Rx Combo Fights Prostate Cancer Fatigue

Zytiga and prednisone diminish prostate cancer fatigue

/ Author:  / Reviewed by: Joseph V. Madia, MD

(RxWiki News) Fatigue is a common and sometimes debillitating symptom for advanced-stage prostate cancer patients. And up until now, there have been few remedies. A prescription medication combination may soon be providing much-needed relief.

A recent clinical trial showed  that two prescription-strength drugs - Zytiga (abiraterone acetate) and Deltasone (prednisone), a steroid - appear effective in alleviating prostate cancer fatigue.

"Tell your doctor about your fatigue and learn what solutions are right for you."

The trial involved 1195 patients who had already taken the chemotherapy drug Taxotere (docetaxel). Participants were divided into two groups - 797 were given Deltasone with Zytiga and 398 were given Deltasone and a placebo.

The trial focused on patients whose cancer had spread past the prostate and was resistant to hormone therapy and other treatments. This advanced-stage disease is known as metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer.

This advanced prostate cancer has few treatment options along with severe side effects including extreme fatigue. Recovery and survival prognosis are poor for patients diagnosed with this type of prostate cancer.

Dr. Cora Sternberg, head of the Department of Medical Oncology at the San Camillo and Forlanini Hospitals in Rome, Italy, says that if chemotherapy and hormonal therapy fail,  the average survival time is approximately 18 months.

Participants completed the Brief Fatigue Inventory (BFI) questionnaire given throughout the study to measure fatigue. The BFI focused on fatigue intensity and its affect on mood, general activity, work, relationships and walking.

Dr. Sternberg, along with her researchers, found that the given Zytiga and Deltasone showed diminished fatigue levels, as well as improvement in mood, social activities and physical activity.

According to Dr. Sternber, "the future looks brighter for men with this disease and with several new therapies recently approved for advanced prostate cancer...I think this is a huge step forward in the treatment of metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer."

Future research will focus on evaluating how the combination treatment effects both cancer progression and survival rates.

Findings from this clinical trial were presented at the European Multidisciplinary Cancer Congress .

Research is considered preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed journal. 

Reviewed by: 
Review Date: 
October 5, 2011
Last Updated:
October 8, 2011