We love delivering Good News. And this week’s announcement is a great achievement for Prostate Cancer Research.
This year, two new treatments have been approved for advanced prostate cancer. The treatments have been rigorously tried and tested and finally passed FDA approval in June 2020.
But to understand the gravity of such a success, first, we must go back a little to the beginnings of this momentous endeavour.
Back in 2015, a Prostrate Cancer Funded Team (PCF) led by Dr. Arul Chinnaiyan of the University of Michigan published a landmark paper that revealed mutations in cancer cells of advanced patients. They demonstrated that around a third of mCRPC (metastatic castration-resistant prostrate censer) have mutations in certain genes. This study paved the way for experimentation and testing of PARP inhibitors such as Olaparib.
Fast forward 5 years and research discovered that Olaparib had anti-tumor effects on mCRPC patients with DDR (DNA Damage Repair) gene alterations. The drug was rushed through for clinical trials led by a team of PCF investigators with ground-breaking results.
A new drug, Rucaparib, was also developed based on the results from a phase 2 clinical trial lead by Dr. Wassim Abida of memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. The development of Rucaparib and the clinical trials of Olaparib was so innovative and practice-changing that they have been recently published in The New England Journal of Medicine.
In short, both Rucaparib and Olaparib are specially designed to fight advanced prostate cancer. Men in later stages of prostate cancer currently have little to no additional options for successful treatment and recovery, especially when the cancer is not responsive to hormone therapy. The approval of these two new hormonal drug treatments is a lifeline that is sorely needed. Not only will Rucaparib and Olaparib help to save hundreds of lives in the present, but their discovery has also paved the way for new research and discoveries to save lives at risk in the future. For more on this research, watch this youtube video.