Pill for women offers prostate cancer hope

Prostate cancer: Pill hope. Picture: TSPL
Prostate cancer: Pill hope. Picture: TSPL
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A gene-targeting pill for women may provide a highly effective treatment for up to a third of men with advanced prostate cancer, trial results have shown.

Olaparib, the first marketed drug to tackle inherited cancer mutations, was licensed last year for women with ovarian cancer who have faulty BRCA genes.

The new trial found it could also halt tumour growth in many men with treatment-resistant prostate cancer.

Of the 49 men taking part, a third responded to the drug. Cancers stopped growing, numbers of circulating tumour cells in the blood fell, and clinically positive results were obtained from scans.

Levels of PSA – the blood marker used to track the progress of prostate cancer – also plunged by up to 96 per cent.