18 May Abiraterone. New claims for its use in men with prostate cancer show early promise.
Is this another headline raising hopes too soon OR is it great news that just needs more time and investigation.
We men with prostate cancer have seen the struggle and suffered the anxiety in getting Abiraterone (Zytiga) approved by NICE for men who have metastatic prostate cancer and who had under gone a cycle of chemotherapy.
Even though the treatment did have significant quality of life benefits for some men at a time when they had none.
The main stumbling block in getting NICE approval was the cost of around £3k per month per man so it will not be an easy task to convince the Health Minister that the benefit compensates for the cost.
We should give the researchers the time they need to decide if there is a real benefit for men with high grade/localised prostate cancer?
I certainly believe it is one to watch for the future and if you are or know a man that fits the criteria then ask your consultant/doctor/CNS/ trials specialist if they think you would be suitable to take part in the trials whenever they start a selection process which may be some way off.
It has been thought for some time that abiraterone when used in conjunction with other treatments could be beneficial for men with earlier stage prostate cancer.
The phase I/II studies done involving men with localised high risk ( PSA > 20, Gleason 8 or above) and stage T3 (tumour confined to the prostate gland) so far have been on small numbers of men and whilst the results look promising we need to see more extensive trials.
Abiraterone (Zytiga) can block the production of testosterone and in a different way than the established hormone treatment.