Men with advanced prostate cancer were found to live up to 17 months longer with docetaxel chemotherapy in addition to hormone therapy in the latest results from the CHAARTED clinical trials, fuelling demands for the NHS to make the affordable treatment the norm in the UK.

6 Aug 2015

New research has found that men with with prostate cancer that's spread around their body survive for much longer if they are given docetaxel chemotherapy earlier in their treatment than is currently the norm.

The results – published in the New England Journal of Medicine today – were from phase 3 of an international clinical trial called CHAARTED, which involved 790 men diagnosed with hormone-sensitive metastatic prostate cancer. It found that those treated with hormone therapy and docetaxel chemotherapy together survived an average of 13.6 months longer than men receiving hormone therapy alone. While those whose prostate cancer had spread to four or more locations in the body (high volume metastatic disease) had an even greater improvement in survival, living 17 months longer than those given hormone therapy alone.

Now that these results have been published in a peer-reviewed scientific journal, they have the equivalent of a quality control ‘stamp of approval’. So we think that this should be enough evidence for health bodies across the UK to start planning for an immediate roll-out of this treatment as soon as the bigger health services-led STAMPEDE trial is published.

Researchers leading STAMPEDE reported their results for the first time at a conference in the US earlier this summer. They found that men diagnosed with metastatic prostate cancer could survive an average of 22 months longer if they were given docetaxel chemotherapy upfront alongside hormone therapy.

Today’s publication of the CHAARTED trial is the advance guard for STAMPEDE. We know these results are coming and are going to be positive. And we know that docetaxel isn’t expensive, so making it available to men earlier in their treatment pathway should be affordable – especially as it could mean fewer rounds of treatment. We think it’s time for the health bodies across the UK to start gearing up to give all men newly diagnosed with metastatic prostate cancer the option of taking docetaxel chemotherapy upfront.

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