancer research said: "We hope for a revolutionary cure, but they can't call it".

"The next step will be to find out how to tell which men will benefit from taking this drug".

Yes! Now the prostate cancer patients with hardly weeks or months to live will be able to survive longer if they are subjected to proper immunotherapy treatment.

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The recent research focused on the tumor genetics and inferred that a particular group of the prostate cancer patients might be benefited with the current immunotherapy. Prostate cancer is treated in a number of ways, but the more extreme treatments which include surgical interventions may cause physical and psychological side effects. While just 5 percent men who were a part of the trail actually saw their cancer to shrink or disappear after receiving the treatment, many of those had heavily mutated cancers. It is an IgG4 isotype antibody that blocks a protective mechanism of cancer cells, and allows the immune system to destroy those cancer cells. "Our study has found that immunotherapy can benefit a subset of men with advanced, otherwise untreatable prostate cancer, and these are most likely to include patients who have specific DNA fix mutations within their tumours", said Professor Johann de Bono, director of the Drug Development Unit at The ICR and at The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust.

Only around 20% of cancer patients respond to immunotherapy and researchers do not fully understand why.

"It's exciting that immunotherapy could offer some men more time with their loved ones where they have such advanced disease that they have run out of existing treatment options". The observations of the survey infer that more than third enrolled patients were alive and about one in ten patients, there was no significant growth in their cancer cells.

"It is a new arrow in the quiver for men with lethal prostate cancer, it's a big deal for these patients". He added: 'The next stage is to try and develop tests to help us better identify which patients will benefit most'.

"This new trial has found that testing for mutations in DNA fix genes could be a valuable marker of who will respond".