New prostate cancer treatment

What's here, what's coming

This page provides brief summaries about new prostate cancer treatment that is either available now or is in development.

It will be updated regularly, so check back to find out what’s being touted as the latest treatment on prostate cancer blogs, drug and device manufacturer web sites, government, and other institutional web sites.

May 29, 2018: Researchers at University of California in San Francisco report that an experimental drug (an inhibitor of elF2αhas been shown to cause treatment-resistant prostate cancer cells to  self-destruct without harming healthy cells. 

January 30, 2018: The investigational cancer vaccine ProscaVax (immunotherapy cancer vaccine technology from OncBioMune Pharmaceuticals, Inc.) was shown to reduce tumor growth (as evidenced by increased PSA doubling time) in 14 of 20 of men with hormone-naïve and hormone-independent recurrent prostate cancer who were included in a Phase 1a study. 

October 11, 2017: Researchers have discovered that a high level of expression of the genes TOP2A and EZH2 were linked to metastatic prostate cancer and early disease recurrence, which may help doctors determine when more aggressive treatment may benefit men. 

February 21, 2017: Scientists are looking how cholesterol can "fuel" the growth of prostate cancer cells.  One particular gene involved in cholesterol regulation (CYP27A1) may provide insights that could eventually lead to new ways to treat prostate cancer.

October 31, 2016: Researchers have identified a protein (Bmi1) that functions as a marker for certain cells within the prostate gland, which may help determine if prostate cancer will be aggressive, or perhaps respond to treatment.

August 16, 2016: Tetraaryl cyclobutane is being studied as an option to suppress androgen receptor activity for prostate tumors that have become resistant to anti-androgen drugs (hormone therapy).

May 2, 2016: A new class of drugs called Hsp90 inhibitors may help men with aggressive prostate cancer that has stopped responding to traditional treatment.  Hsp90 works by blocking production of abnormal androgen receptors.

March 28, 2016: Researchers are studying a new treatment (in animal models) that is designed to inhibit activity of PAK-1 (a protein).  PAK-1 is known to contribute to the development of highly invasive prostate cancer cells.

February 23, 2016: The phase I trial for a new vaccine for progressive prostate cancer (called ProscaVax) has been completed and manufacturer OncBioMune Pharmaceuticals Inc. will now move to a phase II trial.

February 16, 2016: A first-in-class drug (in a new category of drugs called sphingosine kinase inhibitors) has been shown in preclinical studies to slow the growth of aggressive, castrate-resistant prostate cancer cells.

January 18, 2016: Researchers have discovered cancer-killing proteins in mice with metastatic prostate cancer that use white blood cells to travel.  When they implanted prostate cancer cells were implanted into the mice, primary tumors shrunk and additional tumors were prevented.

July 22, 2015: Researchers at the Medical University of Vienna have discovered a missing link for a "cancer driver" gene (Stat3) and IL-6 signalling in progression of prostate cancer.  What's exciting is that this gene reduces prostate cancer metastasis.  

June 23, 2015: A new agent (PSMA-617) that is able to specifically attached to prostate cancer cells has been discovered by German researchers, which one day may help with both prostate cancer diagnosis and targeted treatment.   

June 4, 2015: A metabolite (D4A) of abiraterone (a drug currently used in men with metastatic prostate cancer) has been shown to have more promising anti-cancer properties.  More studies are needed to see if D4A could prolong survival and if men could benefit from being treated with it directly.

January 22, 2015: Researchers at Roswell Park Cancer Institute have identified two genes (Top2a and Ezh2) that they believe are overexpressed in aggressive prostate cancer that is resistant to hormone therapy.  This information may one day help them develop more targeted treatments. 

December 11, 2014: German scientists have discovered a protein biomarker (BAZ2A) that influences the activity of genes and may be an indicator of how aggressive prostate cancer may be.  

November 4, 2014: AstraZeneca may work to make its drug for ovarian cancer (olaparib) available for men with prostate cancer, according to a Reuter's News report.

October 13, 2014: Researchers at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center have discovered a genetic biomarker that may help predict whether men have more aggressive prostate cancer. 

October 11, 2014: A group of RNA molecules found in urine and tissue of men with prostate cancer may lead to improved and less invasive methods of detecting the disease, according to researchers at Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute.

September 2, 2014: Emergent BioSolutions Inc. is joining forces with MorphoSys AG to develop and commercialize ES414 (to be renamed MOR209/ES414), an anti-PSMA/anti-CD3 bi-specific antibody targeting prostate cancer.

August 17, 2014: Researchers in Australia have discovered that an antibody against a protein called EphA3, which is often found in solid cancer tumors, has an anti-tumor effect.

July 8, 2014: Researchers at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mt. Sinai have discovered that variations in the TANC1 gene may increase the risk of side effects, including incontinence and impotence, following radiation treatment for prostate cancer.  

June 5, 2014: Suppressing the enzyme monoamine oxidase (also called MAOA), which is used in antidepressants, may reduce or eliminate the growth of prostate cancer and metastasis in laboratory animals. 

May 20, 2014: Cincinnati Cancer Center researchers have reported that when a tumor suppressive microRNA (short RNA molecules that play a key role in regulating gene expression) is activated by an anti-estrogen drug, it could contribute to the development of future, targeted therapies.

April 29, 2014: Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. and OncoGenex Pharmaceuticals Inc. reported today that custirsen, their experimental prostate cancer treatment, failed to show improvement over standard chemotherapy in a late-stage trial.  

March 13, 2014: Scientists at UT Southwestern Medical Center have identified an enzyme called USP9X that can potentially shut down the growth of prostate cancer cells, which may help men with metastatic prostate cancer.

December 3, 2013: Researchers at Texas Woman's University have shown in laboratory testing that a substance called diterpene geranylgeraniol, which is found in linseed oil, Cedrela toona wood oil, sucupira branca fruit oil, and annatto seed oil, can suppress certain prostate cancer cells. 

December 1, 2013: The investigational oral drug tasquinimod has been shown to improve long-term survival by several months for men with metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer (cancer that does not respond to hormonal therapy).

August 19, 2013: A key transcription factor (a protein that regulates the flow of information from DNA and is over-produced in prostate cancer that is resistent to treatment) and two protein kinases that trigger this process have been identified by researchers at Robert Wood Johnson Medical School who are studying the underlying mechanisms that cause invasive prostate cancer tumor growth.

August 7, 2013: Scientists at the University of Texas MD Anderson have identified a compound that blocks Skp2, a protein that can turn off a cellular defense against cancer.

August 1, 2013: Researchers at Sanford-Burnham Medical Institute have found a promising anticancer compound called SMIP004 that specifically kills prostate cancer cells by compromising their ability to withstand environmental stress.

May 15, 2013: The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved Xofigo® (radium 223 dichloride), a new prostate cancer treatment for men with castration-resistant prostate cancer, symptomatic bone metastases, and no known visceral metastatic disease.

March 19, 2013: A shiitake mushroom-soybean extract is being studied by researchers at University of California-Davis and other centers as a potential treatment for prostate cancer.

March 18, 2013: Researchers have discovered that the protein Siah2 keeps a part of androgen receptors active constantly, which causes prostate cancer cells to resist treatment. It may be an important biomarkers for tracking a man's response to therapy and shows promise as a new method for resensitizing castration-resistant prostate cancer cells to hormone therapy.

February 25, 2013: A recombinant Newcastle disease virus has been shown to kill prostate cancer cells (including hormone-resistant cells) while leaving normal cells undamaged. Newcastle disease virus kills chickens and is being tested in several human studies.

August 30, 2012: Six medical centers in the US are participating in a clinical trial to evaluate Radium-223, an alpha-emitter for treating men with castration-resistant prostate cancer who have bone metastases. European studies have demonstrated that the drug increased survival by five months.

July 26, 2012: A new study that has been published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation reports that University of Rochester Medical Center scientists have discovered that a protein called paxillin is a key factor in prostate cancer. It is hoped that this news will lead to the development of a new prostate cancer treatment for men whose cancer cannot be cured, despite aggressive treatment efforts.

July 19, 2012: University of Missouri scientists have discovered a way to target and destroy prostate cancer tumors in mice with radioactive gold nano particles and a special compound found in tea leaves. This new prostate cancer treatment would be given in doses that are thousands of times lower than doses of chemotherapy that are being used to treat men with advanced prostate cancer, which can also kill healthy tissues. The next step is more animal studies and then human studies.

July 11, 2012: GenSpera, Inc. has announced pre-clinical data and rationale for the development of G-202 as a potential treatment for a variety of solid tumors (based on mice models). It also has validated the enzyme PSMA, which is expressed by prostate cancer cells, as a target for G-202. The next step will be a human clinical study.

May 5, 2012: University of Chicago researchers have disvovered that a compound made in honeybee hives appears to stop the spread of prostate cancer cells in mice, according to an ABC news report. This compound, which is called caffeic acid phenethyl ester (or CAPE), is made from propolis, which is resin that honeybees use to patch holes in their hives.

May 3, 2012: Carvacrol, a component of oregano, has caused prostate cancer cells to "commit suicide" in laboratory testing (called apoptosis), according to a Fox News Report.

February 1, 2012: A new radiopharmaceutical (I-131-MIP-1466) that is designed to deliver a therapeutic dose of radiation directly to metastatic prostate cancer, is expected to tested in clinical trials in early 2013. It will be the first trial of a small-molecule-based radiopharmaceutical specifically targeting prostate-specific membrane antigen (PSMA), a type of protein expressed in high levels on prostate tumors.

January 31, 2012: Scientists at Trinity College have developed a new vaccine to treat cancer at the pre-clinical level. This new prostate cancer treatment is based on manipulating the immune response to malignant tumors. The next step is to develop the vaccine for clinical use.

January 31, 2012: Dutasteride, which is commonly used to treat prostate enlargement, may also reduce the need for treatments that pose risks of incontinence and impotence — and delay growth of early-stage prostate cancer — according to a study published online first in The Lancet.

January 25, 2012: Researchers from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Massachusetts General Hospital have created a new drug delivery system that delivers chemotherapeutic drugs to prostate cancer cells.

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