Men suffering from prostate cancer in UK can heave a sigh of relief. The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) in UK has approved the use of docetaxcel for the treatment of late-stage prostate cancer.
Docetaxcel is sold under the brand name Taxotere by Aventis Pharmaceuticals Inc. NICE has proposed that it should be made available to all patients in need in England and Wales on the National Health Service (NHS). Experts like Chris Hiley, of the Prostate Cancer Charity, hailed the decision as a “major step forward in prostate cancer treatment.” However, they agreed that further research is necessary to test the efficacy of the drug in the earlier stages of aggressive prostate cancer in younger men.
Prostate cancer is treated with hormonal therapiess that stop testosterone from aiding the cancer. However, in the later stages, patients stop responding to this treatment. Docetaxcel is a chemotherapy drug originally used in the treatment of breast cancer. But a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine in 2004 proved that it extended the lives of late-stage prostate cancer patients by 18.9 months. It fights cancer by obstructing the means by which tumor cells divide. By reducing the pain and weight loss, it also enhances the quality of life.
In the UK, prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men and accounts for almost 1 in 4 of all new male cancers diagnosed. It is also the cause of 14 per cent of male deaths from cancer.
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