March 30, 2006

PC Research Update

It's been some time since we ran across any encouraging news related to advanced PC research. This one is worth posting.

The most promising aspect of the article below is the fact that the drug is already approved by the FDA. I looked further and found the most common side effects are hot flashes (been there, live that!) and leg cramps (bring it on!). However, these are also listed (the last two don't sound very good but are said to be very rare):

> leg pain or a feeling of warmth in the calves
> swelling of the legs, hands or feet
> sudden chest pain, shortness of breath or coughing up blood
> sudden change in your vision, such as loss of vision or blurred vision

The compound is known as Raloxifene, Lilly uses the name "Evista".
Source: Cedars-Sinai Medical Center

Posted: March 24, 2006

Raloxifene, Drug Used For Osteoporosis, Shown To Potentially Benefit Prostate Cancer Patients

In a study to be published in the April 2006 issue of the British Journal of Urology International, researchers at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center have shown that Raloxifene, a drug commonly used to treat osteoporosis, has a potential clinical benefit in treating men with prostate cancer. This study has implications for the approximately 35,000 men who will die this year of advanced prostate cancer.

Prostate cancer is the leading cause of cancer and the second leading cause of cancer-related death among men living in the United States. Approximately one in six men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer during his lifetime. "We undertook this study because we desperately need new therapies for patients with advanced prostate cancer," said David B. Agus, M.D., research director of the Louis Warschaw Prostate Cancer Center at Cedars-Sinai and principal investigator of the study.

Since Raloxifene is a drug already on the market, researchers were able to move directly into a Phase II clinical trial. They identified the presence of the beta isoform of the estrogen receptor in prostate cancer tissue samples, then moved directly into studies of animals with human prostate cancer, and then onto human clinical trials. The entire process took only 2-3 years.

"It used to be that to show effectiveness through research studies, cancer drugs needed to shrink tumors by 50 percent," Agus said. "Now, the new way of thinking about the effectiveness of cancer drugs is whether they can slow cancer's growth, which ultimately may significantly benefit patients."

Through the study, patients were given a daily oral dosage of Raloxifene, and the disease and its symptoms were followed on a regular basis. Some of the patients in the clinical trial taking Raloxifene showed evidence of disease stabilization manifested by a slowing or stopping of the growth of their prostate cancer.

According to Ronald L. Shazer, M.D., primary author of the manuscript, "The outcome from the Phase II clinical trial merits further study in a randomized clinical trial to demonstrate the clinical benefit of this targeted therapy."

The study was funded by the Prostate Cancer Foundation and the Elle and Paul Stephens Family Foundation.

For more information about the work of the physicians and researchers at the Louis Warschaw Prostate
Cancer Center, please visit:


Karen said...

Sounds like promising news!!

John Wagner said...

Yes, that does sound promising. What are your chances of getting into a trial? I assume you will be discussing this with your doctor? Keep HOPE alive!