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Prostate cancer charity Tackle have commended the health watchdog NICE’s approval of a life-extending drug which helps fight prostate cancer.
Healthcare professionals have given a new prostate cancer ‘lifeline’ drug the green light after it was shown to extend the lives of thousands of prostate cancer patients during a provisional approval period three months ago.
A spokesperson for prostate cancer charity Tackle said, “This offers a vital lifeline to thousands of men facing death sentences due to the very limited options for treatment if chemotherapy has failed. Enzalutamide has shown great success treating men with advanced prostate cancer beyond the stage at which conventional hormone treatment or chemotherapy is effective.”
Enzalutamide, or Xtandi, is an anti-cancer medicine which blocks the male hormone testosterone. Prostate cancer needs testosterone and other male hormones to survive and grow, so by preventing these hormones from attaching to cells and spreading, enzalutamide slows down the growth of cancer cells. The drug will be used in prostate cancer patients when the disease has spread to other parts of the body and there are less options available.
Owen Sharp, CEO of Prostate Cancer UK said, “This is great news for men. We need clinicians to have options at their disposal to see what counts – extend the lives of men with this disease when other options have run out. We need to see the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) confirm this decision permanently as soon as possible and for the SMC (Scottish Medicines Consortium) to follow their lead.”
For Hugh Gunn, the treasurer of Tackle said the drug has given him spectacular results after 18 months of use. He commented on the approval of enzalutamide and said, “I faced and early death sentence having been taken off abiraterone as it was causing liver problems. That was 18 months ago and now I feel generally well with a busy, active lifestyle. I hope that this NICE ruling will now give other men the same chance of life as myself.”