Abiraterone improves survival in prostate cancer when given before chemo

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Abiraterone significantly extends survival in men with advanced prostate cancer (PCa) if administered before chemotherapy, according to two recent studies.

In one study published in Lancet Oncology, men with aggressive PCa were found to live more than four months longer on average if they received the drug before chemotherapy compared to if they did not.

Led by Johann de Bono, MD, PhD, of The Institute of Cancer Research in London, the authors built upon previous evidence of the drug’s efficacy that was published in 2013 which showed that it increased the time before cancer progression but did not impact overall survival. They compared average survival of 354 men who were given abiraterone before moving on to chemotherapy with 387 men who received placebo instead. Both groups had also received a low dosage of prednisolone, a treatment used along with abiraterone.

Men in the first group lived an average of 34.7 months compared to men in the second group who lived 30.3 months. Additionally, relatively few men experienced severe side effects.

In another study published in Clinical Cancer Research also conducted by UK researchers at The Institute of Cancer Research, the authors cross-referenced data from the same trial on how the men responded to abiraterone or placebo with a detailed genetic analysis of their tumors.

They found that there was a clear link between ERG gene mutation and abiraterone response. Although the drug was found to improve survival regardless of ERG mutations, those with the most pronounced mutations responded particularly well.

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Abiraterone significantly extends survival in men with advanced PCa if administered before chemotherapy.
Pioneering prostate cancer drug abiraterone significantly extends the lives of men with advanced prostate cancer if given before chemotherapy, the results of a major phase III clinical trial have shown. That study, published in Clinical Cancer Research, shows it is possible to identify a subgroup of men with very aggressive prostate cancer who may benefit particularly strikingly from abiraterone pre chemotherapy.
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