University of Maryland Medical Scientists Achieve an Effective Chemotherapy that Terminates “Androgen-Independent” Advanced Prostate Cancer

Patients with terminal advanced prostate cancer generally have a survival of 2-5 years. The cause of this cancer was unknown and no treatment has been available. Based on 45 years of research, University of Maryland scientists, Dr. Costello and Dr. Franklin, identified the cause of this cancer; and a potential treatment. In a patient with expected death in 24 months, their treatment terminated this cancer. This mighty be the first report of a successful treatment for advanced prostate cancer.

Prostate cancer accounts for about 165,000 cases/year with 25,000 deaths/year in the U.S.; and 1.1 million cases/year with 260,000 deaths/year worldwide. Most of the deaths are due to “androgen-independent” advanced prostate cancer. Despite decades of research, the cause of this malignancy cancer remained unknown, and an effective treatment has not existed.

Dr. Leslie C. Costello, University of Maryland Medical Center scientist, was recently requested to participate as the consulting collaborator with Dr. George W. Yu, M.D (George Washington University, D.C.), who was the attending urologist for managing a patient with terminal “androgen-dependent” advanced prostate cancer that included lymph node metastasis. The initiation and progression of prostate cancer is promoted by testosterone, and is referred to as “androgen-dependent” malignancy. For this, the patient had received hormonal androgen-ablation therapy; along with chemotherapy and radiation therapy; which suppresses and terminates the progressing androgen-dependent malignancy, and extends the life of the patient. The treatment leads to the development and progression of “androgen-independent” malignancy; which is terminal advanced prostate cancer. With this condition, the patient was advised that he had an expected survival of 2-3 years. Since the cause of this malignancy had been unknown, an efficacious treatment did not exist.

Dr. Costello and his colleague, Dr Renty B. Franklin, have been engaged in prostate research since 1975. That background led to their understanding that, when testosterone is not available, prolactin is the hormone that results in the development and progression of “androgen-independent” malignancy (“prolactin-dependent” malignancy); which is the status of advanced prostate cancer). That information served as the basis for their new proposal that an effective chemotherapy for terminal advanced prostate cancer necessitates the suppression of prolactin levels in the blood. To achieve this, they treated the patient with cabergoline, which is employed to inhibit the pituitary production of prolactin in women with hyperprolactinemia. After 7 weeks of treatment, the patient’s plasma prolactin concentration decreased by 88%, and he no longer exhibited prostate gland malignancy and metastasis. His circulating tumor cell count before treatment=5.4; which indicates an expected survival of about 21 months. Following treatment, the count =0; the absence of circulating metastatic cells. This corroborates the new understanding that prolactin promotes the development and progression of terminal advanced; and the suppression of plasma prolactin levels is a targeted treatment.

As best that they could determine, this might be the first reported case of a patient who received a treatment that successfully terminated androgen-independent advanced prostate cancer. It will be important to determine if their treatment will be effective in other patients with terminal advanced prostate cancer.

This patient case has been published and is available at:

Dr. George W. Yu is Clinical Professor in the Department of Urology; George Washington University School of Medicine; Washington, D.C. 20037 U.S.A.

Dr. Leslie C. Costello and Dr. Renty B. Franklin are Professors in the Department of Oncology and Diagnostic Sciences at the University of Maryland School of Dentistry; and in the University of Maryland Greenebaum Comprehensive Cancer Center. Baltimore, Md.

Dr. Costello and Dr. Franklin are included among the worldwide top 5% biomedical scientists.

This Announcement was prepared on 05/30/2019 by Dr. Costello.

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Company Name: University of Maryland School of Dentistry, Department of Oncology and Diagnostic Sciences; and the University of Maryland Comprehensive Cancer Center
Contact Person: Leslie C. Costello
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Phone: 4107067618
City: Baltimore
State: MD
Country: United States