First Study to Show Chemotherapy Extends Survival of Advanced Prostate Cancer Patients

August 1, 2002
Oncology, ONCOLOGY Vol 16 No 8, Volume 16, Issue 8

The results of a phase III multicenter trial presented at the 38th annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology showed for the first time that chemotherapy can improve the survival of patients with advanced hormone-refractory prostate cancer. For the study, researchers compared the effects of vinblastine alone vs vinblastine combined with estramustine (Emcyt).

The results of a phase III multicenter trial presentedat the 38th annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology showedfor the first time that chemotherapy can improve the survival of patients withadvanced hormone-refractory prostate cancer. For the study, researchers comparedthe effects of vinblastine alone vs vinblastine combined with estramustine(Emcyt).

"This is the first study to show that chemotherapy can improve survivalfor this group of patients," said Gary Hudes, MD, lead investigator for thestudy and a medical oncologist at Fox Chase Cancer Center in Philadelphia."While this is only a modest survival increase, it demonstrates thepotential for improved chemotherapy combinations that are currently beingtested. We believe that new studies using estramustine in combination with othersimilar drugs will greatly increase the length of survival for men with thisdeadly disease."

Other benefits of the combination therapy included a reduction in the paincaused by the disease. "Also, we were surprised to find that the sideeffects were reduced when these drugs were used in combination vs vinblastinealone," said Dr. Hudes.