Scientists make big progress in prostate cancer treatment

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Researchers at Cedars-Sinai Cancer have made significant progress in the treatment of recurrent prostate cancer, offering new hope to patients.

Their international Phase III clinical trial has identified two promising treatment options that have shown better outcomes in terms of extended survival without disease progression compared to the current standard treatment.

The results of this groundbreaking study were published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

The Challenge of Recurrent Prostate Cancer

Prostate cancer is diagnosed in a substantial number of men each year, with approximately 288,300 cases expected in the U.S. in 2023.

While some individuals may have a slow-growing form of the disease that doesn’t require immediate treatment, those with aggressive prostate cancer often undergo surgery or radiation therapy.

Unfortunately, approximately one-third of these patients experience a recurrence of the cancer within a decade.

Androgen Deprivation Therapy (ADT) as Standard Treatment

For patients with aggressive recurrence, the standard treatment has been Androgen Deprivation Therapy (ADT), also known as hormone therapy.

ADT works by reducing the production of the male sex hormone testosterone, which plays a role in the growth and spread of prostate cancer.

However, ADT has limitations—it doesn’t completely eliminate testosterone, and it can lead to various side effects, making it less than ideal.

Innovative Approaches to Addressing Recurrence

In this study involving 1,068 prostate cancer patients across 244 sites in 17 countries, researchers aimed to tackle two key issues associated with ADT.

One-third of the participants received ADT along with a medication called enzalutamide, designed to block the effects of testosterone fully.

Another third received enzalutamide alone, relying on the medication to block testosterone effects even without reducing testosterone levels in the blood. The final group received ADT alone, which represented the current standard treatment.

Promising Results

The combination of ADT and enzalutamide demonstrated remarkable results, reducing the risk of metastasis or death by 58% compared to ADT alone.

Enzalutamide alone also showed significant promise, reducing the risk by 37% when compared to ADT alone. Importantly, both treatment options maintained the patients’ quality of life, similar to ADT alone.

A New Era in Prostate Cancer Treatment

These findings offer a glimmer of hope for patients with recurrent prostate cancer, providing them with potentially more effective and tolerable treatment options.

The next step involves seeking FDA approval for enzalutamide as a therapy for these patients.

This development marks a significant step toward addressing an unmet need in optimizing therapy for individuals with aggressive recurrent prostate cancer.


The Cedars-Sinai Cancer research team’s groundbreaking Phase III clinical trial has unveiled two promising treatment options that offer improved survival rates and a better quality of life for patients with recurrent prostate cancer.

These findings have the potential to revolutionize the way we approach and manage this disease.

With the possibility of FDA approval on the horizon, these innovations may soon become widely available, providing new hope and options for individuals battling recurrent prostate cancer.

If you care about prostate cancer, please read studies about 5 types of bacteria linked to aggressive prostate cancer, and new strategy to treat advanced prostate cancer.

For more information about prostate cancer, please see recent studies about new way to lower risk of prostate cancer spread, and results showing three-drug combo boosts survival in metastatic prostate cancer.

The research findings can be found in New England Journal of Medicine.

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