Zytiga Approved for Use Earlier in Patient Treatment
As I was saying, advances in treatment for patients continue to accelerate…
This just in from Bloomberg News: Johnson & Johnson has been granted approval by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for Zytiga (abiraterone) to be used earlier in the patient treatment, prior to chemotherapy. The drug, taken in pill form, was originally approved in April 2011 for patients who had had grown resistant to hormone therapy AND failed chemo treatments. Zytiga is one of five new drugs that have come to market in the past two years for prostate cancer patients with advanced disease. This new approval, less than than two years since its original indication approval is encouraging news for patients.
Zytiga is just one encouraging example of how newly approved drugs are being tested earlier in the course of treatment and, in some studies, in combination to improve patient outcomes. What’s more, there are more than 28 other new prostate drugs targeted for prostate cancer in Phase III trials. Add this news to my last post about improvements in PET scan imaging that are enabling clinicians to see and treat metastatic lesions earlier than ever before, and you can understand my optimism. It’s why I constantly remind patients that there is no better time than today to be a prostate cancer patient–if you have to be one.
Of course, from my perspective I am also pleased to add that PCF funded over $8 million for competitive research awards centered on Zytiga. The funding was used to help determine the mechanism of action of the agent, the execution of Phase II clinical trials, and continues to fund a determination of mechanisms of patient resistance to the agent. The PCF-DoD Clinical Trials Consortium, along with funded investigators at the Royal Marsden Hospital in London, were instrumental in designing the pivotal Phase III clinical trial that supported the FDA decision to approve the agent.
Another advance–perhaps even a life-giving holiday gift–for patients.