Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Sunshine Pill For Prostate Cancer In 2009

Date:
January 19, 2007
Source:
Society of Chemical Industry
Summary:
A drug based on vitamin D and is given to patients in the advanced stages of prostate cancer along with chemotherapy drugs could be availiable by 2009. Vitamin D from sunlight improves the prognosis of certain cancers, but taking natural levels of the vitamin has no effect. Novacea, the company that makes Asentar, produced a novel formulation that reproduces the healing effect without the dangerous side-effects of a vitamin D overdose.

A tablet designed to emulate the healing power of the sun could be available for the treatment of advanced prostate cancer as early as 2009. But it remains to be seen whether the drug will be the revolution in prostate cancer care that its makers claim.

The drug, Asentar (DN-101), is based on vitamin D and is given to patients in the advanced stages of prostate cancer along with chemotherapy drugs. Drug makers came up with the idea because vitamin D from sunlight improves the prognosis of certain cancers. But taking natural levels of the vitamin has no effect. Novacea, the company that makes Asentar, produced a novel formulation that reproduces the healing effect without the dangerous side-effects of a vitamin D overdose. If the on-going phase III trial goes to plan, the new drug should be available in 2009, reports Chemistry & Industry, the magazine of the SCI.

'If the results of the phase III trial are as good as those of the phase II trial, that would be significant,' says Nick James, professor of oncology at the University of Birmingham. In the phase II trials, Asentar significantly improved survival rates, 9 months over patients taking chemotherapy drugs (taxotere) alone. 'On average, patients in the advanced stage of the disease survive about 18 months, so an extension of 9 months would be very significant in my view,' says James.

Asentar provides levels of vitamin D 50-100 times higher than normal. Patients would be expected to take one tablet once a week with their weekly regime of taxotere for three weeks out of every four.

Business analysts say Asentar is a potential blockbuster, because prostate cancer rates are expected to soar in the next few years. But James is not so sure. 'A confounding factor is that if you go looking for more cases of cancer, you will find them. But this does not give you an accurate estimate of how many people will go on to develop advanced disease. In fact death rates are going down, which means that the market for this drug is probably pretty static.'

James also points out that it is far from certain that the Phase III trials will repeat the success of early trials. 'The phase II trial used a less than optimal taxotere regime so the survival rate may have been artificially inflated,' he says. He points out, however, that it may be that the Asentar will eventually prove applicable in the earlier stages of the disease.

Prostate cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in men. Prostate cancer kills one man every hour in the UK.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Society of Chemical Industry. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Society of Chemical Industry. "Sunshine Pill For Prostate Cancer In 2009." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 19 January 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/01/070116131603.htm>.
Society of Chemical Industry. (2007, January 19). Sunshine Pill For Prostate Cancer In 2009. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/01/070116131603.htm
Society of Chemical Industry. "Sunshine Pill For Prostate Cancer In 2009." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/01/070116131603.htm (accessed September 21, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Sierra Leone in Lockdown to Control Ebola

Sierra Leone in Lockdown to Control Ebola

AP (Sep. 21, 2014) Sierra Leone residents remained in lockdown on Saturday as part of a massive effort to confine millions of people to their homes in a bid to stem the biggest Ebola outbreak in history. (Sept. 20) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Sierra Leone's Nationwide Ebola Curfew Underway

Sierra Leone's Nationwide Ebola Curfew Underway

Newsy (Sep. 20, 2014) Sierra Leone is locked down as aid workers and volunteers look for new cases of Ebola. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Changes Found In Brain After One Dose Of Antidepressants

Changes Found In Brain After One Dose Of Antidepressants

Newsy (Sep. 19, 2014) A study suggest antidepressants can kick in much sooner than previously thought. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Grief Affect The Immune Systems Of Senior Citizens?

Could Grief Affect The Immune Systems Of Senior Citizens?

Newsy (Sep. 19, 2014) The study found elderly people are much more likely to become susceptible to infection than younger adults going though a similar situation. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins