New Weapon Against Prostate Cancer

Combination treatment benefits men with disease

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 8, 2003 (HealthDayNews) -- Combining vitamin D with the chemotherapy drug Taxotere seems to help men with advanced prostate cancer.

That good news comes from a study in the January issue of the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

Results from a phase II clinical trial indicate that a combination of Taxotere and calcitriol is twice as effective as treatment with Taxotere alone, as measured by prostate-specific antigen (PSA) response rate.

The study included 37 men treated with the combination regimen. The study found that 81 percent of the men cut their PSA levels by more than half, and 59 percent of them had a PSA reduction of more than 75 percent.

PSA is produced in the prostate gland. A high level of PSA may indicate the presence of cancer. In men with advanced prostate cancer, the PSA level provides information about the amount of cancer in the body.

A phase III trial of the combination treatment is underway at 15 sites in the United States.

More information

The U.S. National Cancer Institute has more about prostate cancer.

SOURCE: Oregon Health and Science University, news release, Jan. 2, 2003
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