Researchers developed a new drug known as enzalutamide for men with advanced prostate cancer, which gives them extra five months of life when they have run out of all options. Enzalutamide, developed by British researchers at the Institute of Cancer Research (ICR) and the Royal Marsden Hospital, in London, is one of four inventions in the past two years that significantly extend life.
Trial of enzalutamide showed that men taking the drug survived more than eighteen months in comparison those taken placebo survived for fourteen months. Besides, almost half those receiving the drug had a better quality of life. In the latest study nearly twelve hundred patients were given enzalutamide following chemotherapy.
The study found that survival for those taking the new drug was eighteen-and-half months on average, compared with thirteen-and-half months for those on a placebo. Almost forty-three percent patients on enzalutamide reported an improved quality of life, in comparison to eighteen percent of patients in the placebo group.
The drug, made by pharmaceutical companies Medivation and Astellas, could be licensed for patients use by early next year. Prof Alan Ashworth, chief executive of the ICR, explained advanced prostate cancer is extremely difficult to treat, and it is taken a massive co-ordinate effort to finally bring new drugs into the pipeline, after decades where there were no options once old-style hormone treatment stopped working.
What they are seeing now is an unprecedented period of success for prostate cancer research, with four new drugs shown to extend life in major clinical trials in just two years, and several others showing promise. It truly is a golden age for prostate cancer drug discovery and development, added Prof Ashworth
The study was reported in the New England Journal of Medicine.