Published: Wed, June 06, 2018
Medicine | By Tracy Klein

Immune System drug shows 'spectacular' results for Prostate Cancer patients

Immune System drug shows 'spectacular' results for Prostate Cancer patients

Leading us scientists have been able to find a unique and revolutionary method that will help stop the spread of cancer cells in men with prostate cancer.

Now, a new study led by The Institute of Cancer Research and the Royal Marsden Hospital in London has found "amazing" results in those with prostate cancer.

Professor Johann de Bono says, "I have these men who are dying, with weeks to months to live, whom we gave this drug to and had complete responses". These are medications which boost the immune system, and here trials have shown combination treatments to have have saved the lives of some men who were diagnosed with terminal prostate cancer. Still, the authors said the study suggests a potential strategy for new therapies and hormonal treatment regimens that could narrow the prostate cancer survival disparity between blacks and whites.

De Bono said that while patients with DNA fix mutations responded to treatment, further investigation is still needed to confirm this.

The earlier trails conducted using immunotherapy in prostate cancer did not prove to be successful. 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.

Data from some other cancer types, such as bowel, has similarly shown tumours with defects in DNA fix mutations are more susceptible to immunotherapy.

According to the researchers, a subset of men who had run out of all existing options for treatment "survived much longer than expected when taking immunotherapy".

Some patients whose bodies were riddled with cancer have had "Lazarus-like" recoveries - and now show no visible signs of disease 18 months or more later, according to the doctor leading research into the treatment.

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

"The challenges we now face are how to predict in advance who will benefit, and how to make immunotherapy work for more people".

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

Prostate cancer is the third most common type of cancer in the United States. 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.

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