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Drew Lindon, from Prostate Cancer UK has told ITV London that the introduction of a new prostate cancer drug was vital as it could help to prolong life for a "few extra months to spend with love ones".
Improving the quality of life for men with prostate cancer is the goal of a treatment being pioneered by London hospitals.
Prostate cancer kills four men every day in the capital, and this new approach - a daily tablet - is said to avoid the worst side-effects of current treatments.
Clare Fernyhough reports:
Prostate Cancer UK has welcomed the news of a new drug that offers hope to men who have run out of treatment options, but urged other areas of the UK to appraise the drug swiftly.
Drew Lindon, from the charity said: "For some men, this drug could offer precious extra time with loved ones, and will be a welcome addition to what is currently a very limited armoury.
"However, although enzalutamide can now be prescribed by doctors, a man's local NHS health provider is not obliged to pay for it.
"And while men in England can apply for access through the Cancer Drugs Fund, others living elsewhere in the UK could be left at a disadvantage.
"We urge National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence and Scottish Medicines Consortium to appraise this drug swiftly, and the pharmaceutical company to set a reasonable price, in the hope that it will soon be recommended and routinely available on the NHS for all those men who need it."
Managing the side effects of cancer treatment is one of the biggest challenges in medicine, a consultant oncologist at University College London Hospitals said today, after the launch of a new drug with less side effects.
Dr Heather Payne said:
The launch of Xtandi represents a major advance in the treatment of patients with advanced prostate cancer.
One of the biggest challenges in cancer medicine is managing the side effects that come with treatment, so it is remarkable to find a new therapy which makes patients' feel better.
Extending patients' lives at this stage of their disease is our primary aim, but it's incredibly important to balance this with the impact treatment may have on patients' quality of life.
A new hi-tech prostate cancer drug has already demonstrated a 'positive impact on the quality of life', the Institute of Cancer Research said today, as the treatment trials in the capital.
Professor Johann de Bono from the institute, who led the Affirm trial, said:
"Enzalutamide is a much needed development in prostate cancer treatment and will provide a new option for the increasing number of men with advanced prostate cancer in the UK whose disease has become resistant to first-line hormonal treatments and who have had docetaxel chemotherapy.
"Enzalutamide has already demonstrated a positive impact on quality of life whilst increasing the life-span of patients with this common disease.
"It's use will bring significant benefits, establishing it as a key component of advanced prostate cancer treatment in the UK."
A hi-tech prostate cancer drug that offers hope to men who have run out of treatment options became available in the UK today.
Enzalutamide is licensed for patients with advanced prostate cancer who are no longer responding to hormone treatments or chemotherapy.
What to expect from the new drug:
- The new pill will cost around £2,500 a month.
- It can extend the lives of patients no longer being treated by almost five months.
- Seven out of 10 of the men in the Phase III Affirm trial taking enzalutamide were still alive after one year.
- It has a relative lack of side effects.
- The drug known as Xtandi, blocks molecular signals that allow the male hormone testosterone to fuel prostate cancer.
- It targets three different steps of the signalling pathway.