July 22, 2008
Hope for Prostate Cancer Patients
A WONDER pill blocks the advance of prostate cancer with hardly any side effects, it is claimed.
Experts believe Abiraterone could treat eight out of 10 aggressive tumours that have resisted all other treatments.Trials have shown the drug, taken as daily pills, cuts cancer levels by 30 per cent in 80 per cent of men in three months.
Patients in severe pain say they have been given a new lease of life by the drug.
That has led to a "stampede" of men wanting to take part in clinical trials.
The drug blocks production of hormones that drive the growth of prostate cancers.
It is effective even after the cancer has spread and could potentially be used to treat breast and bowel cancers.
Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in UK men.
Out of 35,000 diagnosed every year, 10,000 die.
If the drug is licensed in the UK, it could be available in Scotland by 2010.
It will need approval from the Scottish Medicines Consortium, who assess the cost-effectiveness of drugs.
But Dr Johann de Bono, who led the research, is optimistic the drug can transformlives.
He said: "Patients who started taking this drug in 2005 are still doing well two years, eight months later."
Advanced prostate cancer patients are often given two years to live.
So far, 250 men have been treated with Abiraterone and a phase- three trial of 1200 men is under way.
Dr de Bono said: "This drug is spectacularly active.
"We believe we have made a major step forward in treating end- stage prostate cancer.
"My vision is to make chemotherapy obsolete."
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