The new drug 'Abiraterone Acetate' inhibits androgen
and proves that even in
advanced stage, prostate cancer is not "androgen independent" as it is usually
The prostate is a small,
walnut-sized structure and is a part of
the male reproductive system. Prostate cancer is the
leading cause of death in older men in the world and it is the third most
common cause of death from cancer in
men of all ages. When recognised early its treatment with radical prostatectomy
yields good long term results. However many patient present late and by this
time the disease is already advanced. Men with such advanced and metastatic
prostate cancer (CRPC) have few treatment options. Metastatic prostate cancer
patients are treated with drugs to reduce testosterone levels, surgery to
remove the testes, or chemotherapy. They
respond initially well to such treatments but soon they become resistant to
A recent multicenter study showed that treatment with the drug Abiraterone acetate (ZYTIGA) in combination with prednisone (anti-inflammatory
drug) bring about a significant improvement in overall survival
The study titled "Abiraterone and Increased Survival in Metastatic
Prostate Cancer," was published in the May 26 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine
leading medical journal.
Androgens are male sex
hormones responsible for
typical male sexual characteristics. In
prostate cancer, androgens may promote the tumour's growth. The tumor tissue
acts as an additional source of androgens in patients with prostate cancer.
acetate is an oral
androgen biosynthesis inhibitor. It inhibits specific
enzyme complexes required for androgen synthesis.
finding is of great significance since it adds hope for patients who are
otherwise out of treatment options.
Source: The New
England Journal of Medicine