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Promise and Progress - New Prostate Cancer Drug Delays Disease Progression

Sidney Kimmel Gives Hopkins Its Biggest Gift Ever

New Prostate Cancer Drug Delays Disease Progression

Date: December 1, 2002

A new prostate cancer drug, ABT-627, delayed progression of advanced prostate cancer in men no longer responding to hormone therapy. In all, 419 patients were included in the collaborative study between Hopkins and the University of Pittsburgh. Those who took the drug delayed progression of their disease by two months or more and had lower PSA (prostate specific antigen) levels. The drug works by blocking a potent blood vessel constrictor known as endothelin. Prostate cancer cells excrete excess amounts of endothelin, which may act as a growth enhancer and promote the spread of the disease. Michael Carducci, M.D., assistant professor of oncology and director of the study, says this new therapy is not a cure. “For patients whose prostate cancer is progressing and may have spread to other parts of the body, the options for treatment are limited right now. This low-toxicity drug may delay the need for more aggressive treatments like chemotherapy and radiation.” During a visit to The Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins in October, Maryland Governor Parris N. Glendening (left) discusses with Richard Jones, M.D., (center), director of the Bone Transplant Program, and Martin Abeloff, M.D., Cancer Center director; how funding provided during his tenure in office has helped advance cancer treatments and new research.