May 23, 2011 - 10:00 pm
New data presented at the American Urological Association Conference
No other systemic therapy has been shown effective in delaying the development of bone metastasis in men with aggressive, castrate-resistant prostate cancer. Prevention of bone metastasis represents an important unmet medical need in patients with advanced disease.
“Denosumab provides a new therapeutic strategy that is complimentary to other forms of treatment for men with prostate cancer,” said Dr. Smith. “This widens the perception of metastasis prevention research as a much more attractive area for research and may be perceived as a very effective path for new drug development.”
Dr. Smith has been a Prostate Cancer Foundation (PCF) funding recipient since 1997 for his work in improving prostate cancer survivorship. PCF has invested more than $1.8 million in Dr. Smith and his team’s critical research projects on denosumab and treatment sciences on improving survivorship. The more than $1.8 million in funding support for Smith and denosumab from the Prostate Cancer Foundation came from peer-reviewed, non-corporate academic grants starting in 1997. Denosumab is manufactured by Amgen pharmaceuticals.
This is the first time researchers have been able to control the tumor micro-environment to prevent metastases. Denosumab prevents cancerous cells from recruiting normal cells to assist in adhering to bone and forming metastatic tumors. The treatment does this through the inhibition of RANKL, a protein that activates signals that lead to the breakdown of bones.
Denosumab is currently approved by the FDA for several other indications under generic names. Prolia was approved by the FDA on June 1, 2010 for the treatment of postmenopausal women with osteoporosis who are considered to be at high-risk for fractures. In November 2010, the FDA approved Xgeva to help prevent skeletal-related events (SREs) in hormone treated prostate cancer patients whose cancer had metastasized to bone.
“Denosumab targets the microenvironment and has the potential to achieve what many other treatments have not,” said Jonathan W. Simons, MD, president and CEO of PCF. “A compound that was once intended to prevent or slow bone metastases which improves survival is a new and unprecedented concept. It is an important first-in-class discovery in prostate cancer care.”
Smith and his research team are continuing PCF efforts in bone metastases prevention for men with prostate cancer as well as prostate cancer survivorship.