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Effective Chemotherapy For Prostate Cancer


Patients with terminal, advanced prostate cancer generally have a survival of 2-5 years. The cause of this cancer was unknown and no treatment has been available. Based on 45 years of research, University of Maryland scientists, Dr. Costello and Dr. Franklin, identified the cause of this cancer and a potential treatment. Their treatment terminated this cancer in a patient with expected death in 24 months. This might be the first report of a successful treatment for advanced prostate cancer.

Dr. Leslie C. Costello, University of Maryland Medical Center scientist, was recently requested to participate as the consulting collaborator with Dr. George W. Yu, M.D (George Washington University, D.C.), who was the attending urologist for managing a patient who presented with terminal “androgen-independent” prostate cancer. The patient had been diagnosed with “androgen-dependent” advanced prostate cancer, which included lymph node metastasis. He received hormonal androgen-ablation therapy, along with chemotherapy and radiation therapy, which attenuates the progressing malignancy and extends the life of the patient. However, the treatment leads to the development and progression of “androgen-independent” malignancy, which is a terminal prostate cancer. With this condition, the patient had an expected survival of 2-3 years. Since the cause of this malignancy had been unknown, an efficacious treatment did not exist. 

Dr. Costello and his colleague, Dr. Renty B. Franklin, have been engaged in prostate research since 1975, which led to their recent concept that the hormone prolactin initiates the development and progression of androgen-independent malignancy. That information provided the basis for their new proposal that an effective chemotherapy for terminal, advanced prostate cancer requires the suppression of prolactin levels in the blood. After seven weeks of their treatment, the patient’s plasma prolactin concentration decreased 88%, and he no longer exhibited prostate gland malignancy and metastasis. His circulating tumor cell count before treatment was 5.4, which indicates an expected survival of about 21 months. Following treatment, the count equaled zero. This might be the first reported case of a patient who received a treatment that successfully terminated androgen-independent advanced prostate cancer. 

Prostate cancer accounts for about 165,000 cases/year, with 25,000 deaths/year in the U.S. and 1.1 million cases/year with 260,000 deaths/year worldwide. Most of the deaths are due to androgen-independent advanced prostate cancer.  

Dr. Costello adds that it will be important to determine if their treatment will be effective in other patients with terminal, advanced prostate cancer.


Dr. George W. Yu is the Clinical Professor in the Department of Urology; George Washington University School of Medicine; Washington, D.C. 20037 USA.

Dr. Costello and Dr. Franklin are Professors in the Department of Oncology and Diagnostic Sciences at the University of Maryland School of Dentistry and in the University of Maryland Greenebaum Comprehensive Cancer Center in Baltimore, Maryland.

Dr. Costello and Dr. Franklin are included among the worldwide top 5% of biomedical scientists.

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Ivy Heffernan, student of Economics at Buckingham University. Junior Analyst at HeffX and experienced marketing director.