Prostate Drug Offers Men New Hope
There are few options for men with advanced hormone refractory prostate cancer who have already received standard docetaxel (TAXOTERE) chemotherapy. A new experimental agent ABIRATERONE ACETATE may offer new hope.
"This is a new type of hormone therapy that blocks a key enzyme inside the cancer cell" explains Dr Assikis who has been PHOCs lead investigator of the experimental trials of abiraterone. "Although one would not expect much success from yet another type of hormonal agent, some men debilitated from advanced cancer expereinced an improved level of activity, usually for many months. "What 's even better" Dr Assikis continues, "this is a pill so significantly less time is spent at the doctor's office From my experience, abiraterone is well tolerated and side effects appear to be mild".
A large Phase III trial has been completed. About 1,300 men with metastatic castrate refractory prostate cancer who had already received docetaxel chemotherapy for their worsening cancer were randomized to receive abiraterone or placebo. Results presented at the 2010 European Society of Medical Oncology annual meeting past October showed a 35 % prolongation of survival for patients who received abiraterone. This came along with a major improvement in quality of life. The drug is currently being evaluated by the US Food and Drug Administration.
In the meantime the manufacturer of abiraterone has initiated a expanded access clinical trial for eligible patients "We are very fortunate to be able to offer clinical trials to our patients", says Dr Assikis. For more information on whether you or a loved one qualifies for the abiraterone expanded access program call our research office at 678-298-3235.