Two new medicines mark a ‘breakthrough’ in prostate cancer treatment

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Two new medicines aimed at treating advanced prostate cancer in men have been hailed as a “breakthrough” by Prostate Cancer UK.

According to research presented at the European Society for Medical Oncology’s Virtual Congress 2020, the drugs, olaparib and ipatasertib, have the potential to become the first precision medicines ever for prostate cancer.

Precision medicines target treatments based on the genetics of a man’s cancer.

Olaparib, which is already approved for breast cancer patients, has been shown to slow progression of prostate cancer in men whose tumours contain certain gene defects.

Meanwhile, trials of ipatasertib – another drug designed to treat men whose cancers lack a specific gene called PTEN – have also shown positive early results.

Dr Matthew Hobbs, Director of Research at Prostate Cancer UK, said the results “mark a new era for prostate cancer treatment”.

He said: “These results are hugely exciting and together represent a real breakthrough for men with advanced prostate cancer.

“Olaparib and ipatasertib mark a new era for prostate cancer treatment – one based on a detailed understanding of each man’s cancer rather than a ‘one size fits all’ approach. None of this would have been possible without early investment from Prostate Cancer UK, which funded the research paving the way to these two new treatments.

“Precision medicines like these hold enormous potential and could radically reduce the number of men dying from prostate cancer by ensuring they receive the best possible treatment for their cancer.

“That’s why we’re continuing to fund research to ensure more men can benefit from precision treatments in the future and ultimately reduce the number of men dying from the disease.”

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