Prostate cancer is the second most common cause of death from cancer for men in the US, but a new drug shows promise in treating metastatic prostate cancer in some patient groups.
Prostate cancer affects 30,000 men in the US each year, and new research presented at the 48th annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology in Chicago on June 2nd indicated Johnson & Johnson’s Zytiga could the 100,000 men each year who seek treatment for malignant tumors. (The figure is based on the 30,000 diagnoses of prostate cancer each year, with a three-year life expectancy factored in.)
During the research, prostate cancer sufferers treated with Zytiga reached 16 months without tumors spreading after chemotherapy fails, versus eight months for patients treated with steroids alone. Bloomberg reports that the drug reportedly “significantly slows tumor growth, prevents pain and lengthens life when used earlier” to treat prostate cancer.
ScienceDaily quotes lead researcher Charles Ryan as saying of Zytiga’s effect on prostate cancer:
“This drug extended lives and gave patients more time when they weren’t experiencing significant pain from the disease.”
“This is an interim analysis, the final analysis should be available in 2014. But it appears that this medication may lay a foundation for the use of this drug at an earlier stage of prostate cancer, and its benefits may be able to be delivered to a much wider population of patients as a result.”
Eric J. Small, MD is a UCSF professor and chief of hematology and oncology at the UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center, and Small says the research represents “a wonderful milestone in our progress in treating prostate cancer.”