NHS-approved prostate tablet offers men a chance of longer life

Abiraterone tablets are available on the NHS for men whose cancer has spread and is not responding to other types of hormone therapy.

But those with high-risk prostate cancer that has not yet spread could also benefit, according to a six-year trial of 2,000 patients carried out by scientists from London’s Institute of Cancer Research. In the findings, just seven percent of men given the drug died of the disease, compared to 15 percent of those on standard care.

And for 82 percent who received the drug, their cancer did not spread, compared to 69 percent of those on standard care alone.

Praising the “impressive” study, presented at the European Society for Medical Oncology conference,

Prostate Cancer UK’s director of research Dr Matthew Hobbs said: “We now hope to see abiraterone made available for this group of men on the NHS.”

Elsewhere, a trial to see whether prostate cancer sufferers who need radiotherapy could be treated in two doses, rather than up to 20, is starting at London’s Royal Marsden.

The team said they hope patients will soon “come in, get cured [and] get on with their normal lives”.

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