Researchers from The Institute of Cancer Research and The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust in London gave 258 men with the otherwise untreatable cancer the immunotherapy agent Keytruda (pembrolizumab). However, numerous men who were at death's door have been on the drug for more than 18 months and show no signs of the disease'.
Professor Johann de Bono, director of the drug development unit, said that the results of the trail are a "big deal" and "spectacular" as the men who were a part of the study had gone through all possible treatments and were dying, with just a few weeks or months to live but the drug resulted in their cancer shrinking and disappearing, with just minimal cancer left.
Yes! Now the prostate cancer patients with hardly weeks or months to live will be able to survive longer if they are subjected to proper immunotherapy treatment. The one-year survival rate for men diagnosed with late-stage prostate cancer is 75%, according to National Cancer Institute data.
Nonetheless, for sufferers reminiscent of these within the new examine with docetaxel-refractory metastatic castration-resistant prostate most cancers, there may be at present no efficient therapy. Prostate cancer can develop when cells in the prostate start to grow in an uncontrolled way. We have several patients in the Marsden who have had a complete response.
Earlier studies found that black men with advanced prostate cancer who received treatment died sooner than white men, but the evidence has been inconsistent, the researchers noted.
They stop cancers turning off the immune system so the body can keep on attacking the tumour.
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Immunotherapy has become a treatment for cancer, particularly skin and lung cancers.
"It's exciting that immunotherapy could offer some men more time with their loved ones where they have such advanced disease that they have run out of existing treatment options". More white patients than black patients had no PSA decline.
Unfortunately, only 10 - 15% of the patients responded to immunotherapy, making the approach ineffective for the majority of prostate cancer patients.
"One of the major challenges with immunotherapy is that we don't have many reliable tests to pick out who will benefit".
The researchers also said that some of the patients who had substantial responses to the treatment have tumors that may have mutations in the genes that control DNA fix, an important cellular process that maintains the genome.
The study will focus on marker identification of those prostate cancer patients whose a tumor may shrink post the immunotherapy treatment.