Combining abiraterone acetate and MDV3100 could extend life for men who have advanced prostate cancer, new research has found.
Researchers at the Institute of Cancer Research and The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust have discovered that combining two new prostate cancer drugs could delay drug resistance and increase the number of men who successfully respond to the treatment.
The scientists were able to identify why men were developing a resistance to abiraterone – a hormone-blocking drug. They found that steroids and other such drugs which are given in combination with abiraterone could be contributing to the resistance. The additional drugs, which control the side-effects, activate mutations in the hormone-receptor gene, which could lessen the effect of abiraterone.
However, recent trials have found that combining abiraterone with MDV3100 is far more effective as the latter drug blocks the mutation activated when combined with abiraterone. This could extend the lives of men with advanced prostate cancer.
Researcher Dr Gerhardt Attard said: “Abiraterone is an effective treatment for the majority of men with advanced prostate cancer, but sadly they all eventually develop resistance.
“Our study suggests we should combine prostate cancer drugs rather than giving the sequentially. If the results hold true in patients, this could delay drug resistance and also increase the number of men who benefit.”
The study has been published in Cancer Research, and also found that at high doses, abiraterone could also block the androgen receptor, like MDV3100.
Professor Johann de Bono added: “Abiraterone is normally given at 1000mg/day but it is safe at double this dose, and at this level it may have a similar ability to block resistance, so this is another promising avenue to explore.
“Around 10,000 men a year in the UK are diagnosed with advanced prostate cancer and so our findings have the potential to benefit thousands of men.”