Jan 23, 2018 | Updated: 09:54 AM EDT

Johnson & Johnson's Zytiga Helps Increase Survival Rate For Patient With Severe Prostate Cancer

Jun 05, 2017 10:39 AM EDT

American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) presented the research of the effectiveness of Zytiga, a trademark name for Abiraterone acetate, to boost the survival rate for severe prostate cancers. The finding was delivered during the 2017 Annual Meeting in Chicago.

Administering Zytiga as an addition to the standard hormone therapy at the earlier stage of prostate cancer is able to reduce the chance of death by nearly 40 percent. This data is obtained from the clinical test by the ASCO as reported by Bloomberg.

Zytiga is a trademark of Abiraterone acetate from Johnson & Johnson and is able to reduce the production of testosterone, a male hormone that stimulates the growth of prostate tumors. Johnson & Johnson has begun to seek approval to use the drug for early treatment of prostate cancer in the European Union and the company is considering to submit the similar request in the United States.

The company has also sponsored two studies on the Zytiga usage for the prostate cancer patient. The first one was conducted at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham under Professor Nicholas James. While the other study was conducted in the U.S. and Switzerland, involving 2,000 patients, whose survival rate increase to 83 percent from 76 percent after they were given the combination of Zytiga and the standard hormone therapy.

"Based on the magnitude of clinical benefit, we believe that the upfront care for patients newly diagnosed with advanced prostate cancer should change," James said. "Zytiga is not only prolonged life but also lowered the chance of relapse by 70 percent and reduced the chance of serious bone complications by 50 percent.”

However, the price of Zytiga in the U.S. is expensive, according to Reuters, with the $9,400 a month cost for the medication. The New Jersey-based pharmaceutical company has made more than $1 billion of sales in the U.S. last year and $2.26 billion in worldwide sales.

Prostate cancer is the most prevalent non-skin cancer and the second leading cause of death in men. Moreover, the treatment, whether it is hormonal therapy with Zytiga or chemotherapy must also consider the health status and age-related factors.

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