"Advanced prostate cancer is still
incurable, but new treatments are giving men more time to do the
things that matter to them with their loved ones. "
What did the research look at?
The study, which was part-funded by Prostate Cancer UK and led
by Professor Johann de Bono's team at the Institute of Cancer
Research, looked at about 450 men with advanced prostate cancer
that had become resistant to hormone
therapy and who were having treatment as part of a clinical trial. It found that on
average, men were living far longer than they did 10 years ago and
certainly longer than life-expectancy ‘calculators’ are
Scientists looked at information about a group of men who were
treated in clinical trials between 2003 and 2011, and found that on
average, these men lived for 40.6 months after being diagnosed with
advanced, hormone-resistant prostate cancer.
They also tested life-expectancy ‘calculators’, which are ways
that doctors work out how long they expect someone to live for.
They found that, on average, the predictions fell short of reality
and men were living longer than predicted, by about 9 to12
Why is it important?
This research is important for two reasons. Firstly, it shows
that the calculations doctors use to predict life-expectancy are
out of date and need to be updated.
And secondly, and arguably most importantly, it also tells us
that new treatments for advanced prostate cancer are making a real
difference to men’s life-expectancy.
It can often be hard to see real-life benefits of research, but
this study clearly shows that we’ve made definite progress in the
last 10 years.
Read more about taking part in clinical trials or
new treatments for advanced prostate cancer
If your first type of hormone therapy is no longer working as
well, you can
read more about second-line hormone therapies and other treatment
What the experts say
"This is excellent news and shows the importance of high quality
research in leading to better treatments that improve outcomes for
men with prostate cancer. Through our partnership with Movember, we
are putting £25m into new research over the next three years. And
we will keep campaigning so that effective drugs that can give
menmore time with their loved ones are made available to them."
Dr Iain Frame, Director of Research at Prostate Cancer UK
"We are living through a remarkable period of progress against
prostate cancer, with new drugs such as abiraterone transforming
the prospects for men with advanced disease. It’s excellent news
that men receiving these therapies…are living for somuch longer
than they would have been expected to do a decade ago."
Professor Alan Ashworth, Chief Executive of the Institute of
Cancer Research, where this work was carried out.