Drug That Targets How Cancer Grows Lengthens Lives of Men With Metastatic Prostate Cancer

A new drug was shown to help men with metastatic prostate cancer live longer in a recent clinical trial. Metastatic prostate cancer is cancer that has spread outside the prostate and is often difficult to treat. The drug called MDV3100 was designed to prevent male sex hormones called androgens, such as testosterone, from helping the cancer grow and spread.

In this study, 1,199 men with metastatic, castration-resistant prostate cancer that continued to worsen despite treatment with hormone therapy and chemotherapy received either MDV3100 or a placebo. Halfway through the study, the researchers found that men receiving the new drug lived about five months longer than those who received the placebo. In addition, men who received the drug were 37% less likely to die of the disease during the study than those who received the placebo. The researchers also found that it took about five months longer for the disease to worsen for men who received MDV3100 compared with men who received the placebo. Because of these beneficial results, the study was ended early, and all men were offered treatment with this new drug. The side effects of MDV3100 were generally mild and included fatigue, diarrhea, and hot flashes.

What this means for patients

“MDV3100 works differently than other drugs for metastatic, castration-resistant prostate cancer, by targeting how tumors are able to resist other therapies and grow,” said lead author Howard I. Scher, MD, Chief of the Genitourinary Service and D. Wayne Calloway Chair in Urologic Oncology at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York. “We think this once-daily oral drug could be a valuable new option for some patients with cancer that worsens despite standard hormone therapy and chemotherapy.” This drug is currently only available in clinical trials; talk with your doctor for more information about prostate cancer treatments.

Questions to Ask Your Doctor

  • What type of prostate cancer do I have? What is the stage?
  • What treatments have I already received?
  • Are there additional treatment options?
  • What clinical trials are open to me?

For More Information

Guide to Prostate Cancer

What to Know: ASCO's Guideline on Hormone Therapy for Advanced Prostate Cancer

Advanced Cancer Care Planning