Resistant Prostate Cancer has new Enemy

Custirsen inhibits production of clusterin in prostate cancers

/ Author:  / Reviewed by: Joseph V. Madia, MD

(RxWiki News) Some forms of prostate cancer don't respond to any available therapies. An investigational compound currently being studied in clinical trials may soon change that.

In two ongoing Phase II trials, a compound called custirsen shows promise in treating castrate-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC).

Drug may soon be available to fight treatment resistant prostate cancer.

The SYNERGY trial is evaluating the overall survival benefit of custirsen when it's combined with standard chemotherapy treatment.

Trial data, published in the September 1, 2011 issue of Clinical Cancer Research, found that when custirsen was combined with docetaxel, overall survival was 15.8 months. When combined with mitroxantrone, survival was 11.5 months.

Custirsen was also found to provide some level of pain relief in 88 percent of patients who had pain or were taking opioids for pain relief.

Researchers at the University of Montreal say these findings suggest this compound could restore docetaxel as a useful treatment and also provide alleviate pain in these patients.

The other study - the Prostate Cancer SATURN Trial - is looking at the drug's effect on reducing pain in patients undergoing chemotherapy.

Pre-clinical data from this trial has been published in the September 1, 2011 issue of Cancer Research.

Researchers at the Vancouver Prostate Centre at The University of British Columbia have found that custirsen can overcome the production of clusterin, which is a protein that helps cancer cells survive.

When combined with the agent 17-AAG, the compounds worked together to block this resistant mechanism and delay tumor growth.

Both studies are enrolling patients. To learn more, see click on Custirsen Clinical Trials link below.

Custirsen has received fast-track designation by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, which will speed the approval process to get this drug on the market faster if trials demonstrate its effectiveness.

The compound  is manufactured by OncoGenex Pharmaceuticals, Inc.


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Review Date: 
September 8, 2011
Last Updated:
September 8, 2011