New drug could prolong prostate patients’ lives

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A prostate cancer drug has shown promise in tackling prostate cancer in men with an incurable form of the disease after it succeeded in a clinical trial.

According to the findings of trial study, the drug, Lynparza, hit its target by prolonging the lives of men with prostate cancer.

Lynparza works by destroying the damaged DNA of cancer cells and killing them, and has already been approved around the world for treating ovarian cancer, the ‘mailonline’ reported.

The developers of the drug said it was the only one to have worked in a field where “the need for new effective therapies is high”.

Prostate cancer is cancer that occurs in the prostate — a small walnut-shaped gland in men that produces the seminal fluid that nourishes and transports sperm. Prostate cancer is one of the most common types of cancer in men.

AstraZeneca,a pharmaceutical company, which is behind the trial, in a statement disclosed that the trial of Lynparza was going well and stated that it would present full results in the near future.

AstraZeneca is running the trial, named PROfound, alongside another pharmaceutical company, MSD, known in the United States (US) as Merck.

Lynparza – the branded name of the drug olaparib – is being compared with two testosterone-blocking medications currently used by the NHS – abiraterone and enzalutamide.
Those drugs work by lowering levels of testosterone, the male sex hormone, which many prostate tumours thrive off.
Lynparza works differently by targeting damaged DNA to kill tumours and is meant for men whose cancers have continued to grow and spread even when their testosterone levels are medically reduced.
This condition is called metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer (mCRPC).
It affects around 10 to 20 per cent of prostate cancer patients within five years of their diagnosis, AstraZeneca said.

The Chief Medical Officer of MSD, Roy Baynes, said: “Metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer is a deadly disease and represents an area of critical unmet medical need.”

For men with mCRPC – which doesn’t respond to other therapies and is eventually fatal – survival rates are much worse, with patients only living for one to two years on average, the ‘mailonline’ reported

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Godwin Okafor is a Financial Journalist, Internet Social Entrepreneur and Founder of Naija247news Media Limited. He has over 16 years experience in financial journalism. His experience cuts across traditional and digital media. He started his journalism career at Business Day, Nigeria and founded Naija247news Media in 2010. Godwin holds a Bachelors degree in Industrial Relations and Personnel Management from the Lagos State University, Ojo, Lagos. He is an alumni of Lagos Business School and a Fellow of the University of Pennsylvania (Wharton Seminar for Business Journalists). Over the years, he has won a number of journalism awards. Godwin is the chairman of Emmerich Resources Limited, the publisher of Naija247news.

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