Johnson & Johnson’s new prostate cancer treatment, Zytiga, is so effective at extending the life of people whose prostate cancer has metastasized that the clinical trial was stopped so that all participants could receive the life saving benefits.
The new prostate cancer treatment is a hormone that pairs with traditional steroid treatments and has been approved for men who have already undergone chemotherapy unsuccessfully. It will soon be reviewed for use in more patients, possibly replacing prostate cancer treatments with more intense side-effects.
Prostate cancer relies on testosterone to exist, and so traditional prostate cancer treatments block testosterone production in the body. Zytiga is different than other hormonal treatments because it stops the prostate cancer from adapting and producing its own testosterone. Patients in the trial have also reported positive side-effects like reduced pain.
Although prostate cancer is the second most likely cancer in men after lung cancer, the majority of patients diagnosed will not die from prostate cancer, and so only a small few require prostate cancer treatment.
At the turn of the last century, doctors were reluctant to use the word “cancer”, instead favoring euphemisms like “growth”. Today, cancer treatments are so improved that doctors aren’t afraid to be straightforward with patients and give them their realistic, and usually favorable, odds. In another ten years, it’s easy to imagine an even rosier picture for those who receive a cancer diagnosis.
When you reflect on the last ten years of cancer treatments, what stands out? Share your thoughts below!