Drug Combination Shows Promise in Advanced Prostate Cancer

Combination of treatments may slow disease progression.

A drug combination was found to slow disease progression in advanced prostate cancer during a recent study.

In patients with castration-resistant metastatic prostate cancer, the disease can progress even with aggressive treatment, including radiation, hormone therapy, and removal of the prostate or testicles.

"We hope to find a well-tolerated and effective treatment to slow the progression of prostate cancer in men with advanced prostate cancer. The approach combines several drugs and attacks the cancer on several fronts," said principal investigator Dr. Fred Saad, a researcher at the University of Montreal Hospital Research Centre.

Abiraterone acetate (Zytiga) is typically combined with standard hormone treatment to block the production of testosterone that fuels tumor growth. The study noted this approach, along with other treatment advances, have extended survival and improved quality of life in patients with the most advanced stages of prostate cancer.

Since 2004, life expectancy has grown from an average of 18 months to 3 years.

A phase 1 clinical trial recently evaluated the safety of the combination of Zytiga and the experimental drug JNJ-56021927.

"Our trial conducted on 40 patients indicate that this treatment is safe. The combined drugs are well tolerated and the treatment appears effective," Dr. Saad said.

An additional trial is planned to compare the efficacy of Zytiga (1000 mg) and a placebo versus Zytiga (1000 mg) and JNJ-56021927 (240 mg) in 960 patients worldwide. Patients in both groups will also receive small doses of prednisone to reduce adverse events associated with Zytiga and to help treatment.