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Promising new preventative treatment option for population of men at high risk of prostate cancer

SEATTLE -- Toremifene, a drug currently used to treat breast cancer in women, was found to reduce the incidence of prostate cancer for men at high risk for the disease.

In a study presented today at the American Association for Cancer Research Third Annual International Conference on Frontiers in Cancer Prevention Research, scientists found that patients at all dose levels for toremifene had a lower cumulative incidence of cancer after 12 months of treatment, with the 20 mg dose contributing the greatest effect.

All participating patients had high-grade prostatic intraepithelial neoplasia or PIN, characterized by abnormal cells in the lining of the prostate ducts. Early research suggests that most patients with high-grade PIN will develop prostate cancer within 10 years, but more research is needed to confirm those findings.

"For men with high-grade PIN, the prospect of developing prostate cancer is a very real possibility," said Dr. Mitchell S. Steiner, chief executive officer with GTx, Inc. "With no effective treatment options available, doctors and patients often feel defenseless against the onset of prostate cancer. "Fortunately, these results offer a promising new preventive approach to prostate cancer treatment. A chemopreventive agent like toremifene is a first step toward the possibility of stopping prostate cancer before it starts and gives patients and doctors a chance to fight this pervasive disease."

In a multi-center, double-blind study, 514 patients with high-grade PIN and no cancer, determined by pre-study biopsies, were randomized to placebo or toremifene 20 mg, 40 mg or 60 mg given orally once a day. Patients were re-biopsied at six and 12 months.

During the study, 24.4 percent of patients taking 20 mg dose of toremifene were diagnosed with prostate cancer versus 31.2 percent of patients taking placebo. Among the patients who completed 12 months of treatment, the reduction in prostate cancer incidence
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Contact: Warren Froelich
communications@aacr.org
206-219-4772
American Association for Cancer Research
19-Oct-2004


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