Saturday, June 30, 2012
Singapore - New drug for prostate cancer patients
SINGAPORE: A new drug to treat advanced stage prostate cancer may prolong lives and mitigate pain for patients whose conditions have worsened while on, or after chemotherapy.
Called Zytiga, the pill has been approved by the Health Sciences Authority of Singapore.
Prostate cancer is the third most common cancer among Singaporean men.
In global clinical trials, patients lived an average of 4.6 months longer after taking the drug.
The pill suppresses the body's production of testosterone, the male sex hormone, which has been linked to the growth of prostate cancer.
Drug manufacturer Janssen said it is priced competitively with other comparable treatments in the market.
The National Cancer Centre Singapore said local patients have taken well to the drug.
Doctors said side effects such as fluid retention and low potassium levels are manageable.
Dr Sim Hong Gee, Director of Urologic Oncology at Singapore General Hospital, said: "Generally, in men who are about to start on hormone treatment, they are assessed carefully to look at the bone density, to look at various components of their blood, to make sure that they do not have any electrolyte abnormalities or bone abnormalities that would predispose them to problems."