As a prostate cancer survivor, Ray Caruana is no stranger to doctors. Ray has lived with cancer for 17 years.
"I was devastated being diagnosed with cancer, but it doesn't have to be a death sentence," Ray Caruana told Ivanhoe.
He's had a prostatectomy, radiation and hormone therapy. Doctor Roberto Pili says eventually patients stop responding to treatments.
"Inevitably, these cancer cells learn how to survive either without testosterone or with very lowlevels of testosterone," Roberto Pili, M.D., a professor of oncology at Roswell Park Cancer Institute, explained.
He's now studying a biologic agent, tasquinimod, to help men who are running out of options.
"I would define this new agent as quite promising," Dr. Pili said.
It's one pill, once a day, and it appears to pack a one-two punch. It disrupts the formation of new blood vessels to the tumor and also improves the body's immune response to the cancer.
"The idea is to treat prostate cancer as a chronic disease," Dr. Pili, said.
Ray's been on the drug for a year. His cancer is stable.
"Hopefully, it's going to continue to work," Ray said.
He's learned to appreciate lives little moments like a cup of coffee with his wife. Nearly twodecades after his diagnosis, his philosophy is simple.
"I don't worry too much about the future," Ray said. "I just live for today."
Another promising finding, doctor Pili says that tasquinimod was beneficial no matter where the cancer had spread. Doctors saw the same response to treatment in cancer that had spread to bones, lymph nodes or other organs. The phase-three trial is starting to enroll patients.
If you would like more information, please contact:
Annie Deck-Miller, Senior Media Relations Manager
Roswell Park Cancer Institute