European Commission Approves Wider Use of Johnson & Johnson’s Zytiga

January 12, 2013 by  
Filed under Prostate Cancer News

The European Commission (EU) has approved the use of Johnson & Johnson’s prostate cancer drug Zytiga (Abiraterone).

The approval means that the drug can now be used for the treatment of prostate cancer in the earlier stages in addition to the late stage treatment of which the drug was originally used.

Zytiga was approved in 2011 for the treatment of Prostate Cancer in the late stages – in most cases, it is was used to treat advanced prostate cancer that has failed to respond to hormonal treatment. In other words, it has shown to be effective a second line of treatment for advanced or aggressive prostate cancer.

The European Commission’s recent approval means that doctors in EU countries can now apply this treatment as first line treatment for prostate cancer.

The new approval was based on a review by EU health advisers of a new late-stage study of 1,088 men showing Zytiga increased survival without progression of the cancer and delayed the need for chemotherapy, according to Johnson & Johnson, which is based in New Brunswick, N.J. according to a paragraph from an article published in San Francisco Gate(SFGate) online newspaper January 12, 2013.

In the same article, the following details were further highlighted about:

Jane Griffiths, J&J’s chairman for its Janssen unit in Europe, the Middle-East and Africa, said in a statement that the new approval “will help fill a critical medical need.”

“Treating men with Zytiga before they undergo chemotherapy has been shown to improve outcomes in many patients, both in terms of extending survival and in bettering quality of life,” she said.

Zytiga, first approved in 2011, is on sale in more than 60 countries, including the U.S.

Cancer of the prostate, the gland surrounding the urethra that produces part of the seminal fluid, can progress so slowly that treatment isn’t needed, or it can grow and spread to other body parts very quickly, depending on the individual patient and characteristics of his tumor.

Each year, prostate cancer kills roughly 90,000 men in Europe and about 28,000 in the U.S.

Conclusively, Zytiga has in recent times being shown to be effective helping to extend the lives of men. With the recent approval by the European Commission, it becomes really interesting to know that many men who have been diagnosed with prostate cancer in the EU can now be treated with this life saving drug even at the early stages of their conditions. Read more on this news from the SFGate article published January 12, 2013.

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