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Prostate cancer trials triple survival rates

Published on 02/08/2013

Men with advanced prostate cancer have nearly tripled their life expectancy in the past ten years due to revolutionary drugs, data suggests.

Not all cancer drugs are available on the NHS

Figures from the Royal Marsden Hospital showed that men treated in trials or under drug access schemes were surviving for an average 41 months, a rise from 13 months a decade ago.

The analysis was published in the journal European Urology.

All the men given the drugs had prostate cancer which had spread and was not responding to standard treatments such as hormone therapy. Around 75% of patients were administered with a chemotherapy drug call docetaxel. Docetaxel was approved for use by the NHS on 2005.

In conjunction with this half of the patients were also given abiraterone, a new drug developed in the UK only recently approved by the NHS last year.

Cancer Research UK says: “Each year around 41,000 men in the UK are diagnosed with prostate cancer and just under 11,000 die from the disease.”

Professor Malcolm Mason, Cancer Research UK’s prostate expert, said: “This is an encouraging analysis of men treated as part of a trial, and suggests that there is real cause for optimism in the field of prostate cancer.

“We're starting to see the benefits of decades of research, with the availability of new drugs like abiraterone - which Cancer Research UK helped develop - and several more in the pipeline.

"But the challenge now will be to translate these developments into 'real world' benefits that apply to all men diagnosed in future, not just those who take part in trials."

Professor Johann de Bono, from the Royal Marsden, and who led the study said: “Advanced prostate cancer is still incurable, but new treatments are giving men more time to do the things that matter to them with their loved ones.

“That couldn't be more important and shows the strides we are making in the fight against the disease."

Health insurance may include cancer care which can give you access to the latest drugs and treatments not always available on the NHS.

© ActiveQuote Ltd. 2013

Categories:  Health InsuranceHealthMedicalNHS and Hospitals
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