Prostate cancer drug rejected by NHS

The health watchdog for England and Wales has stated that the benefits of the advanced prostate cancer drug, abiraterone, do not outweigh the cost to the NHS. Abiterone is one of a limited number of treatments available to men in the final stages of the disease and the advice has angered cancer charities, although a final decision has not yet been made.

Abiraterone, a drug which works by blocking the manufacture of testosterone, costs around £3000 for a month’s supply and is currently available to private patients. Abiraterone can prolong the life of men with terminal prostate cancer and can extend life by over three months. Cancer Research UK believes that the decision to reject abiraterone for patients on the NHS was due to an overestimate of men who would need treatment and therefore an overestimate of costs by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE).

Alternative treatments for the latter stages of prostate cancer include docetaxel, cabazitaxel and Sipuleucel-T. For further information about advanced prostate cancer and new developments in treatment, please click here or to arrange a consultation with our specialist in advanced prostate cancer, Professor Agamemnon Epenetos, please click here.

Abnormal, uncontrolled cell division resulting in a malignant tumour that may invade surrounding tissues or spread to distant parts of the body. Full medical glossary
The basic unit of all living organisms. Full medical glossary
An organ with the ability to make and secrete certain fluids. Full medical glossary
intermittent claudication Full medical glossary
A gland that surrounds the urethra near the bladder. It produces a fluid that forms part of the semen. Full medical glossary
The main male sex hormone. Full medical glossary