News / UK and world by Press Association September 4, 2018, 9:01 pm FacebookTwitterLinkedInWhatsAppEmail Sign up to our Daily newsletter Immunotherapy drugs may offer a lifeline to men with the deadliest forms of prostate cancer, research suggests. Scientists have identified a sub-group of men with super-aggressive prostate cancer caused by DNA repair defects. They have the worst record of survival using currently available hormone and chemo therapies. But a new study indicates they are likely to respond well to novel cancer treatments that target the immune system. Scientists studied 127 tumour tissue samples from 124 prostate cancer patients, and genetic information from a further 254. They identified a group of men with so-called “mismatch repair” gene mutations who had especially unstable cancers. Unable to fix single-letter mistakes in the genetic code, their tumours acquire ever-increasing numbers of mutations and swiftly evolve resistance to treatment. Around 8% of men with advanced prostate cancer had mismatch repair mutations. They survived only 3.8 years on average after beginning treatment compared with seven years for other patients. However their tumours also tended to have high levels of a known immunotherapy target – a protein called PD-L1 that cancer cells use to shield themselves from… Read full this story
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