J&J touts PhIII boost in prostate cancer patients' survival rates

With regulatory filings in the works for abiraterone acetate, Johnson & Johnson is touting interim Phase III data demonstrating a four-month increase in median survival rates for late-stage prostate cancer victims.

In a study of more than 1,000 patients with metastatic prostate cancer, researchers said that a group taking the J&J drug along with low-dose prednisone experienced a 36 percent increase in median survival rates compared with the prednisone/placebo arm. Their average survival rate hit 14.8 months compared with 10.9 months in the control wing of the study.

As the Telegraph notes, the cancer therapy originated in work undertaken by London's Institute of Cancer Research.  "Around one man in the UK dies every hour from this disease, so the news that abiraterone acetate may extend survival with manageable side-effects will be incredibly important to men with prostate cancer and their families," noted Dr. Johann de Bono of the ICR and the Royal Marsden Hospital.

"Globally, prostate cancer, the fifth most common cancer overall, is a significant public health problem," said Howard Scher, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, one of the lead COU-AA-301 investigators. "These results are important because men with progressive metastatic, castration-resistant prostate cancer often have a poor prognosis and currently have few treatment options."  

- here's the J&J release for more info
- read the story from the Telegraph