Drug Slows Prostate Cancer Spreading to Bone

(February 6, 2012) Earlier today, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) reported of an exciting development that has been made regarding the slowing down of prostate cancer spreading to the bone.

 

The drug is called Xgeva, and is said to slow the spread of cancer to the bone in males suffering from difficult-to-treat prostate cancer. However, it does not extend life, and cause significant side effects. The review was made public before Wednesday’s meeting of an FDA panel of outside experts, who will discuss whether or not to consider recommending approval of the injectable drug as a preventive measure for patients with recurring prostate cancer, posing a high risk of bone metastasis (spreading to the bone), as reported by the Associated Press.  Five percent of patients taking the drug did develop osteonecrosis of the jaw (ONJ), meaning that the bone dies as a result of poor blood supply.

 

Xgeva, manufactured by Amgen, already has approval in the prevention of fractures in cancerous bones. Prolia, a different formulation of Xgeva, is approved for osteoporosis.

 

The FDA panel reviewed an Amgen-conducted study of 1,432 patients and have found that Xgeva slowed the spread of cancer to the bone by approximately 4.2 months, as compared to the placebo, as reported by the Associated Press.

 

This is great news to prostate cancer patients. However, it may be a good idea to wait and see how serious the side effects are, and if the trade-off is worth taking this drug to avoid terrible spread of cancer to the bones.  Hopefully, they will perfect this drug and remove all side effects in time.

 

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