Researchers herald prostate cancer breakthrough

An early-stage prostate cancer therapy is being hailed by researchers for significantly improving outcomes for 250 refractive men who participated in a clinical trial. Abiraterone works by switching off the production of testosterone, which fuels the cancer. Side effects--largely weight gain and fatigue--have been mild. A larger trial involving 1,200 volunteers is underway and the developer says the therapy may be available in three years.

"We have patients still in the trial who started in December 2005 and are still doing well two and a half years later. This is very unusual," lead researcher Dr Johann de Bono told the Guardian. "Within three months I have had men stop their morphine and say I'm going to see my daughter living in Australia."

The Phase I data on the once-daily pill indicates that the drug delayed disease progression by 400 days and shrank tumors in patients who had failed other therapies. That's very good news for Cougar Biotechnology, which funded the trial.

- read the article in the Guardian