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Lifesaving prostate drug tested

British men with aggressive prostate cancer could soon be offered new hope with a revolutionary treatment, it has been revealed.

Men whose prostate cancer is no longer responding to treatments, could be aided by abiraterone acetate.

The treatment, which involves taking a pill, has been so successful in tests that there are already plans to market it across the globe.

In the treatment's final Phase III trial, bosses saw fit to suspend the testing on ethical grounds because there was such a disparity between those on the official drug and the people who were given a placebo "dummy" remedy.

Survival rates for men on abiraterone increased by 36% from a midpoint of 10.9 to 14.8 months while the risk of death among men taking the drug dropped by 35%.

The trial results were presented to experts at the European Society for Medical Oncology Congress in Milan, Italy, on October 11.

Study leader, Dr Johan de Bono, from the Institute of Cancer Research based in London and Surrey, said: "This is extremely exciting because men with this aggressive type of prostate cancer currently have very few treatment options and a poor prognosis.

"Around one man in the UK dies every hour from this disease, so the news that abiraterone acetate may extend survival with manageable side-effects will be incredibly important to men with prostate cancer and their families."

Copyright © Press Association 2010

Cancer Research