New Drugs Slow Metastatic Prostate Cancer

A drug used to treat advanced breast and lung cancers has been found to prolong the lives of men with advanced prostate cancer whose tumors don't respond to hormone therapy, according to two studies published on Wednesday. But treatment with docetaxel, sold by Aventis under the brand name Taxotere, is not a cure. The men who received it only lived two months longer than patients who received the Amgen drug mitoxantrone. The lead author of one of the studies, Daniel Petrylak of Columbia University, said the research shows "Taxotere is a new standard for the treatment of men with advanced prostate cancer" and the first drug to increase survival when hormone therapy doesn't work. Prostate cancer kills about 29,900 men each year in the United States and more than 230,000 are diagnosed with it each year, according to the American Cancer Society. Both studies were funded by Aventis, which is part of the Sanofi-Aventis Group, and published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

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