New drugs for Prostate Cancer 42



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 A gamechanger for prostate cancer sufferers has been announced in Washington overnight with the discovery that nine of ten men with advanced prostate cancer had genetic mutations that could be targeted with drugs.  Researchers announced in Cell magazine the results of a study of 150 patients with metastatic (advanced) prostate cancer who had seen the disease spread to other parts of the body.  The results showed that 89% had genetic aberrations that could be attacked with existing drugs or treatments that are currently in clinical trials.

Prof Johann de Bono, of the ICR and Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust told the BBC: “This is truly a game-changer. We are calling this prostate cancer’s Rosetta Stone, because we can now decode the disease for the first time.”

“In the past, we used to treat lethal prostate cancer as a single illness but this shows that it is a group of diseases, each driven by their own set of mutations.”

The professor explained that the discovery showed, using genetic testing, it would be possible to individualise patient care, heralding the arrival of personalised treatment for advanced prostate cancer.

Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in Australian men, accounting for 30 percent of all new cancers in 2010, or 19,810 people.  The average age of prostate cancer diagnosis in Australia is 67.4 years and the risk of diagnosis increases with age.  One in five men in Australia is at risk of developing prostate cancer before the age of 85.

In a similar discovery in the last few years, mutations in the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes – most famous for their roles in breast cancer – were found in nearly 20 per cent of patients. Recent work at has shown that these patients can be treated effectively by drugs called PARP inhibitors.

This is such an exciting discovery for Prostate Cancer sufferers of the future.  Have you struggled, or known someone who has struggled with the disease?



Rebecca Wilson

Rebecca Wilson is the founder and publisher of Starts at Sixty. The daughter of two baby boomers, she has built the online community for over 60s by listening carefully to the issues and seeking out answers, insights and information for over 60s throughout Australia. Rebecca is an experienced marketer, a trained journalist and has a degree in politics. A mother of 3, she passionately facilitates and leads our over 60s community, bringing the community opinions, needs and interests to the fore and making Starts at Sixty a fun place to be.

  1. Fifty percent of men die with prostate cancer, not necessarily of prostate cancer. The difference is the aggressiveness of the disease. Please fellas, have regular check ups. It really isn’t as bad as mammograms. You could save your life.

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  2. My dad had prostrate cancer, at 72, he chose to not have treatment he died at 84 it had t advanced.
    My two brothers under 60 both got prostrate cancer it was aggressive so both had the operation to remove the prostate, 8 years later they are both doing well.

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    • Anne are you checked regularly , as daughters of men with Prostate Cancer are at risk for BRACA1 and BRACA2 genes. The disease is present in my husbands family. One cousin died 4yrs ago aged just 60. And now his older brother has just been diagnosed. He is having Radiation seeding to the Prostate.

  3. My husband.6years ago. He chose to have Bracytherapy where radiation seeds are implanted into the prostrate. He had regular prostrate check ups,so it was diagnosed very early.

  4. I was diagnosed as a birthday present for my 60th birthday. I had no symptoms and it was only through my regular yearly check it was found. It is not an old mans disease as men in their 40’s are being diagnosed with it. I was operated on within 6 months to have it removed and that was 3 1/2 years ago. This was my second “argument” with cancer and at this stage life is good

  5. I have terminal, stage IV advanced chemotherapy refractory castrate resistant prostate cancer with bone metastases and lymph node involvement.
    I have had palliative external beam radiotherapy on two occasions (2008 & 2014) and four months of chemotherapy (2014) The aim of the treatment was to enhance my quality of life by decreasing bone pain and skeletal related events.
    I look forward to the gene mutation science developing.
    PS: I reserve my comments for anyone who thinks cheese will control/cure cancer.

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    • All the best to you Paul, hang in there, I agree I don’t think all the cheese in the world will help cure any cancer,

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