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Prostate Cancer Drug Found to ‘Extend Lives’


Prostate Cancer Drug Found to ‘Extend Lives’For prostate cancer sufferers, docetaxel is usually only given after hormone treatment has failed. But now a major study has revealed that earlier treatment with the drug can extend life expectancy anywhere from 43 to 65 months.

The results, which will be presented at the American Society of Clinical Oncology, are being labelled as “potentially game-changing”.

In the UK alone, 40,000 men are diagnosed with prostate cancer and 11,000 die from the disease every year.

The trial was conducted across Britain and Switzerland and involved 2,962 men. At the start of their treatment, some of the men were given six doses of docetaxel and subsequently lived 10 months longer than those that weren’t.

However, patients who had already seen their cancer spread past their pelvis saw their life expectancies increase by 22 months.

One of the researchers at Warwick University, Prof Nicholas James, who was involved in the study said he was very pleased with the results and emphasised that the NHS needed to act upon them quickly: "To see a 22-month survival advantage off six lots of treatment given several years earlier is a very big benefit.”

Furthermore, the fact that docetaxel is out of patent means that it represents a potentially cost-effective method of treatment.

Commenting on the study’s findings, Cancer Research UK said the results were “important” and "show that it should be given earlier in a man's treatment".



Photo credit: NHS