Prostate cancer is the most common tumor affecting men in Trinidad
A new therapeutic option has been recently approved in Trinidad & Tobago and is available for patients with metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer, progressing to chemotherapy
PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad & Tobago, April 11, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — The Chemistry, Food & Drugs Division of the
Trinidad & Tobago Ministry of Health approved the introduction of Abiraterone Acetate to the country,
the first – orally administered androgen synthesis inhibitor (testosterone) medication for the treatment of patients
with metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer.
Clinical trials have demonstrated that this new therapeutic resource for the standard therapy of patients
with hormone-resistant tumors reduces the risk of death by approximately 35%. Abiraterone Acetate
is available in Trinidad & Tobago under the trademark Zytiga™.
According to the National Cancer Registry of Trinidad & Tobago, prostate cancer leads cancer statistics
in the population with 22% of all cases. Amongst males, prostate cancer accounted for 42% of all new cases
of cancer. Worldwide, prostate cancer is the second type of cancer most frequently diagnosed in men,
and the fifth type overall. Near 1.1 million new cases of prostate cancer were diagnosed worldwide in 2012,
and more than 300,000 men died because of the disease.
This type of cancer is the result of the malignant transformation of certain cells of the prostate, a gland located
underneath the urinary bladder in men, one of the functions of which is to produce a part of the seminal fluid.
Although a slowly developing disease, some prostate tumors may be very aggressive and extend
quickly to invade other organs (metastasis).
Abiraterone Acetate is a new therapy administered orally as a single daily dose, which prevents
androgen from being produced at their three sources: Testes, adrenal glands, and the tumor itself,
through the strong block of the CYP 17 enzyme.
Androgens are hormones that promote both male development and sexual features,
and prostate cancer cells have been shown to need them to grow.
“Abiraterone Acetate is an androgen synthesis inhibitor (testosterone) treatment that reduces
the risk of death by approximately 35% of patients already treated with hormone therapy and
chemotherapy. Approximately 20% of all patients with prostate cancer progress to a severe stage
of the disease and could now benefit from this new therapeutic alternative”, stated
Dr. Carmen Martinez, Medical Director of Janssen for Venezuela, Central America and the Caribbean.
One of the most salient aspects of Abiraterone Acetate that distinguishes it from
other oncologic treatments is that it possesses a novel mechanism of action, with a benefit
as to the overall survival rate, and a tolerable toxicity profile.
Additionally, Abiraterone Acetate also provides relief for bone pain that often afflicts patients at advanced
stages of the disease.
“Before the appearance of Abiraterone Acetate, after progressing to chemotherapy most patients received either
a second unsuccessful line of therapy or merely supportive, palliative treatment” added Dr. Martínez.
The treatment of this condition depends on its stage at diagnosis. Prostatectomy (surgical removal of the prostate),
hormone block, or radiotherapy, are some therapeutic possibilities available for the treatment of this disease.
The primary objective of treatment in patients with advanced prostate cancer is to block the action of androgens
such as testosterone, since this may result in the regression of the tumor whose development is
stimulated by this hormone.
However, with passing time many patients who had initially responded to treatments aimed
at blocking the production of testosterone, start to produce the hormone again,
which reactivates the disease.
Chemotherapy is used in those cases in which the disease has become castration-resistant, that is, that the
prostate cancer has kept progressing despite treatment, thus exhausting the possibilities to carry out or to
continue the hormone block.
Some treatments available for these patients are intravenous chemotherapies, with this group including
only docetaxel and mitoxantrone until 2010.
Janssen is a company devoted to research to provide innovative products that help protect and improve
the lives of people, to face and solve the most significant and still unmet medical needs in the areas
of oncology, immunology, neurosciences, and infectious, cardiovascular, and metabolic diseases.
Through the different companies of the Johnson & Johnson group, our staff is united in the
passionate search for solutions through science, for the benefit of our patients.
With presence in more than 50 countries, we share the commitment of the founders of our company
to innovate in ideas, products, and services for our patients all around the world.
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