In an article out of Reuters from the 25th of Spetember, it was reported that AstraZeneca gave a report at the Eastern Society for Therapeutic Radiation Oncology (Barcelona, Spain) that there drug ZD4054 has shown to extend the lives of patients with advanced prostate cancer by as much as 7 months.
In a statement released in July of this year by AstraZeneca stated that ZD4054 demonstrated overall survival benefits and was going to be moved to their phase III trials. They conducted a phase II study in 312 men with metastatic horomone-resistant prostate cancer that were either pain free or only mildly syptomatic. These men were then seperated into three smaller groups. One group was given 10 milligrams of ZD4054, another given a placebo, and the final study group given 15 milligrams of ZD4054.
Patients receving 10 milligrams had the best results. The group receving 10 milligrams were shown to have a median survival of 24.5 months. Patients receving 15 milligrams had a median survival rate of 23.5 months. The group that were given a placebo had a median survival of 17.3 months.
However, this study was not able to show a statistically significant result for progression free survival. This was the initial goal for the trial and the drug ZD4054. Progression Free Survival is a measure of how long patients survive before their condition worsens.
ZD4054 works by blocking the action of a cell protein that is “thought” to be associated in the role of prostate cancer growth. The name of that protein is Endothelin A.
Typically men with advanced prostate cancer are first given hormonal therapies. That has been shown to be very effective in the control and progression of prostate cancer. After a while, some men may form a resistance to the hormonal therapy in which it then becomes ineffective in preventing the progression and growth of the prostate cancer. At the time in which resistance to hormone therapy happens, then men are given a chemotherapy regimn. The only option for chemotherapy in prostate cancer to this point is called Taxotere. Taxotere has shown to extend overall median survival rates by only 2.4 months.
Although the Phase II trials are promising, the drug will have to undergo a very thorough investigation in the Phase III clinical trial before it is FDA approved and available on the market. To give you an estimation of the cost of the drug, in today’s dollars, the cost of the drug would average around $2000.00 per month. If this drug becomes approved, it could potentially mean a $1billion dollar growth in sales for AstraZeneca as well.
As always, if there you have any other questions or concerns, or if you need help or more information in regards to anything relating to cancer, please feel free to contact me and I will get back to you within 24 hours. I can be reached at: CANCERGEEK@GMAIL.COM or CANCERGEEK@CANCERGEEK.COM