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Study findings could expedite the availability of new prostate cancer treatments for men

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21 March 2024

Improved treatments being researched for prostate cancer, the most common form of cancer in men, could be rolled out almost two years earlier than possible at present

The trial reviewed data from over 8,500 men with prostate cancer in nine different clinical trials and found that progression-free survival, the length of time men live without progression in their cancer, reasonably predicts how long they will live. This can be assessed at around two years earlier than ‘overall survival’ which currently takes around a decade to be completed.

Prostate cancer is cancer of the prostate gland, part of the male reproductive system. It is the the most common cancer in UK men with an average 144 new cases diagnosed every day, more than 52,000 each year. Around 490,000 men are currently living with and after prostate cancer.

The findings of the trial have been published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology. Radiographic Progression-Free Survival and Clinical Progression-Free Survival as Potential Surrogates for Overall Survival in Men With Metastatic Hormone-Sensitive Prostate Cancer

Professor Susan Halabi who led the research from Duke University said:

“The readout from clinical trials in men with metastatic, hormone-sensitive prostate cancer can take a decade, if survival is used as the main outcome. Our findings have massive implications for future prostate cancer trials – saving time, money, and most importantly lives – by helping them prove a treatment’s effectiveness sooner.”

“While the results are promising, the goal is to go one step further and demonstrate to NICE, the US Food and Drug Administration and other regulatory agencies the value of using these surrogate outcomes in new trials. We hope that this is just the first step, and we can find ways to get effective treatments to men even more quickly in the future.”

Dr Hayley Luxton, Research Impact Manager at Prostate Cancer UK, said:

“Prostate cancer trials currently take a very long time to find out if a treatment works, so anything that can help new treatments reach men sooner is really exciting. This research that we started funding in 2018, could shave up to two years off this process. With so many new treatments currently being researched this could make a huge difference for men.”

The study was led by Duke University School of Medicine and involved researchers based at the MRC Clinical Trials Unit at UCL. It was jointly funded by both Prostate Cancer UK and the Prostate Cancer Foundation.

Further details can be read in the UCL News article: New prostate cancer treatments could reach men sooner




Image: National Cancer Institute