FDA Approves Prostate Cancer Drug

By Tom McIntyre

July 15, 2010 Updated Feb 4, 2009 at 7:49 PM CDT

The Food and Drug Administration has approved a new drug to fight the prostate cancer.

Peoria physician Dr. Joseph Banno of Midwest Urological says it holds new promise for those suffering from the late stages of the disease.

The new treatment for prostate cancer involves a drug called degarelix.

Over the last decade, more and more cases of prostate cancer have been found relatively early...and are treatable through radiation and chemotherapy.

But—for a minority –the disease is discovered in its late stages.
That's where degarelix, pronounced day–guh–RELL–ix,offers some new hope.

Prostate cancer is known to grow in the presence of testosterone, so suppression of testosterone has been a treatment goal for advanced prostate cancer for many years.

Degarelix produced a dramatic drop in testosterone in 96% of patients in just three days. After two weeks, almost all degarelix patients had vastly reduced testosterone levels..

Dr. E. David Crawford of the University of Colorado at Denver said ; "Lowering testosterone as low as you can go is extremely important is the management of men with prostate cancer. It's what should have been developed some years ago, and it took this long to develop it. We've made progress along the way, but this is a big step forward in out battle against prostate cancer".

The FDA says besides the speed of reaction to the degarelix, the drug doesn't cause a spurt in production of testosterone... which some other treatments have caused.

Most prostate cancer patients will never need degarelix since most cases of the cancer are discovered in its early stage.

Still – for those who need the drug – it offers the possibility of relief from the most common cancer found in American men.