Georgia Cancer Specialists (GCS) — the largest private medical oncology/hematology practice in the Southeast — continues its commitment to advancing cancer care by bringing novel clinical trials using innovative therapeutics to the communities it serves. This includes trials in which the drug is being given to a human for the first time in the world.
The most recent examples of this groundbreaking research are two pivotal Phase III placebo-controlled trials involving the novel agent Abiraterone acetate in prostate cancer. It’s being tested in conjunction with Prednisone in two different instances of prostate cancer: patients with metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer who have failed hormone therapy and docetaxel-based chemotherapy, and asymptomatic or mildly symptomatic patients with the same prostate cancer who have failed hormone therapy but not undergone any chemotherapy.
The mainstay of treatment for prostate cancer is hormone therapy. Patients who fail hormone therapy are often given chemotherapy. Patients who progress following chemotherapy generally do not do well and have a shortened survival.
Abiraterone recently achieved notoriety because of its remarkable activity in prostate cancer patients who were unresponsive to both hormone and chemotherapy. A phase III trial comparing Abiraterone versus Placebo in patients who had progressed following chemotherapy recently closed and GCS was the top patient-accruing site in Georgia.
The last patient to enroll traveled all the way from Colombia, South America, to participate in the trial. The 87-year-old male had failed hormone therapy as well as chemotherapy and was in extreme pain, requiring chronic analgesic therapy. He has been traveling between Colombia and Atlanta for his treatments, and two weeks into his treatment regimen he is currently symptom free.
GCS is presently the only center in Georgia offering the second Phase III randomized clinical trial employing Abiraterone in the front line setting following failure of hormone therapy (but before chemotherapy). It is a placebo controlled trial where patients either receive Abiraterone + Prednisone or Placebo + Prednisone.
GCS enrolled the first patient in the world for this global trial, and currently there are 2 patients on this treatment protocol at GCS.
Dr. Mansoor Saleh, Principle Investigator and Director of Clinical Research at GCS, is thrilled that GCS is participating in these potentially life-changing trials. “My passion in life is cancer research, and with each of these novel trials we’re moving closer to controlling, and one day possibly eradicating, this disease in all its forms,” said Saleh.
To learn more about GCS’s available clinical trials, speak with your physician, visit www.gacancer.com/research/clinical-trials-offered/index.html, or call 770-496-9400.