Could A Breast Cancer Drug Reduce The Risk Of Prostate Cancer?
According to a new research study, co-administration of hormone therapy with a drug that treats breast cancer can reduce the risk of developing prostate cancer. The research also suggests that this combination can also slow down the progression of prostate malignancy; while also reducing the risk of recurrence in affected men.
Pathophysiology Of Prostate Cancer
According to latest estimates, prostate cancer is the second most frequently reported malignancy in males after skin cancer. It is also estimated that one in 7 men are at risk of developing prostate cancer at some point of their life.
Androgen deprivation therapy or hormonal therapy is usually suggested to men who are living with prostate cancer (especially those who have advanced disease). In turn, these agents exert their anti-cancer action by reducing the serum levels of testosterone and other androgens that plays a key role in the development and progression of prostate cancer. Although the treatment is generally effective; it doesn’t always work in men with prostate malignancy and some men may need additional intervention to reduce the risk of recurrence.
Study Of Breast Cancer Drug
According to the results of study published in the peer-reviewed journal Nature Communications, team of investigators led by Dr. Mohammad Asim, suggested that addition of a breast cancer drug with traditional hormonal regimen can increase the efficacy of the regimen (1).
During the course of the study, investigators discovered that ADT when given alone can lead to drug recurrence as ADT administration leads to activation of vital enzymes like poly ADP ribose polymerase (PARP) – that are associated with DNA repair. Once activated, this enzyme help repair cancer cells and reduces the efficacy of hormonal anticancer therapy. The same phenomenon is also responsible for cancer recurrence.
This led to the hypothesis that PARP inhibitors – (a class of anticancer drugs that are widely used in the management of breast cancer) can improve the efficacy of ADT therapy. When treated with both ADT and PARP, investigators discovered that the DNA cell repair can be effectively prevented; thus, improving overall treatment outcomes.
The next step is to carry out this study at a broader level to evaluate the effectiveness as well as safety of using both drugs concurrently in men living with prostate cancer.
In year 2017, it is predicted that about 26,730 men will die from prostate malignancy, making it as one of the most lethal cancers.
- Asim, M., Tarish, F., Zecchini, H. I., Sanjiv, K., Gelali, E., Massie, C. E., … & McDuffus, L. A. (2017). Synthetic lethality between androgen receptor signalling and the PARP pathway in prostate cancer. Nature Communications, 8.
- Geethakumari, P. R., Schiewer, M. J., Knudsen, K. E., & Kelly, W. K. (2017). PARP Inhibitors in Prostate Cancer. Current Treatment Options in Oncology, 18(6), 37.