Two poster presentations at the ESMO Conference at Lugano this week showed that the drug, called Abiraterone, reduced the levels of prostate specific antigen (PSA) in men who have failed initial treatment and in men who have failed treatment with Taxotere. Abiraterone inhibits the production of male androgens by blocking the enzyme CYP450c17. Without this enzyme, the body does not produce male androgens from anywhere in the body. The result is both a reduction in PSA and in some case a reduction in tumor size.
Abiraterone does not exhibit any toxic characteristics.
Both of these studies were based upon a small sample sizes.
A Phase III study is planned for next year. I will attempt to find out additional information about this future trial.
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Joel T Nowak MA, MSW