Prostate cancer is cancer of the prostate gland (a small organ in a man’s pelvis) and is the second most common cancer in the UK. There are three stages: localised, locally‐advanced and advanced (or metastatic) prostate cancer. The symptoms of prostate cancer may vary depending on the stage of cancer but can include pain, tiredness, problems emptying the bladder and the bowels. About half of men diagnosed with locally‐advanced prostate cancer will see their cancer spread to other body organs (i.e. becoming metastatic).
Triptorelin is being developed as an injection under the skin (subcutaneous) for the treatment of locally advanced or metastatic prostate cancer. It is already marketed for this condition but is given by injection deep into the muscles (intramuscular). Triptorelin is an artificial analogue of natural gonadotropin‐releasing hormone that acts to slowly reduce the level of testosterone in the body. The first administration of triptorelin stimulates an increase in testosterone levels but prolonged administration leads to a fall in plasma testosterone or oestradiol to castrate levels which is maintained for as long as the product is administered. Triptorelin as a subcutaneous injection formulation has the potential advantage of improved safety and local tolerability when compared to intramuscular injection formulation.
Pembrolizumab is a drug administered by intravenous infusion which stimulates the body’s own immune system to fight cancer cells. If licensed, pembrolizumab in addition to chemotherapy could provide an additional or alternative treatment option to patients who currently have limited treatment options.