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Conquest - Timeline of Discovery: Prostate Cancer

Making the Connection 2001-2008

Timeline of Discovery: Prostate Cancer

Date: April 20, 2010

CRF Investigator: Michael Carducci


1995
Kimmel Cancer Center researchers link the protein endothelin to
prostate cancer progression and the painful metastasis to the bone.

1996-2004
Clinical trials of the prostate cancer drug atrasentan, which blocks
endothelin, are held. More than 2,000 men participate.

2002
Michael Carducci, M.D., receives CRF support to continue
studies of atrasentan.

2003
Investigators report that this drug, among the first of the “targeted”
cancer therapeutics, blocks a protein called endothelin, secreted in excess
amounts by prostate cancer cells, promoting prostate cancer cell growth
and painful metastasis to the bone.

2004
Carducci reports the results of these trials to the American Society of
Clinical Oncology. Findings show that the drug stabilizes the spread of
cancer in 20 percent of men with advanced prostate cancer whose disease
has stopped responding to hormone therapy.

2005
In as many as 85 percent of men with hormone-therapy-resistant
prostate cancers, the cancer spreads to their bones. Oncologists agree
that the drug is a reasonable option for these men through clinical trials.

2006-2008
Clinical trials for men with hormone-therapy-resistant prostate cancer
that has not yet spread to the bone.


A DRUG THAT HELPS BLOCK PROSTATE CANCER
RESEARCH

In as many as 85 percent of men with hormone-therapy-resistant
prostate cancers, the cancer spreads to their bones. The pain
associated with this spread has been likened to being stung
repeatedly by wasps.

TRANSLATION
Researchers link the protein endothelin to prostate cancer
progression and the painful metastasis to the bone. In a study
of 2,000 men, they find the drug atrasentan, one of the first
“targeted” cancer therapeutics, blocks endothelin.

APPLICATION
The drug goes before the FDA for first review. Though the FDA
denies approval pending additional safety and efficacy studies,
clinical trials begin for men with hormone-therapy-resistant
prostate cancer that has not yet spread to the bone in an effort
to abate the painful progression of the disease.

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