The Gift of Time

Zytiga gives advanced prostate cancer patients more time

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

(RxWiki News) Life with advanced prostate cancer is measured in months, usually. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has recently approved a new medicine that offers men the gift of time.

A new study has shown that Zytiga (abiraterone acetate) gives men with advanced prostate cancer about four more months of life. And according to researchers, the drug is well- tolerated with few side effects.

"If you have prostate cancer, ask you oncologist about Zytiga."

The Phase III clinical trial involved 1195 participants. Researchers wanted to evaluate the effectiveness of giving Zytiga and prednisone to patients who had already received chemotherapy.

Two groups of patients were randomly assigned to receive either the Zytiga and prednisone or prednisone and a placebo (sugar pill).

At the time the trial started, there were no available therapies for this stage of prostate cancer.

The study shows participants taking Zytiga lived approximately four months longer than participants taking the placebo. In addition, more patients receiving Zytiga experienced a significant drop in the PSA blood level than those on the placebo.

Additional research is being conducted to see if giving Zytiga earlier in the disease can slow its progress and be even more effective, says co-author Thomas W. Flaig, MD, medical oncologist at the University of Colorado Hospital’s Tony Grampsas Urologic Oncology Clinic, and assistant professor at the University of Colorado School of Medicine.

The FDA approved abiraterone acetate in May, 2011.

The study findings are published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Reviewed by: 
Review Date: 
June 27, 2011
Last Updated:
June 30, 2011