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Thursday 16 June 2022

Targeted cancer drug can improve survival in advanced prostate cancer

Adding a targeted cancer drug to chemotherapy has been shown to help patients with advanced prostate cancer.

Southampton researchers have published analysis from a clinical trial in the journal European Urology.

It shows that including the drug capivasertib to treatment can improve overall survival for men whose cancer had spread to other parts of the body.

The ProCAID study was run by the Cancer Research UK Southampton Clinical Trials Unit (CTU).

Controlling cancer for longer

Hormone therapy can help control the cancer’s spread. But some patients do not respond to this treatment or become resistant over time. This means the cancer will progress and patients will then need chemotherapy.

Capivasertib is a targeted cancer drug that stops the signals cancer cells use to grow and divide. Researchers wanted to see whether adding this drug to standard chemotherapy treatment could help to control the cancer for longer and improve outcomes.

150 people took part in the phase II ProCAID trial, with half being given standard docetaxel chemotherapy plus capivasertib. The other half were given the chemotherapy plus a dummy drug (placebo).

The results showed that although capivasertib did not increase the time before the cancer started to grow again (progression free survival), overall survival was increased for patients in the capivasertib group compared to the placebo group.

Next steps

Dr Simon Crabb, Chief Investigator of the trial, says larger studies are now needed to increase understanding of how best to use this approach.

Results have directly led to the phase III CAPItello-280 trial. This is further examining capivasertib plus docetaxel for the patient group.

Southampton CTU is based at the University of Southampton's Centre for Cancer Immunology. The trial is funded by Cancer Research UK with additional financial support from AstraZeneca UK Ltd.