A man who was given between two to four years to live following a prostate cancer diagnosis in 2014 is now planning to go on a seven-week holiday after participating in a successful drug trial in Orange.
Graeme McLean was one of 29 patients who took part in the ENZAMET Trial through the Clinical Trials Unit at Orange hospital.
The trial started in 2014 and Mr McLean said he did not think he would have been included because he was 77 years old at the time.
It doesn't really get better than this doing research that directly changes how we are going to treat hundreds and probably thousands of prostate cancer men in the future.Clinical Trials Unit director Dr Rob Zielinski
"It's so good to be alive after four years, when the mortality hits you like that, my wife and I just could not believe that in either two or four years that's it," Mr McLean said.
"It all happened in a month, my [Prostate Specific Antigen] went from two-to-four-to-10 in three weeks and I've had a very good GP, he said this is out of the ordinary, sent me to an oncologist, sent me to an urologist who did an MRI and biopsies and it was aggressive, he said look there's a trial happening at the hospital ... it was all so quick."
Clinical Trials Unit director Dr Rob Zielinski said the trial was for men with advanced or stage four prostate cancer that moved to their bones or lymph nodes.
"This is a practice changing trial that's materially affecting men and it's defined a new standard of care for prostate cancer ... it doesn't really get better than this doing research that directly changes how we are going to treat hundreds and probably thousands of prostate cancer men in the future," he said.
"Orange will get more trials on the back of this, we've proven we've got a good reputation, we've great staff that do wonderful work so I'm hoping that the flood gates open and we get more and more trials not just in prostate cancer but in all cancer that affects our community."
Dr Zielinski said there were 1100 trial participants globally in the Australian led initiative, and the results showed a 33 per cent reduction in death due to a new tablet called enzalutamide. In Mr McLean's case his PSA had been undetectable since he started taking the drug.
However, Dr Zielinski said the drug was expensive and before it could become nationally available, the federal government would need to look at the cost effectiveness. Mr McLean's costs were about $3500 per month.
Mr McLean will continue taking the tablets until his PSA goes up but Dr Zielinski said another trial is waiting for him when that happens.
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