#prostate cancer #MDV3100 (enzalutamide) Great news but the quality of life it brings should also be emphasised

#prostate cancer #MDV3100 (enzalutamide) Great news but the quality of life it brings should also be emphasised

Its always good to hear of new treatments on the horizon for men with metastatic prostate because prior to the last TWO years we only had one treatment for metastatic disease and now we have several but still need more so that we can use the drug that suits the man best which means the drug that brings quality into a mans life at a time when very little exists.

When promoting this type of late stage treatments it is understandable that those promoting the drug have to show some extension to a mans life for commercial reasons BUT massively important is the quality of life issue.

The men with metastatic disease that will benefit from these new drugs realise that they are in the palliative care zone.

Men that have been treated for metastatic prostate cancer have said to me that chemotherapy had probably killed off some of the cancer cells but it had taken its toll on their physical shape and mental state. For some men chemotherapy works well at reducing tumours and eliviating pain.

One man in particular who hated what chemotherapy had done to him was Eddy N. he told me he was spending almost all day in bed feeling he was waiting to die leaving a family with the burden of jobs around the house he thought were his responsibility. Eddy was given the abiraterone pills and his life changed almost overnight, he knew the drugs would not save him but they did enable him to complete the tasks he was ashamed he might have to leave his family to do.

Another important issue and one that is often overlooked are the family and carers of those men in this terminal state. In Eddys case the family enjoyed some quality time with the man in their life which they thought prior to the treatment they would never have again. Eddy died earlier this year 12 months after starting with abiraterone both he and his family were pleased that they could share that QUALITY of LIFE time short as it was.

Abiraterone does not work for all men and that is why we need a selection of treatments so that we can select the treatment to suit the man and his cancer.

 

http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa1207506

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