A new drug demonstrated dramatic and rapid effects on prostate cancer that had spread to the bone, according to a study reported by University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center researchers.
About two-thirds of patients treated with cabozantinib had improvements on their bone scans, with 12 percent seeing complete resolution of uptake on bone scan. Bone scans assess the degree to which cancer is in the bone; improvements on these scans suggest a response to the drug.
"The effects of cabozantinib on bone scans are unprecedented in the treatment of prostate cancer," says lead study author David C. Smith, M.D., professor of internal medicine and urology at the University of Michigan Medical School.
Cabozantinib is designed to target two important pathways linked to the growth and spread of prostate cancer. The drug had the most effect on tumors that had spread to the bone, which is the major site where prostate cancer spreads. These tumors are typically very challenging to treat once they become resistant to hormone-based therapies.
In addition to the improvements on bone scans, 67 percent of patients with bone pain reported an improvement in pain control and 56 percent decreased or eliminated narcotic painkillers after treatment with cabozantinib. Results of the study appear in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.