News Story

ANZUP’s ENZAMET trial results recognised as one of the most important clinical research advances of the past year

On World Cancer Day, Tuesday 4 February 2020, the American Society of Clinical Oncology, Inc. (ASCO) released its Clinical Cancer Advances 2020: ASCO’s Annual Report on Progress Against Cancer. This report highlights the most important clinical research advances of the past year and identifies priority areas where ASCO believes research efforts should be focused moving forward.

ANZUP is proud to announce that our ENZAMET study, “Enzalutamide with Standard First-Line Therapy in Metastatic Prostate Cancer,” has been selected for inclusion in this year’s edition.

The landmark Australian led clinical trial, ENZAMET, showed that hormone therapy with a drug called enzalutamide can improve the survival of some men with advanced, hormone-sensitive prostate cancer.

Findings from the ENZAMET trial, led by ANZUP, showed that men with this sort of cancer who receive enzalutamide with standard treatment have a 33% improvement in survival compared to men receiving standard treatment alone.

ANZUP Chair and Head of Monash University’s Eastern Health Clinical School, Professor Ian Davis, said metastatic prostate cancer was still the second-leading cause of cancer death in Australian men after lung cancer.

“The benefits of enzalutamide had already been established for prostate cancers that are no longer responding to hormonal therapy. ENZAMET showed that adding enzalutamide to standard treatment for men starting hormonal therapy for prostate cancer led to 33% reduction in the chance of dying of prostate cancer, and a 60% improvement in the time it takes to detect the cancer growing again. These results were much better than we thought they might be when we started the trial.

“Prostate cancer is complex and so are the benefits, side effects and risks of multiple treatments.

“Clinical trials are the most effective way of determining which treatments, alone or in combination, will provide the greatest survival benefit to the patient with the least adverse outcomes.”

Professor Christopher Sweeney, co-chair with Professor Ian Davis of the ENZAMET trial, said, “Inclusion in ASCO’s Annual Report is testament to the fact that this is one of the most significant findings yet in clinical trials for men with metastatic hormone-sensitive prostate cancer – and a great example of effective international collaboration.”

In the US alone, since 1992, there has been nearly 25 consecutive years of decline in overall incidence and mortality rates for all types of cancer. In addition, the number of people living 5 years or more after a cancer diagnosis is projected to increase 31% by 2026. In Australia in the 1980s, the cancer survival rate was less than 50%. Today, almost 7 in 10 Australians will survive for at least 5 years after a cancer diagnosis and in some cancers the survival is as high as 90%. The death rate has also fallen by more than 24% compared to 1982. Cancer research, including the advances in this report, helps make progress possible.