New cholesterol-reducing drug prevents further growth of prostate cancer

Posted: 20/04/2016


Prostate cancer is the most common cancer among men in the UK with 44,000 men diagnosed with the disease each year of which 10,500 die. Prostate cancer is currently treated invasively by radical surgery, toxic chemotherapy, or by less conventional treatment methods such as high intensity focal therapy. None of these treatment methods, however, are perfect, and may result in recurrence of the disease and injury to other internal organs. 

The current non-invasive treatment method is by prescribing hormone therapy medication which reduces the production of testosterone in the prostate which cancerous cells need to grow. But cancerous cells may become resistant to hormone therapy; converting cholesterol cells into hormone cells, which then enable the cancer to continue growing. Cancerous cells also need cholesterol to construct their cell membranes. It has previously been thought that cutting the body’s cholesterol production could limit or impede the growth of cancerous cells. Many patients with prostate cancer have therefore been advised by their doctors to take statins which control cholesterol. 

This theory has recently been confirmed in a new study led by Professor Salman Hyder. He has found that a new cholesterol-reducing drug, known as R0 48-8071, cuts the body’s cholesterol production and prevents further growth of cancerous cells. The new drug causes the cancerous cells to fall apart and die. Importantly, the drug appears to be effective against prostate cancer cells that have become resistant to hormone therapy. 

Arran Macleod, a solicitor in the clinical negligence team at Penningtons Manches, said: “This is an important breakthrough as the current treatments for prostate cancer are invasive, may not eradicate the cancer, and risk damaging other internal organs. A non-invasive treatment, which causes patients’ cancerous cells to die, may lead to many patients having a far better outcome than current statistics suggest. 

“We act for many claimants who have received treatment for prostate cancer and experienced a poor outcome. Some have received treatment later than they should have done, some have had the wrong treatment, and others have been given treatment that they didn’t agree to receive. We would be happy to speak with anyone who has experienced a poor outcome following prostate cancer to offer some initial advice.”


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