The team at Johns Hopkins Radiation Oncology are highly specialized and solely focused on treating and studying prostate cancer. Not only do we have a specialized team devoted to prostate cancer, we also have the most advanced radiation therapy technologies.
Cancer cells are hearty. When they are irradiated, they will try to repair their injuries. Theodore DeWeese, radiation oncology director, and colleagues are investigating radiosensitizers – substances that can alter tumor cells and make them more susceptible to radiation. In a laboratory model, Dr. DeWeese and colleagues successfully used one of these agents to directly alter prostate cancer cells; study results were published June 2011 in The Journal of Clinical Investigation.
The researchers are now planning two clinical trials that combine a drug with an adenovirus to disrupt DNA repair in men with intermediate- and high-risk localized prostate cancers with a Gleason score of 7 and up. For the first trial, the medication can be directly injected to the prostate or given orally; for the second trial, for which Dr. DeWeese will be the national director, the medication can be directly injected to the prostate or given intravenously.