World authorities on prostate cancer to discuss and debate latest advances

Barcelona, 22 May 2012 – Much of the on-going research in prostate cancer focuses on patients suffering disease relapse through resistance to conventional hormone therapy. Castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC) accounts for between 20 and 30% of all prostate cancers.With significant advances in the treatment of CRPC over recent years, the life expectancy of patients has increased from 12 months in 2004, to 3 – 4 years today.

A half-day workshop, organised by the Vall d’ Hebron Institute of Oncology (VHIO), attended by renowned experts within the field, will update on the latest advances in prostate cancer, which has the highest incidence of all cancers in men:

Prostate cancer is the most relevant of all cancers affecting men and has the highest incidence, affecting 57 out of every 100,000 men. Each year in Spain 25,000 new cases are diagnosed. The standard treatment for this type of cancer consists of surgery and radiotherapy with or without hormone therapy. Between 20 and 30% of prostate cancer patients relapse and ultimately suffer from metastases. For more than 60 years now, hormone therapy has been found to be the most effective approach to treat this disease. However, after a prolonged period of treatment, such patients become resistant to hormone therapy.

Up until 2004, this particular group of patients, termed as having castration-resistant prostate cancer, had a 12-month survival rate, but nowadays, thanks to the development of novel, more effective therapeutics, have a survival rate of 3 – 4 years. The Oncology Department of the Vall d’Hebron University Hospital diagnoses 100 new cases of prostate cancer each year, 70 of which are castration-resistant.

The main lines of research that are currently being developed in this field at the Vall d´Hebron Institute of Oncology (VHIO) and at other centers of international reference, see to develop new drugs to overcome treatment resistance in this group of patients, and thus improve both quality of life and life expectancy.

On 24 May, VHIO and the Vall d’Hebron University Hospital will host a half-day workshop, New Paradigm in Castration-Resistant Prostate Cancer: Meet the Experts, welcoming a panel of internationally renowned speakers including Dr. Charles Ryan, University of California (San Francisco), Dr. Karim Fizazi, the Institute Gustave-Roussy (IGR, Paris), and Dr. David Olmos, the Spanish National Cancer Research Centre (CNIO, Madrid). The aim of the meeting is to update on the very latest advances in prostate cancer and provide the platform for debate and exchange with eminent leaders within the field.

Specifically, Dr. David Olmos will present on new analysis tools for translational research in prostate cancer patients, Dr. Karim Fizazi will share the results of a study on the role of CYP-17 inhibitors in the treatment of CRPC, since this enzyme plays a key role in tumour resistance to hormone therapy, and Dr. Charles Ryan will discuss abiraterone and new hormonal treatments in CRPC. Furthermore, Dr. Josep Tabernero, Head of the Medical Oncology Department, the Vall d’Hebron University Hospital, and Director of VHIO, will present on clinical and translational research at VHIO, as well as the Institute´s future directions.

This meeting, led by Dr. Joan Carles, Head of the Vall d´Hebron University Hospital´s Genitourinary Unit, and Principal Investigator of  VHIO´s Genitourinary, CNS Tumors, Sarcoma & Cancer of Unknown Primary Site Group, will draw the participation of urologists, radiation oncologists and oncologists throughout Spain. The workshop will also incorporate two Case Discussion sessions led by the speakers, who will share their respective experiences and viewpoints. These sessions will be moderated by Dr. Rafael Morales and Dr. Cristina Suárez. Following conclusions and take-home messages, the workshop will be closed by Dr. Joan Carles.

VHIO: at the forefront of prostate cancer research

Through the organization of such high-level scientific meetings, on this occasion focused on prostate cancer, the Vall d’Hebron Institute of Oncology (VHIO) promotes and develops collaboration with other research centers and entities  of excellence in oncology such as the University of California and the Institute Gustave-Roussy (IGR), placing VHIO at the very forefront of international research. These centres are currently working together to develop new therapeutics for castration-resistant prostate cancer patients (hormone treatment resistance).

VHIO´s Genitourinary, CNS Tumors, Sarcoma & Cancer of Unknown Primary Site Group, headed by Dr. Joan Carles, has grown significantly over  the last four years in terms of the number of on-going clinical trials and study subjects enrolled, with 19 trials launched in 2012 and another 23 expected to start this year. The group publishes an increasing number of papers and its impact factor has risen from 17.68 in 2009 to 130.06 in 2012.

For more information please contact:

Bianca Pont
Communication Manager
Vall d´Hebron University Hospital
+34 675 788 885

Amanda Wren
Communication Manager
Vall d’Hebron Institute of Oncology
+34 695 207 886

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