Tranilast may have clinical efficacy in treatment of CRPC

Tranilast is a drug approved in Japan and South Korea for the treatment of bronchial asthma. It has also been used in the treatment of other types of allergic disorder.

A new report by Izumi et al. suggests that tranilast may also have some degree of clinical activity in the treatment of men with castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC).

Izumi et al. used tranilast to treat 21 Japanese patients with CRPC. All patients had progressive disease after treatment with combined androgen deprivation therapy and at least one other form of  salvage therapy. They report the following results to date:

  • Median time on treatment with oral tranilast was 5 months.
  • Median follow-up was 14 months.
  • PSA progression was inhibited in 5 patients with evident bone metastasis.
  • Overall patient survival rates at 12 and 24 months were 74.5 and 61.5 percent, respectively.

No information is available in the abstract of this paper about any side effects of tranilast in these patients.

We do not believe that tranilast has ever been submitted for marketing approval as a pharmaceutical for use in the USA or Europe. Furthermore, this is clearly no more than an initial pilot study, but it is interesting to see that an anti-allergy medication appears to be able to have some impact on late-stage prostate cancer — presumably as a disease modulating agent.

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