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Drug May Help Men With Advanced Prostate Cancer

Study participants hadn't received any treatment with chemotherapy

continued...

The drug is an oral medication, and it was well tolerated in the study. Previously published reports from when the drug was first approved suggested that the wholesale price of the medication would be about $7,450 a month.

"This drug is already FDA-approved in the post-chemotherapy setting, though it's not yet FDA-approved for use before chemotherapy," Beer said.

Dr. Ash Tewari, chairman of urology at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, in New York City, said enzalutamide works three different ways to suppress androgens, making it a "triple threat."

"This study's findings are exciting, and may give us another tool to fight this cancer," Tewari said. "And it was safe, with some minor side effects but nothing unusual."

Another study scheduled for presentation at the meeting looked at men with less advanced prostate cancer. This study found that adding radiation treatment to anti-androgen therapy dropped the 10- and 15-year prostate-cancer-specific death rate for men with locally advanced prostate cancer. Locally advanced prostate cancer is cancer that has grown through the prostate, but hasn't yet traveled to other areas of the body.

Surgery generally isn't an option for this type of cancer because it's difficult to remove all of the cancer cells.

The study, from Norwegian researchers, included 11 years of follow-up observation. Men who received hormone therapy alone had 10- and 15-year prostate-cancer-specific death rates of 18.9 percent and 30.7 percent, respectively. The rates for men who received radiation and hormone therapy were significantly lower: 8.3 percent and 12.4 percent, respectively.

Because these studies were presented at a medical meeting, the data and conclusions should be viewed as preliminary until they are published in peer-reviewed journals.

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