Phase 3 trial confirms abiraterone acetate efficacy for patients with advanced prostate cancer

September 17, 2012

Results of a phase 3 trial published in The Lancet Oncology have confirmed that the drug abiraterone acetate (marketed as Zytiga) offers a significant survival benefit to patients with castration-resistant prostate cancer, which is spreading to other parts of their body (known as metastatic prostate cancer).

Abiraterone works by blocking an enzyme involved in the production of testosterone, a hormone. Testosterone helps to proliferate, so blocking production of the hormone can reduce .

The study, which is the first trial to show a significant for a drug which works in this way, involved 1195 patients in thirteen countries, and compared the effects of prescribing abiraterone and the steroid prednisone, which combats some of the side effects of , with a placebo plus predisnone.

The trial participants had all undergone at least one earlier round of chemotherapy with another drug, , which had not halted the progression of their cancer. The researchers found that treatment with abiraterone acetate resulted in an average survival time of 15.8 months, compared to 11.2 months for those given a placebo.

For patients with metastatic , the average overall survival time for patients who have undergone chemotherapy is consistently less than two years, so the increased survival time offered by abiraterone acetate could result in substantially improved prospects for patients whose prostate cancer continues to progress after initial treatment with docetaxel.

The trial also confirmed that abiraterone acetate appears to have a good safety profile; although some adverse events were recorded in patients given the drug, these were generally reversible, and didn't prevent continuation of the treatment.

According to one of the study's authors, Dr Karim Fizazi of the Institut Gustave Roussy in France, "Our work confirms that abiraterone acetate can be used as an effective and safe treatment for castration-resistant metastatic prostate cancer patients whose disease continues to progress after docetaxel treatment. Furthermore, unlike current alternatives for this patient population, abiraterone plus prednisone therapy can be given orally in an outpatient setting, providing an additional benefit for both patients and clinicians."

In a linked Comment, Dr Guru Sonpavde, the Director of Urologic Medical Oncology at the University of Alabama, Birmingham (UAB), Comprehensive Cancer Center, USA, welcomed the results, stating that "[This trial] represents an important advance in the therapy of metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer," adding that, "[Further] clinical trials investigating novel drugs and combinations should be strongly encouraged since all available options are palliative in nature."

Explore further: Drug treatment extends lives of men with prostate cancer

More information: www.thelancet.com/journals/lan … (12)70379-0/abstract

Related Stories

Drug treatment extends lives of men with prostate cancer

May 26, 2011
(Medical Xpress) -- A drug recently approved by the Food & Drug Administration for the treatment of prostate cancer is proving to give some patients the gift of time.

Drug shown to significantly improve survival in men with metastatic prostate cancer

June 6, 2011
The final survival analysis of an international study of a new drug for prostate cancer has found an even greater median survival benefit than previously reported, and has established a new class of treatment for men with ...

Abiraterone acetate improves fatigue in prostate cancer patients, says international clinical trial

September 25, 2011
Stockholm, Sweden: Men with prostate cancer that has spread to other parts of the body and that is resistant to hormone therapy suffer less from fatigue if they are treated with a combination of abiraterone acetate and prednisone, ...

Baseline hormone levels may predict survival in metastatic, castration-resistant prostate cancer

April 3, 2012
Patients with castration-resistant prostate cancer treated with the androgen inhibitor abiraterone and who had high baseline hormone levels had longer overall survival compared with patients with low hormone levels, according ...

Hormone-depleting drug shows promise against localized high-risk prostate tumors

May 16, 2012
A hormone-depleting drug approved last year for the treatment of metastatic prostate cancer can help eliminate or nearly eliminate tumors in many patients with aggressive cancers that have yet to spread beyond the prostate, ...

Recommended for you

Researchers compose guidelines for handling CAR T cell side effects

September 19, 2017
Immune-cell based therapies opening a new frontier for cancer treatment carry unique, potentially lethal side effects that provide a new challenge for oncologists, one addressed by a team led by clinicians at The University ...

Altitude training for cancer-fighting cells

September 18, 2017
Mountain climbers and endurance athletes are not the only ones to benefit from altitude training - that is, learning to perform well under low-oxygen conditions. It turns out that cancer-fighting cells of the immune system ...

A new paradigm for treating transcription factor-driven cancers

September 18, 2017
In the current issue of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, researchers from Nationwide Children's Hospital describe a new paradigm for treating transcription factor-driven cancers. The study focuses on Ewing ...

Metabolism can be used to subtype hepatoblastoma tumors

September 18, 2017
Looking at cell metabolism instead of histology, EPFL scientists have identified new biomarkers that could help more accurately classify the two main subtypes of hepatoblastoma, a children liver cancer.

Scientists find bacteria in pancreatic tumors that metabolize a common drug

September 15, 2017
To the reasons that chemotherapy sometimes does not work, we can now add one more: bacteria. In a study published today in Science, researchers describe findings that certain bacteria can be found inside human pancreatic ...

New technologies combined to identify specific DNA defect underlying a type of cancer

September 15, 2017
(Medical Xpress)—A team of researchers from the Netherlands and the U.K. has developed a technique for studying inherited types of cancers using two relatively new technologies—organoid development and CRISPR/Cas9. In ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.