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Research From The 2012 Genitourinary Cancers Symposium Highlights New Treatments, Compares Existing Therapies For Prostate Cancer

February 1, 2012

Research on promising new therapies and data on the relative benefits of established treatments for prostate cancer were released today, in advance of the fourth annual Genitourinary Cancers Symposium, being held February 2-4, 2012, at the San Francisco Marriott Marquis in San Francisco, Calif.

The results of five studies were highlighted in a media presscast (press briefing via live webcast):

1) Vigorous Exercise Linked to Expression of Certain Genes in Early-Stage Prostate Cancer: A study shows that men with early-stage prostate cancer who exercise vigorously at least three hours a week have more than 180 genes that are expressed differently in the prostate than those who did not exercise as intensively. These genes include known tumor suppressor genes and DNA repair pathways, suggesting a number of potential mechanisms by which vigorous exercise may help delay cancer progression, as prior studies have shown.

2) IMRT Better Than Conformal Radiation Therapy for Reducing Prostate Cancer Recurrence and Side Effects, May Also Be Superior to Proton Beam Therapy: A large comparative effectiveness study shows that men with localized prostate cancer who are treated with intensity modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) are less likely to experience cancer recurrence or significant side effects from treatment than those who receive conventional conformal radiation therapy (CRT). The analysis also found that proton beam therapy, a newer and more costly form of radiation treatment, did not significantly improve outcomes compared to IMRT.

3) External Beam Radiation Leads to Most Side Effects, Highest Costs of Three Common Prostate Cancer Treatments: An analysis of more than 100,000 prostate cancer patients shows that treatment with external beam radiation therapy (EBRT) resulted in higher long-term toxicities and treatment-related costs than prostatectomy and brachytherapy, two other common treatments for the disease.

4) Novel Investigational Drug Targeting Bone Metastases Improves Survival for Metastatic Prostate Cancer: A randomized, phase III trial shows that a new radiation-emitting agent aimed at treating bone metastases both improved survival and delayed cancer-related bone problems in men with castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC). The agent, radium-223 chloride, is the first alpha particle emitting agent targeting bone metastases shown to improve survival in metastatic CRPC.

5) Study Shows New Targeted Drug Improves Overall Survival in Metastatic Prostate Cancer: An international, randomized phase III trial shows for the first time that an investigational oral drug that halts androgen signaling significantly improves overall survival in patients with metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer.

“It’s gratifying that two of the presentations reported today provide us with new options to improve survival for patients with advanced castrate-resistant prostate cancer, an especially difficult disease with few effective treatments,” said Nicholas J. Vogelzang, MD, Chair and Medical Director of the Developmental Therapeutics Committee of US Oncology, who moderated today’s presscast. “Just as importantly, today’s studies will help guide our use of several established treatments in the field, ensuring that more patients receive the best possible therapies while avoiding unnecessary side effects and costs.”

Genitourinary cancers include those of the prostate, kidney, bladder and testis, as well as less common cancers such as those of the penis, ureters and other urinary organs. In 2012, more than 390,000 people in the United States are expected to be diagnosed with genitourinary cancers, with more than an estimated 58,000 deaths. The most common genitourinary cancer is prostate cancer, which according to estimates, will be diagnosed in more than 241,000 men in the United States in 2012, and claim more than 28,000 lives.

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