Specialising in the human experience of Living with prostate cancer – warts and all

GAME CHANGE – Abiraterone

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Abiraterone extends lifespan

This week, researchers announced some fairly stunning news: a group of men whose prostate cancer ran a high risk of spreading to other sites in the body and becoming lethal may have cheated death by the simple addition of one FDA-approved drug to their treatment

In fact, in some cases, the prostate tumor that was present before the drug was administered disappeared completely.

And while nearly everyone involved in the study says the results need to be confirmed in a larger group of men in gold-standard clinical trials, they also say the results to date point to an upcoming game change in how some men with prostate cancer are treated; indeed, the study’s lead author, Dr. Mary-Ellen Taplin of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, titled the abstract to the study, “New Paradigms for Hormone Therapy for Prostate Cancer.”

That’s fancy speak for: it’s a whole new deal now.

This post is targeted at our contributor Lee and those recently diagnosed with Prostate Cancer. Before you accept surgery as the best option, explore the use of the recently approved Abiraterone.

I read about Abiraterone about three years ago when it was undergoing stage three trials on castrate resistant tumors.  When I approached my Urologist about getting involved, his nurse told me that until it is written up in the trade journal, my doctor doesn’t know about it.  Frankly, it was not an option for me.

In the new study, the participants had either a Gleason score of ≥ 7 (4+3), stage T3 disease, a PSA score of ≥ 20 ng/mL or a PSA velocity > 2 ng/mL/year.  The median age was 58 years and 35% had nodal involvement.

Localized high-risk disease, which accounts for about 15% of all prostate cancer, is infrequently cured with prostatectomy, and almost all men will eventually die of the disease, said Dr Taplin. To date, other neoadjuvant systemic therapy has not improved outcomes in prostate cancer.

Before you accept surgery as the best option, explore the use of the recently approved Abiraterone.

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Written by Greg Naylor

10 June 2012 at 12:00 am

One Response

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  1. Greg: I read this post with interest and have spent the best part of the last two days researching what I could. It seems like it is an expensive treatment and the debate is still ocurring on the pro’s and con’s of the research material. However you are right it could possibly be a benefit for me in time when all the dust settles and further treatment for me has ended. As you say there is ample time for me as I have only just started down the track. I hope your post also is of interest to others who read your updates on PC treatments combined with good common sense and stuff that has worked for you.

    Lee Gallagher

    16 June 2012 at 9:54 pm

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