How is hormone therapy for prostate cancer being tested in clinical trials?

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Treatment in a clinical trial is an option for men with any stage of prostate cancer. Many questions about the best uses of hormone therapy still need to be answered. These include whether hormone therapy added to brachytherapy, a type of internal radiation therapy, can help improve survival for men with early-stage prostate cancer. Other questions include whether newer intensive hormone therapies may improve the outcome of men who are receiving surgery or radiation therapy for high-risk disease. Researchers are also testing new hormone therapies to treat castration-resistant prostate cancer. These include TAK-700 and VT-464 (28), which work in a way similar to abiraterone acetate.

Another question is the possible value of adding chemotherapy to hormone therapy as initial treatment for men with hormone-sensitive metastatic prostate cancer. Currently, chemotherapy is not used in these men until their disease progresses on hormone therapy (i.e., until it becomes hormone resistant). Early results of an NCI-sponsored trial that was conducted by two cancer cooperative groups—the Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group (ECOG) and the American College of Radiology Imaging Network (ACRIN)—suggest that men with hormone-sensitive metastatic prostate cancer who receive the chemotherapy drug docetaxel at the start of standard hormone therapy live longer than men who receive hormone therapy alone. The trial results suggested that men with the most extensive metastatic disease benefit the most from the early addition of docetaxel. A follow-up analysis will be performed to clarify the effect of this treatment on men with less extensive metastatic disease.

Information about clinical trials can be found on NCI’s website. NCI’s Cancer Information Service (CIS) can also provide information about clinical trials and help with clinical trial searches.

Where can someone find more information about drugs used in prostate cancer?

NCI’s Drug Information Summaries provide consumer-friendly information about certain drugs that are approved by the FDA to treat cancer or conditions related to cancer, including prostate cancer. For each drug, topics covered include background information, research results, possible side effects, FDA approval information, and ongoing clinical trials.

Selected References

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Source: National Cancer Institute.