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Abiraterone May Be More Effective in Black Men With Prostate Cancer

Abiraterone May Be More Effective in Black Men With Prostate Cancer

African-American men with advanced prostate cancer might be more responsive than white men to an anti-androgen drug and steroids, according to a study led by Duke Cancer Institute researchers.

An worldwide trial led by The Institute of Cancer Research, London, and The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust has shown that immunotherapy can benefit men with prostate cancer.

FRIDAY, June 1, 2018 (HealthDay News) - Black men with advanced prostate cancer who get chemotherapy may live longer than white men, a new study suggests.

World-leading prostate cancer expert Professor Johann de Bono, of the Institute for Cancer Research, said: 'We hope for a cure but we can't call it that yet.

"In the last few years immunotherapy has changed the way we treat many advanced cancers - but up to now no one had demonstrated a benefit in men with prostate cancer".

Immunotherapy, which personalizes treatment based on the genetic make-up of tumors, is only successful for a minority of patients, professor Paul Workman, chief executive of the ICR, said in a statement. The amount of damage that a cell can endure, however, is influenced by external factors such as alcohol, smoking, exposure to UV light, and many cancer cells have lost some of the ability to self-repair the genome.

Eleni Efstathiou, MD, and colleagues at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, studied 197 patients with M0HNPC randomly assigned to receive AA plus leuprolide (99 men) for 8 months or leuprolide alone (98 men).

Earlier trials on using immunotherapy in prostate cancer have been unsuccessful. While just 5 percent men who were a part of the trail actually saw their cancer to shrink or disappear after receiving the treatment, many of those had heavily mutated cancers. It has already been shown to be highly effective in tackling other forms of the disease, including skin and lung cancer. It is an IgG4 isotype antibody that blocks a protective mechanism of cancer cells, and allows the immune system to destroy those cancer cells.

However, the therapy will not work for most patients.

Only around 20% of cancer patients respond to immunotherapy and researchers do not fully understand why. Most prostate cancers are slow growing; however, some grow very quickly.

If patients who can respond to immunotherapy are identified, some of them may be able to avoid treatments that come with unwanted side effects.

"One of the major challenges with immunotherapy is that we don't have many reliable tests to pick out who will benefit".

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