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Trials Show New Combination Of Drugs For Prostate Cancer Prolongs Survival

A new combination of drugs that are already in use prolongs survival in prostate cancer patients, according to research.

A new combination of drugs that are already in use prolongs survival in prostate cancer patients, according to research.

The findings of two trials, which looked at a mix of well-known drugs, have been welcomed by a charity, which said it wants to see the treatments made available on the NHS to those who would benefit as soon as possible.

One of the trials suggested the use of three drugs gave 2.5 more years without cancer progression to men with high-burden metastatic prostate cancer and approximately 18 additional months of life.

The Peace-1 trial found that using abiraterone acetate and prednisolone (AAP) alongside two other drugs – ADT and docetaxel – patients had an additional 25% reduction in the risk of death compared to those using just the two drugs.

Study author Karim Fizazi, professor in Oncology at the University of Paris-Saclay, said the trial is first to establish that “triplet treatment” should be offered, especially to those with the most aggressive cancers, and added that additional side-effects from this combination were “mostly mild, with very few severe side-effects”.

He added: “For the first time these men can expect to live more than five years, whereas before 2015 their median survival was less than three years.

“By 2022, all three treatments will be generic drugs which should improve access for patients worldwide.”

Dr Matthew Hobbs, director of research at Prostate Cancer UK, said the Peace-1 study builds on progress already made in this area “and shows that combining several new treatments can give men up to 18 months of additional life”.

He added: “This will make a huge difference for these men, and if the full results confirm these findings, we want to see this combination approved on the NHS as quickly as possible.”

Another trial – known as the Stampede trial – focused on non-metastatic but high-risk prostate cancer.

It found that at the six-year point, men who had received standard treatment as well as AAP for two years had an improvement in metastasis-free survival from 69% to 82%.

They also had an improvement in overall survival from 77% to 86%, and an improvement in prostate cancer specific survival from 85% to 93% – compared to standard treatment alone.

Dr Hobbs said: “These exciting new results show that giving abiraterone to men with aggressive localised prostate cancer can help stop this from happening, reducing their risk of death from prostate cancer at six years by more than half.

“We now hope to see abiraterone made available on the NHS for this group of men and look forward to seeing more research published by this impressive study.

“That’s why Prostate Cancer UK is providing £2.5 million in funding to help the researchers target prostate cancer treatments to work out which men will benefit most.”

The results were presented at the European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) Congress 2021.

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