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Thalidomide May Be Helpful in Recurrent Prostate Cancer

-- Eric Metcalf

Friday, January 23, 2009

FRIDAY, Jan. 23 (HealthDay News) -- Thalidomide may help delay prostate specific antigen (PSA) progression in some men with prostate cancer, according to research released online Jan. 23 in advance of publication in the March issue of the Journal of Urology.

William D. Figg, of the National Cancer Institute in Bethesda, Md., and colleagues analyzed data from 159 men with biochemically recurrent prostate cancer following local definitive therapy. In oral phase A, patients were randomized to six months of gonadotropin-releasing hormone agonist (GnRH-A), then daily thalidomide or placebo. After PSA progressed, they were given another six months of GnRH-A, followed by the opposite treatment, which comprised oral phase B.

In phase A, the median time to PSA progression was not significantly different between the groups, the investigators found. In phase B, the median time was significantly longer for the thalidomide group (17.1 months versus 6.6 months), the researchers report. The groups showed no difference in time to serum testosterone normalization in either phase, the report indicates.

"It is postulated that the efficacy of anti-angiogenic agents such as thalidomide will be greatest in the setting of minimal disease burden. Patients found to have an increasing PSA after definitive therapy for prostate cancer as their only evidence of disease are believed to have a minimal disease state. The presence of hormone responsive disease also implies a better prognosis than for those who do not respond to androgen ablation. Therefore, it is in this setting that we proposed to evaluate the clinical efficacy of thalidomide. The results of this trial support this hypothesis," the authors write.

A study co-author disclosed a relationship with Neogenix Oncology, Inc.

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Specialties Cardiology
Diabetes & Endocrinology
Internal Medicine
Family Practice

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