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New wonder drug helps to halt prostate cancer

A new antibody drug can hold back the spread of prostate cancer to the bones, new research shows.

Denosumab acts on a bone signalling protein believed to play a role in metastasis, the migration of cancer cells.

A trial found that the drug increased bone metastasis-free survival by around four months.

Treatment-resistant prostate cancer almost always spreads to the bone, leading to pain, fractures and early death.

Previous studies have indicated that prostate cancer metastasis involves interactions between tumours and the natural process by which bone is broken down and rebuilt.

A signalling protein called RANKL is believed to set the stage for tumour spread.

Denosumab, a laboratory synthesised antibody, targets RANKL. The drug is already used to treat osteoporosis.