Prostate cancer treatment approved in England


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prostate cancer cell

Prostate cancer cell. Credit: LRI EM unit.


after his approval in Scotland 2 weeks ago, a new treatment is now available on the NHS in England for some people with prostate cancer.

Currently, androgen deprivation therapy (or ADT) is a cornerstone of prostate cancer treatment because it lowers levels of testosterone (the hormone that promotes the growth and spread of the cancer). However, in cases where this treatment does not work, there are no other alternatives but to continue.

But the latest decision changes that. The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has approved darolutamide with standard hormone therapies for adults whose prostate cancer has not spread beyond the prostate, has become unresponsive to ADT (castration resistant), and are at high risk of developing metastatic disease in the future.

“This decision will be welcome news for patients whohi so far no choice but to continue with a treatment that their cancer is no longer responding to.” – Kruti Shrotri, Head of Policy Development at Cancer Research UK.

Darolutamide works by blocking the activation of testosterone receptors on cancer cells, limiting the growth of the cancer.

Clinical Trial data has shown that individuals taking darolutamide in addition to ADT have more time for their cancer to spread beyond the prostate compared to those taking ADT alone. The data also suggest that this combination extends people’s lifespan (overall survival), but the long-term benefits are unclear.

Despite this uncertainty, the treatment is considered cost-effective and will now be an option on the NHS in England. NICE decisions are usually made by Wales and Northern Ireland, so it is expected that treatment will be available in all three countries.

References

Darolutamide with androgen deprivation therapy for the treatment of hormone-relapsing non-metastatic prostate cancerThe National Institute for Health and Care Excellence

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