Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Zytiga (abiraterone) for advanced prostate cancer before chemotherapy - ASCO 2012

Testosterone is a major fuel for prostate cancer growth.  Despite use of agents to induce clinical castration, men can continue to have advancing disease.  Zytiga (abiraterone) is pill that directly suppresses the synthesis of testosterone at multiple points in the body to further decrease testosterone production.   It is currently FDA approved for advanced castrate resistant prostate cancer after use of Taxotere (docetaxel) chemotherapy.  This indication restricts to use of this agent to the most advanced cases.

At this year's American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) meeting, there was an exciting abstract about treating men suffering from advanced castrate resistant prostate cancer with Zytiga (abiraterone) before using chemotherapy.  Abiraterone caused improvement in progression free survival, time to narcotic use, time to use of chemotherapy, time to deterioration in clinical performance status, and time to PSA progression.  The study was terminated early due to the degree of improvement at interim analysis.

Here are links to media coverage of this abstract:
Reuters for a general audience.
Medpage Today coverage - more technically inclined.

This will likely lead to an expanded FDA indication in the future for use prior to chemotherapy.  Men will then have earlier access to this oral agent to combat the disease.

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