Clinical trials for two compounds show promise in advanced prostate cancer

In a paper published online this week in Science Express (the online version of Science magazine), researchers report that early clinical trials for two compounds, MDV3100 and RD162, show initial promise for patients suffering from an advanced metastatic form of the disease known as castration-resistant prostate cancer.

MDV3100, designed to work by antagonizing androgen receptor action and preventing testosterone from fueling tumor growth, reduced PSA levels in 43 percent of patients by more than 50 percent.

These compounds were initially derived through work funded by a Prostate Cancer Foundation (PCF) Competitive Award granted to Drs. Owen Witte, Charles Sawyers and Michael Jung at UCLA in 2002. Their research focus was to discover new inhibitors of the androgen receptor that would be active when cells became resistant to existing medications.

Advanced investigation of the drugs' effectiveness was subsequently funded through a PCF Challenge Award granted to Dr. Howard Scher of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and Dr. Charles Sawyer of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. The Challenge Award was made possible by the New York State Department of Health and a gift from David Shaw and Beth Kobliner Shaw.

Clinical trials of the investigational drugs are being conducted through the PCF-funded Clinical Therapy Consortium in partnership with the Department of Defense CDMRP for prostate cancer. In 2008, nearly 500 patients with advanced prostate cancer received innovative drugs such as these through the PCF-Department of Defense Therapy Consortium.

“We are pleased to see these initial promising findings as a result of PCF sponsored research,” commented Howard Soule, PhD, chief science officer for the PCF. “These compounds are currently in Phase III trials sponsored by Medivation and we will be watching the data closely.”

The full paper, Treatment of advanced prostate cancer with an antiandrogen that alters androgen receptor localization and DNA binding , was authored jointly by Drs. Chris Tran, Samedy Ouk, Nicola J. Clegg, Yu Chen, Philip A. Watson, Vivek Arora, John Wongvipat, Peter M. Smith-Jones, Dongwon Yoo, Andrew Kwon, Teresa Wasielewska, Derek Welsbie, Charlie Chen, Celestia S. Higano, Tomasz M. Beer, David T. Hung, Howard I. Scher, Michael Jung and Charles L. Sawyers.

About the Prostate Cancer Foundation

The Prostate Cancer Foundation is the world's largest philanthropic source of support for prostate cancer research focused on discovering better treatments and a cure for recurrent prostate cancer. Founded in 1993, the PCF has raised nearly $370 million and provided funding to more than 1,500 research projects at nearly 200 institutions worldwide. The PCF also advocates for greater awareness of prostate cancer and more governmental research funds. PCF advocacy has helped produce a 20-fold increase in government funding for prostate cancer since 1994. More information about prostate cancer and the PCF can be found at www.pcf.org.

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