For men with asymptomatic or mildly symptomatic metastatic castration -resistant prostate cancer, one antiandrogen drug may work better than a more commonly prescribed option. Research is finding that the drug Enzalutamide performs better than bicalutamide in helping promote progression free survival.
Antiandrogen drugs are sometimes used to help treat prostate cancer that is considered aggressive and has spread. This form of therapy is intended to assist controlling the disease or slowing its progression by essentially starving cancer cells of the fuel they use to grow. Prostate cancer feeds off of androgen. By effectively blocking it, more serious forms of the disease can be tackled more readily to prolong life.
The latest research into the effectiveness of Enzalutamide is showing a great deal of promise. Men who were given this drug instead of bicalutamide in a double-blind trial were found, over all, to have a greater than 10-month improvement in survival without progression. While some side effects, such as fatigue, were more common with Enzalutamide, the enhanced survival potential was significant, researchers say. While the findings indicate a superior benefit from Enzalutamide use, researchers are looking into other questions the study raised. The big one is a desire to find out if there is a survival advantage to taking bicalutamide first and then Enzalutamide. How soon that study will be completed remains unclear.
Prostate cancer strikes an estimated 180,000 American men each year. While many men find their form of the disease is rather slow growing and requires little intervention, this is not always the case. For those with metastatic tumors, treatments are often required to prolong life. Antiandrogen therapy may be one of the best options. While bicalutamide has been used for some time to assist in this situation, Enzalutmide may offer a slight survival edge. Men who are diagnosed with prostate cancer are urged to discuss all treatment options with their healthcare providers.