Encouraging news for uk patients with metastatic advanced prostate cancer

Encouraging news for uk patients with metastatic advanced prostate cancer

Janssen has launched a new treatment method which has shown to extend life for some men suffering from advanced prostate cancer. The treatment option was discovered in the UK at The Institute of Cancer Research (ICR) in what is now Cancer Research UK Cancer Therapeutics Unit. Zytiga® (abiraterone acetate), a once-daily oral drug, is now licensed for use in conjunction with a steroid (prednisolone). The medication is designed for the post-chemotherapy treatment of prostate cancer that has spread to other organs within the body and has then afterwards progressed due to the body developing resistance to standard hormonal therapies.

Dr Heather Payne, Consultant Clinical Oncologist, University College London Hospitals, comments on the launch and explains:

"The launch of abiraterone acetate in the UK is encouraging news for patients with metastatic advanced prostate cancer and their families. Historically there have been few treatment options for advanced prostate cancer when it relapses after hormonal therapy and chemotherapy and so this new treatment has the potential to meet a significant unmet need."

Every year in the UK, approximately 37,000 men are diagnosed with prostate cancer, and almost one fourth are aged between 40 and 65 years. Prostate cancer is the second most common cause of cancer deaths in UK men, with over 10,000 men dying from the disease each year. Nearly 20-30% of men diagnosed with primary prostate cancer will encounter incurable metastatic disease (cancer that has spread beyond the prostate to other areas of the body).

In May 2011, the New England Journal of Medicine published results from a randomized, placebo-controlled phase 3 investigation that consisted of 1,195 men who had previously received treatment with standard chemotherapy. The results demonstrated that individuals treated with abiraterone acetate together with a low dose of prednisone revealed a 36% increase in the median survival (14.8 months vs. 10.9 months [HR = 0.66; Pplacebo together with low dose prednisone. Even though participants in the abiraterone acetate group suffered more adverse events, such as fluid retention, hypertension, swelling and urinary tract infections, compared to those in the placebo/prednisone group, these were generally manageable and compliance with treatment was high. Additional examinations of the data also revealed that some patients can achieve considerable clinical benefits, such as pain relief and a delay of pain recurrence when being treated with abiraterone acetate in conjunction with prednisone, in comparison to placebo and prednisone.

Results were consistent in an updated examination (with a follow-up period of 20.2 months). The results showed a 4.6 month improvement in overall average survival rate between the two arms (15.8 months vs. 11.2 months [HR = 0.74; p

Commenting on the impact of advanced prostate cancer on patients, David Smith from the Prostate Cancer Support Organization (PCaSO) explained: "For men with advanced prostate cancer, there are few options. Abiraterone offers hope that some UK men will soon benefit from an extension of life."

Testosterone stimulates prostate cancers to grow. Abiraterone acetate is a targeted androgen biosynthesis inhibitor that works by blocking an enzyme called CYP17 required for the production of testosterone from functioning. It is licensed for use in individuals whose cancer has progressed after their body develops resistance to standard hormonal treatments (also know as castration-resistant prostate cancer - CRPC) after receiving chemotherapy treatment.

It is expected that the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) will start its review on the drug in 2011, and a decision for England Wales expected in 2012. The Scottish Medicines Consortium (SMC) will also start its review of abiraterone acetate in 2011, with a decision for patients in Scotland anticipated in the beginning of 2012.

Clinical Trials Update for Metastatic Prostate Cancer (Video Medical And Professional 2020).

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