A ‘miracle’ pill that can help prostate cancer patients live around five months longer has been launched in the UK, following a green signal from the European medical authorities earlier this month.
The 3000 pounds-a-month drug, developed by British scientists and marketed under the trade name Zytiga, can increase life expectancy even in men with advanced, aggressive cancers, reports the Daily Express.
Zytiga works by cutting off the tumour’s supply of testosterone, stopping it from growing.
It can be used in up to 80 per cent of patients with drug-resistant prostate cancer who have already tried anti-hormonal therapies and chemotherapies.
A trial of 2,000 men showed that patients given the one-a-day pill lived 15.8 months on average compared with 11.2 months for those taking a placebo.
The drug still needs to be approved by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) for the NHS.
NICE is expected to decide in 2012 whether the drug will formally be made available on the NHS.