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FDA Approves New Treatment for a Type of Late Stage Prostate Cancer

Published: Tuesday, September 04, 2012
Last Updated: Tuesday, September 04, 2012
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The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today approved Xtandi (enzalutamide) to treat men with late-stage (metastatic) castration-resistant prostate cancer.

Approved for prostate cancer patients previously treated with docetaxel, another anti-cancer treatment, Xtandi was reviewed under the FDA’s priority review program. The program provides for an expedited six-month review for drugs that may offer major advances in treatment or that provide a treatment when no adequate therapy exists. Xtandi received FDA approval three months ahead of the product’s prescription drug user fee goal date of Nov. 22, 2012.

“The need for additional treatment options for advanced prostate cancer continues to be important for patients,” said Richard Pazdur, M.D., director of the Office of Hematology and Oncology Products in FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. “Xtandi is the latest treatment for this disease to demonstrate its ability to extend a patient’s life.”

Prostate cancer forms in a gland in the male reproductive system found below the bladder and in front of the rectum. The male sex hormone testosterone stimulates the prostate tumors to grow. According to the National Cancer Institute, an estimated 241,740 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer and 28,170 will die from the disease in 2012.

The safety and effectiveness of Xtandi was evaluated in a study of 1,199 patients with metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer who had received prior treatment with docetaxel. The study was designed to measure overall survival (the length of time before death) in men receiving Xtandi compared with men receiving a placebo (sugar pill). The median overall survival for patients receiving Xtandi was 18.4 months, compared with 13.6 months for the patients who received placebo.

The most common side effects observed in study participants taking Xtandi were weakness or fatigue, back pain, diarrhea, joint pain, hot flush, tissue swelling, musculoskeletal pain, headache, upper respiratory infections, dizziness, spinal cord compression and cauda equina syndrome, muscular weakness, difficulty sleeping, lower respiratory infections, blood in urine, tingling sensation, anxiety, and high blood pressure.

Seizures occurred in approximately 1 percent of those receiving Xtandi. Patients in the study who had a seizure stopped Xtandi therapy. The clinical study excluded patients with a history of seizure, an underlying brain injury with loss of consciousness, a temporary decrease in blood to the brain within the past 12 months, a stroke, brain metastases, an abnormal connection of the arteries and veins in the brain, or patients taking medications that may lower the seizure threshold. The safety of Xtandi is unknown in patients with these conditions.

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