July 22, 2008

Pioneering Drug Offers Hope to Prostate Cancer Sufferers – but Not for Three Years: Case Study: Abiraterone Has Given Me a Year of Near Normality

By Lyndsay Moss

SIMON Bush was first diagnosed with aggressive prostate cancer in 2005.

Radiotherapy and hormone therapy initially reduced the severity of the cancer, but tests in August 2006 revealed it had returned with force.

Two courses of chemotherapy did not work and Mr Bush, who worked as a banker before he became ill, was referred to take part in the Royal Marsden trial of abiraterone.

After just a week, Mr Bush started to see a drop in his PSA levels - a marker for prostate cancer.

And within six weeks, the 50-year-old from London had gone from taking the maximum dose of painkillers for his bone pain to taking none at all.

"Last year I was in severe pain because of my prostate cancer, which had spread to my bones," the father of two said. "Chemotherapy and other treatments had failed and the news that I had very few treatment options available to me was devastating for my family.

"Abiraterone has allowed me to have a year so far of near normality. The changes in my life have been dramatic, from managing thousands of people in a major bank to facing a very uncertain future, then to renewed hope thanks to this drug trial."

Mr Bush said his wife, Nana, and two sons, aged 18 and 21, were "absolutely delighted" he had taken part in the abiraterone trial.

And he described the results of the drug as "amazing".

But he said he was aware there would come a time when the new drug would stop working.

"The difference is that now I know that there are so many different drugs they are working on that, when this stops there could be something else.

"I did not think that way before I started on this trial."

Mr Bush added: "Hopefully this will encourage more people with cancer to take part in trials because there is some fantastic work being carried out, and they are discovering more every day."

(c) 2008 Scotsman, The. Provided by ProQuest Information and Learning. All rights Reserved.