Prostate drug hopes

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A “triple whammy” drug that tackles advanced prostate cancer in three different ways has passed its first hurdle.

Scientists reported promising early trial results on galeterone, which is designed to treat cancer that no longer responds to hormone therapy.

The drug reduced levels of Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA), a prostate cancer blood marker, by 30% or more in around half of patients.

Eleven patients had PSA reductions of 50% or more, and in some there was significant shrinkage in tumour size.

A total of 49 patients took part, all with cancer that has ceased to respond to hormone therapy aimed at preventing tumours being fuelled by testosterone.

Currently there is little help for prostate cancer sufferers at this stage.

Galeterone works in three ways, by blocking “receptor” proteins that respond to testosterone, reducing the number of receptors in tumours, and targeting an enzyme linked to hormone pathways called CYP17.