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Media Contact: Vincent Joseph Dollard
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22 December 2005
Winship Introduces New Prostate Cancer Clinical Trial
Emory's Winship Cancer Institute is the first cancer facility in the country to conduct a prostate cancer clinical trial involving a drug combination of docetaxel, estramustine and bortezomib (Velcade) on a Phase I/II clinical trial for prostate cancer.

Vasily Assikis, MD, assistant professor of hematology and oncology in Emory University's School of Medicine and director of the Winship Prostate Cancer Translational Research Program, is the principal investigator. Participating patients with advanced-staged, hormone-refractory prostate cancer are given Velcade, a drug already FDA-approved for treatment of multiple myeloma, in combination with docetaxel and estramustine.

Docetaxel is chemotherapy that is most commonly used to treat prostate, breast and non-small cell lung cancers, but may be used for other types of cancer. Estramustine combines a hormone and chemotherapy drug in the same tablet. Velcade is one of a new class of proteasome inhibitors, which impede cancer cell growth by inactivating certain genes and proteins that enable cancer cells to survive and proliferate.

The purpose of the study at Winship, which is sponsored by Millennium Pharmaceuticals, Inc., is to examine how prostate tumors respond to this new combination drug therapy. Researchers hope to prove the combination of these three drugs provides more effective treatment than either of the drugs given individually. For more information about this trial, please contact Linda Vrooman, Research Nurse, at 404-778-5144 or e-mail to

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