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Monday 1st May 2017

NHS green light for prostate drug

30th June 2006

A drug that can extend the lives of men with advanced prostate cancer has been approved for widespread NHS use.

Taxotere was originally developed to treat breast cancer. It has been found to extend survival time by 25 per cent over the standard treatment for men no longer responding to hormone therapy, and cuts pain and weight loss.

The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) ruled the drug should be made available to all eligible men in England and Wales.

More than 30,000 men are diagnosed with prostate cancer in the UK each year, and around 10,000 die from it.

Thousands of men with disease that has spread could now qualify for the drug.

However, there are fears that the high cost of the drug - around £7,000 for a single course - could mean that some will still be denied.

Hormone therapies are typically used to treat prostate cancer, but they usually only work for up to three years. With no further treatment, a patient might expect to live for about another year.

Another drug, mitoxantrone can help - but has been out-performed by Taxotere in trials.


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