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Monday, October 18, 2010

Newer Drugs for Prostate Cancer

Posted by Prahallad Panda on 10:50 PM Comments

At least three new drugs have been discovered for the treatment of prostate cancer. The recent one is abiraterone, a male hormone blocker; third in the series, after cabazitaxel, a chemotherapeutic agent; and Provenge, a vaccine to stimulate body to attack prostate cancer cells.
Among men, prostate cancer is the second-leading cancer killer, behind only lung cancer. Still, the overall improvement is modest for each therapy. Cabazitaxel increased survival by an average of 2.4 months compared with standard chemotherapy. Provenge added an average of 4.1 months of life. The 797 patients randomly assigned to abiraterone plus the steroid prednisone lived on average 14.8 months compared with 10.9 months for those treated with the steroid plus a placebo.
Abiraterone blocks testosterone from other sources where as conventional anti-androgens like finasterine blocks testosterone from testes. It does have some side effects like increase in blood pressure following water and salt retention but spares hair loss.

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