Abiraterone Life Expectancy: Prostate Cancer Drug Adds Four More Months? Abiraterone, a new anti-prostate cancer drug from Johnson and Johnson, has been found to add “nearly four months” to the lives of men with advanced prostate cancer.
Abiraterone could be made available next year as Johnson and Johnson is reportedly planning to file, at the end of the year, a marketing application for the drug in the United States and Europe.
Reuters reports on the trial which found the supposedly “life-prolonging” effect of Abiraterone:
In a large Phase III trial of men with prostate cancer who had previously received other treatment, including chemotherapy, those given the drug together with a low-dose steroid lived, on average, 14.8 months while those on steroids plus a placebo survived 10.9 months.
“That 3.9 months may not seem much but you have to understand that in the history of prostate cancer only four drugs have previously ever shown a survival benefit,” said lead investigator Johann de Bono of Britain’s Institute of Cancer Research, where the drug was originally discovered.
“This compares very favorably to Herceptin in breast cancer … These results are likely to alter the standard of care for men with advanced prostate cancer.”
These findings were presented at the European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) congress in Milan.
What does the “medical community” think of this development? ESMO president-elect Martine Piccart called the study, which involved 1,195-patients, “very promising.” For his part, John Neate, chief executive of Britain’s Prostate Cancer Charity, said the results offered “new hope” to men with advanced prostate cancer.
Does this new drug have any side effects? Lead researcher De Bono, reportedly stated, that patients who took in abiraterone generally avoided unpleasant side-effects seen with chemotherapy.
However, they did have more mineralocorticoid-related side effects. Mineralocorticoid? Too bad, De Bono didn’t elaborate what that means.
The above research only involved men with advanced prostate cancer. However, researchers are already planning to see what the drug does for men diagnosed with prostate cancer at an earlier stage of disease.
Abiraterone Life Expectancy: Prostate Cancer Drug Adds Four More Months? Posted 12 October 2010.