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Prostate cancer drug improves survival in men with metastases

14 August 2009

The results of a prostate cancer clinical trial have found that the drug oral sodium clodronate improves overall survival for men with advanced prostate cancer but not in men with localised disease. Findings showed a 23% relative decrease of death in the group allocated to clodronate*. The final results of the Medical Research Council’s PR04 and PR05 trials are published online in Lancet Oncology.

* (with a 95% confidence interval ranging between relative improvements of 2% and 40%). At 5 years, overall survival was 30% in the clodronate treated group and 21% in the placebo group and after 10 years, 17% vs 9% respectively. These were mature results: 93% of these men had now died. In men with localised disease, clodronate showed no benefit in overall survival—at 5 years, overall survival was 78% in patients given clodronate and 80% in patients given placebo, and after 10 years 48% vs 51% (this was a 12% relative worsening of risk, although a 95% confidence interval cannot rule out a true value that is an 11% relative improvement or a 42% relative worsening).