A One-Two Punch Against Prostate Cancer

A recent clinical trial study funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) yielded some promising results for men with prostate cancer which had metastasized to liver, lungs, bones or adrenal glands. The study examined the effects of combining hormonal therapy with chemotherapy and so far, this combination had extended the three-year survival rates from 52.5 percent to 69 percent. Men with hormone-sensitive metastatic prostate cancer are typically treated first with androgen (hormone) deprivation therapy to slow the tumor growth. When researchers added the chemotherapy drug docetaxel (taxotere) at the start of the hormone therapy regimen, they noted significant improvement in survival among patients with the most advanced prostate cancer. Both drugs have been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) hence are available for immediate use in patients with a high extent of metastatic prostate cancer. Studies of the combination therapy are on-going to determine its effectiveness in treating less extensive metastatic prostate cancer.

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