Prof. Per-Anders Abrahamsson, MD: Prostate Cancer Highlights from EMCC 2011

Prof. Per-Anders Abrahamsson, MD discusses the highlights in prostate cancer at the 2011 European Multidisciplinary Cancer Conference in Stockholm.

The Group Room at the 2011 European Multidisciplinary Cancer Conference was made possible, in part, by:

VIDEO TRANSCRIPT

Selma Schimmel, Founder & CEO, Vital Options International:

This is Selma Schimmel at the Multidisciplinary Cancer Congress 2011 in Stockholm. Hello, Professor Doctor Abrahamsson. Thank you for making time to talk to us here in Stockholm about advances in the area of prostate cancer.

Prof. Per-Anders Abrahamsson, MD, Dept. of Urology, Lund University, Sweden:

I’m happy to be here, first of all. Secondly this is my capital and I’m happy we’re running a huge convention here, a meeting, a congress, and especially since there are a lot of new news about prostate cancer treatments that hasn’t been presented previously in any other meetings. It is indeed exciting times.

Selma Schimmel:

What are some of the advances and what you feel are the most compelling areas of research right now and really hope for men facing prostate cancer?

Prof. Per-Anders Abrahamsson:

Now we learned to know that for instance in face of the new drugs now launched in a few weeks in Europe they’re going to make a difference for advanced prostate cancer, especially, and those failing classical hormone therapy. In other words biochemical castration, surgical castration and so forth. Coming back, what we call bad chemical failure and also progression leads to metastasis and so forth. So obviously always new compounds in the pipeline are very, very promising. I would say it’s a make or break for the treatment of prostate cancer, especially with advanced stage disease.

Selma Schimmel:

What’s the mechanism of action of these new compounds for advanced prostate cancer?

Prof. Per-Anders Abrahamsson:

Essentially they’re acting on the antigen receptor, and we thought historically until millennium ten years ago that androgen receptor doesn’t play that kind of role in it anymore when it comes to advanced prostate cancer, especially what we call castration resistant cancers. But it does. It is still instrumented and is the key to make progress in terms of new drugs. And that’s why recently it’s so excited to find what we now have at least four or five promising drugs on the market, or at least coming in in the near future to treat our patients. And they’re all targeting different levels of the androgen receptor.

Selma Schimmel:

Up until this point the modality available to men for – in this case, advanced prostate cancer – how are men treated?

Prof. Per-Anders Abrahamsson:

When you fail classical hormone therapy then the next step would be to use chemotherapy, and it was launched 2004 docetaxal and it was used widely across the globe but there are a number of toxicities and side effects associated with cancer treatment modality; that is the problem for the patients. So I think with these new drugs coming in now with limited side effects is really a major step forward.

Selma Schimmel:

Are these new compounds oral compounds or are they delivered by IV still?

Prof. Per-Anders Abrahamsson:

No, that’s the difference between docetaxal chemotherapy because all these compounds you give as a tablet once or three times a day and that’s it. So it’s very simple for the patient to administer that kind of treatment back home. You don’t need to go to see a nurse or a doctor to get an IV infusion and so on and so forth. So it’s really a major step forward.

Selma Schimmel:

So it’s also a shift in responsibility for the patient because now it becomes the responsibility of the patient to be sure that they take their drugs on their own at home.

Prof. Per-Anders Abrahamsson:

Yes, that’s going to be perhaps a little bit of a negative part of it but if you’re suffering over advanced prostate cancer I would be very surprised if the patient doesn’t really comply and follow your prescription from a doctor or a nurse to really take the pills if it’s going to be once or twice or three times daily.

Selma Schimmel:

What role do you see chemotherapy playing in the advanced prostate cancer setting at this point?

Prof. Per-Anders Abrahamsson:

Well at present time those pills launched on the market so far they are only allowed to be used after chemotherapy. But the next step would be, as we have on-going clinical trials, to start up with these new drugs actually prior to chemotherapy. That is actually what my patients are asking for because they have fear that chemotherapy has a negative taste. They know for sure based on experience from other patients that are from a lot of toxicity and side effects associated with that – chemotherapy and drugs.

Selma Schimmel:

Do you foresee a time where you see some of these innovative therapies will not have to wait then, till the metastatic setting but can come closer into first line therapies?

Prof. Per-Anders Abrahamsson:

Clearly that is going to be the future. The only problem is of course the cost because we are dealing with a number of drugs and our question is still have we solved anything in trials? Maybe we should combine some of these drugs because we are targeting different levels of androgen receptor on a cellular level and even above the cellular level in the prostate. So that is the next challenge for us as clinicians and scientists, to really find out whether one pill a day or a combination of different kinds of pills may play a difference or make a difference for patients, I mean.

Selma Schimmel:

Thank you Professor Abrahamsson, it was a real pleasure speaking with you.

Prof. Per-Anders Abrahamsson:

Thank you so much.

END OF VIDEO

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