SYDNEY, Aug. 5 (Xinhua) -- A new prostate cancer drug has shown potential in solving two long-standing problems with current therapies for the disease -- tumor spread and treatment resistance, Australian researchers announced on Tuesday.
Professor Des Richardson from Australia's Griffith University told Xinhua that prostate cancer is driven by androgens, that is, testosterone (the male hormone), making prostate cancer cells very aggressive and fast-spreading.
One of the problems with current treatments was that even in patients who had undergone castration (removal of testis) to decrease testosterone (androgen) levels, cancer cells were still able to grow because other pathways take over in the prostate cancer cells (androgen independent pathways) that do not require testosterone.
"The androgen independent tumors are known as castrate resistant and are very, very difficult to treat and lead to death," Richardson said.
The new drug, known as DpC , developed by Richardson and his colleagues overcomes both androgen dependent and androgen-independent tumors which is way ahead of current therapies for prostate cancer, according to the research.
This drug exhibits potent androgen receptor suppression, critical for overcoming the development of androgen resistance, a major killer in prostate cancer, he said.
By turning off the androgen receptor, the levels of prostate specific antigen (PSA) are also markedly reduced, according to Richardson.
"PSA is a bad guy in prostate cancer patients, and the fact that DpC could markedly ablate this indicator was again very surprising and could be part of the way these drugs work to block the spread of prostate cancer," he said.
"By markedly decreasing its level, our drug DpC prevents the spread of the cancer cells." Enditem