Fast-track drug brings hope to prostate cancer as it could extend life expectancy for patients whose disease has spread
- According to tests, the chances of a long life can be increased by a third
- The NHS will start giving the drug to eligible patients in the coming weeks
- The drug is already available on the NHS for patients with localized prostate cancer, but will now be given to those whose cancer has spread
Nearly 9,000 men with one of the most advanced forms of prostate cancer will be eligible for a new life-extending drug – thanks to a fast-track deal.
The NHS in England will become the first healthcare provider in Europe to make darolutamide available to patients whose prostate cancer has spread to other parts of the body.
Trials of the drug have shown that the chances of long-term survival increase by a third in men who were previously left untreated.
The drug works by inhibiting androgen receptors in cancer cells, which in turn blocks the effects of testosterone which allows cancer cells to survive and multiply.
A 3D stock rendering of cancer cells invading and growing a human cell
Darolutamide, also known by its brand name Nubeca, may help prolong the lives of patients with prostate cancer.
Darolutamide, also known by its brand name Nubeca, is already available on the NHS for some patients who have prostate cancer.
The offer is now being expanded to cover people whose cancer has spread following the early access agreement by NHS England.
The drug is usually taken as a tablet with food and in combination with androgen deprivation therapy (ADT) and docetaxel chemotherapy.
The trial, which took place at nearly 300 sites worldwide, found that patients who were given darolutamide were 32.5 percent less likely to die than those who took ADT and docetaxel alone.
The health service said it would start giving the drug to eligible prostate cancer patients within weeks. Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men and around 47,000 people are diagnosed with it each year in England.
What is darolutamide?
- Darulotamide (or Nubeca) is a type of hormone therapy for men whose prostate cancer has stopped responding to other types of hormone therapy but has not yet spread to other parts of the body.
- Prostate cancer cells normally need the hormone testosterone in order to grow. Darolutamide works by blocking the effects of testosterone on prostate cancer cells.
- Darolutamide won’t cure your prostate cancer, but it can help keep it under control. It has been shown that some men are given more time before their cancer spreads to other parts of the body (advanced prostate cancer). This means it may help to delay the symptoms of advanced prostate cancer in these men, and delay the need for further treatment such as chemotherapy.
Source: Prostate Cancer UK
About 9,000 are diagnosed with aggressive prostate cancer that has spread to other parts of the body.
NHS executive Amanda Pritchard said: ‘It is fantastic that patients in England will be the first in Europe to receive this treatment for a really advanced and aggressive form of prostate cancer, with the NHS fast tracking a new drug deal. Thank you.’
Chiara De Biese, director of support and impact at the charity Prostate Cancer UK, said: ‘Being told you have advanced prostate cancer can be devastating and we urgently need new treatments to help these men live longer. the wanted.
‘It is therefore fantastic that thousands of men are being given early access to darolutamide alongside conventional hormone therapy and chemotherapy, which could vastly improve their survival.’
Professor Peter Johnson, NHS National Director for Cancer, said: ‘We know that prostate cancer is the most common form of cancer in men and it is vital that the NHS diagnoses patients as early as possible and expands our arsenal of cutting-edge treatments . To increase people’s chances of survival.
‘This innovative treatment builds on an NHS ambition to improve cancer care and survival rates and will help thousands of men with prostate cancer to live a better quality of life, reducing their chances of dying by a third.’