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New prostate drug could delay use of chemo

A new option for the early treatment of prostate cancer has been licensed for use in the UK and other European Union countries.

Abiraterone acetate (Zytiga) is the first drug to be licensed for treating the disease stage after hormones but before chemotherapy.

Its use could, therefore, potentially delay the need for cytotoxic chemotherapy.

Specifically the drug has been licensed for use in conjunction with prednisolone, for the treatment of metastatic castration resistant prostate cancer in men who are asymptomatic, or mildly symptomatic, after failure of androgen deprivation therapy in whom chemotherapy is not yet clinically indicated.

Bruce Turner, nurse practitioner at Homerton University Hospital and Barts Health, welcomed the licensing of the new drug.

He said: “The availability of an additional treatment approach that can be used in the urology clinic is an exciting development for nurses, who have long been at the heart of providing care and administering hormonal treatments for prostate cancer patients as part of the multidisciplinary team.”

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