Prostate cancer is a prevalent disease, affecting millions of men worldwide. It ranks as the second most common cancer in men and the fourth most commonly occurring cancer overall. In 2020 alone, there were approximately 1.41 million new cases of prostate cancer reported globally.
However, a recent study conducted by researchers from the Institute of Cancer Research, London, offers hope for individuals with metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer. The study, published in the journal Nature, reveals a potential breakthrough in treating the disease by targeting myeloid white blood cells.
The researchers utilized an experimental drug called AZD5069 in combination with the hormone therapy enzalutamide to prevent myeloid cells from being drawn into tumors. By blocking the recruitment of these cells into the tumor, the drug disrupts their tumor-promoting activities. Out of the 21 participants with metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer, five individuals responded positively to the treatment.
Professor Johann De Bono, one of the authors of the study, expressed excitement over the positive response observed in the participants. He emphasized the significance of targeting myeloid cells rather than cancer cells, as it represents a novel approach that could benefit patients.
In addition to its potential impact on prostate cancer, targeting myeloid white blood cells could have broad implications for the treatment of other types of cancer. Prof. De Bono highlighted the role of myeloid cells in promoting various cancers, suggesting that this research could have far-reaching effects.
While the study’s findings are promising, experts emphasize the need for larger randomized trials to compare this approach to existing treatment options, such as chemotherapy. Dr. Mina M. Fam, medical director of urologic oncology, described the research as an innovative and potentially game-changing strategy for managing metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer, as well as other aggressive and advanced cancers.
Overall, this study represents a significant step forward in the quest for new therapies to combat metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer. While further research is needed, the potential to extend patients’ lives and improve their quality of life is a promising prospect for those affected by this challenging disease.