Two New Prostate Cancer Remedies Approved
The treatment of this disease gains new options. One of them has been released here in Brazil, while the other is only available in the United States
The prostate cancer is the second type of tumor that affects men and still kills 13,000 Brazilians each year. Although the treatment has advanced a lot in recent times, there are very difficult cases where there is not much left to be done. And that’s where apalutamide , a drug from the Janssen drug company recently released by US regulatory agencies, comes in .
She showed firepower in a very specific situation. Imagine a patient who first underwent radiotherapy, hormone therapy or surgery and after a few months saw his cancer return. Doctors perceive relapse through a blood test that measures PSA levels . When this enzyme is too high, it is a sign of trouble.
The protocols then indicate a second round of hormone therapy, whose goal is to cut off the action of testosterone , a hormone that is “sequestered” so the tumor continues to grow. Unfortunately, there are a number of individuals who do not do well with this B plan, and a few weeks later the disease shows that it is still firm and strong in the prostate , according to the PSA numbers.
The next step is metastasis. In other words, the tumor begins to migrate to other areas of the body. Behold, the tablet Apalutamide acts before that moment, as a third attempt to respond before the cancer cells resolve to spread throughout the four corners of the body and further complicate the picture.
“Until now, the only thing we had left after the two rounds of treatment was to wait for metastasis and then use the drugs available to treat the disease at this later stage,” says urologist Rodolfo Borges dos Reis, University of São Paulo of Ribeirão Preto .
The studies that served as the basis for the release of the new drug were conducted in 26 countries and involved 1,200 volunteers. Two-thirds swallowed the tablets of apalutamide, while the remaining third took pills of lie. Those who received the actual drug had a 72% reduction in the risk of metastasis or death.
The results were published in the prestigious scientific journal The New England Journal of Medicine and presented during a symposium of the American Society of Clinical Oncology . The drug has been available in the United States since February 14. Janssen expects her to arrive in Brazil in 2019.
Launching in Tupiniquins lands
The drugmaker also announced a good news that directly benefits Brazilian patients. The drug abiraterone acetate can now be used at a more early stage of prostate cancer. Already released since 2012 by the National Agency of Sanitary Surveillance , it was only prescribed for those who already had the disease in advanced stages.
But new research has shown that using it in conjunction with hormone therapy early in treatment reduced the risk of death by 38 percent, “says Reis. In addition, the new regimen was able to postpone the onset of other therapeutic resources, such as chemotherapy, in 56% of the time. Like apalutamide, abiraterone is a tablet taken once a day.