Ask Peter Janke about research and he has a simple answer: “My life depends upon it.”
Peter was diagnosed with prostate cancer three years ago at the age of 69. “It felt like a runaway train at first,” he admitted. “But really I was very lucky – I went to the doctors at the right time, the treatment started very quickly and I have wonderful support from my whole family.”
He was offered the chance to take part in a research study soon after his treatment began. At first he was a little unsure but after discussing what it entailed, decided that he wanted to help the NHS because it was helping him.
Peter has been having hormone therapy as part of the STAMPEDE study – a major UK and Switzerland based research trial looking at the effect of adding new or different treatments to the standard way in which prostate cancer is currently managed. In his case, he takes a daily steroid, a combination of two hormone treatments – abiraterone and enzalutamide – and has an injection at his GP surgery every three months. He also has regular check-ups at the Royal Oldham Hospital.
He said: “So far I’ve lived for three extra years – it’s seemed to work wonders. I have a lot of confidence in the people who are looking after me. I’ve got to know the team now, they’re very nice and I go with confidence to every appointment knowing that they want to help me. I am a model patient too! I try to think positive, I follow every instruction – I want to make it as easy as possible for my doctors to look after me.”
Prostate cancer accounts for around one fifth of all male cancers. In the UK there are around 47,000 new cases each year and around 10,800 deaths.
The aim of the STAMPEDE (Systemic Therapy in Advancing or Metastatic Prostate Cancer: Evaluation of Drug Efficacy) trial is to try to prevent tumour re-growth by adding other treatments to hormone therapy.