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Prostate cancer drug breakthrough

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A revolutionary prostate cancer drug that can treat men who are no longer responding to traditional medication could be available within a year.

Trials of abiraterone acetate were so promising that applications will now be made to market the drug worldwide, giving hope to thousands of British men with advanced prostate cancer.

A phase III trial was halted early when it became clear that patients treated with the pill were doing far better than those given a placebo drug.

Results from the trial have been met with enthusiasm after being presented at the European Society for Medical Oncology Congress in Milan, Italy.

The study’s leader, Dr Johan de Bono, from the Institute of Cancer Research, said: “This is extremely exciting because men with this aggressive type of prostate cancer currently have very few treatment options and a poor prognosis.”

Patients taking abiraterone were more likely than those on the placebo to experience significant drops in blood levels of prostate specific antigen (PSA). The PSA blood test is the standard way of measuring the progress of prostate cancer.

An important benefit of abiraterone is that it is taken as a pill, making treatment a lot easier and more convenient for patients.

The main side effects associated with the drug were fluid retention, potassium deficiency and raised blood pressure.

A small increased risk in abnormal liver function and heart disorders was also seen in treated patients.

Abiraterone is owned by the global pharmaceutical company Janssen, which said it will soon be filing applications to regulatory authorities to market the drug in the US and Europe.

Patients taking abiraterone were more likely than those on the placebo to experience significant drops in blood levels of prostate specific antigen (PSA). The PSA blood test is the standard way of measuring the progress of prostate cancer.

An important benefit of abiraterone is that it is taken as a pill, making treatment a lot easier and more convenient for patients.

The main side effects associated with the drug were fluid retention, potassium deficiency and raised blood pressure.

A small increased risk in abnormal liver function and heart disorders was also seen in treated patients.

Abiraterone is owned by the global pharmaceutical company Janssen, which said it will soon be filing applications to regulatory authorities to market the drug in the US and Europe.

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