Northwestern researchers have developed a drug that could freeze the spread of prostate cancer.
“If you can just imagine the side effects of prostate cancer treatment, you’re either castrated physically, or you’re castrated chemically,” said Phil Hoffer, an 11-year prostate cancer survivor who runs a support group.
Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men. If the drug halts the cancer early, surgery can easily remove it.
Dr. Li Xu, research professor at NU’s Feinberg School of Medicine, presented the NU team’s findings April 3 at the 2012 American Association for Cancer Research conference in Chicago. Dr. Ray Bergan, the director of experimental therapeutics at the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center, described the drug as “the first of its inhibits.”
Once the team can narrow down the real effects, Bergansaid he hopes to test the drug in humans. The team is currently searching for monetary sources, because the drug development process can be extremely costly, Bergan said.
If the drug is successful in treating prostate cancer in humans, it could dramtically improve quality of life for patients.
“You’re taking all those drugs plus chemotherapy, and you don’t throw up or get sick, but you do get very, very tired,” Hoffer said. “Anything that can reduce the side effects I feel very positively