Patients suffering from the toughest forms of prostate cancer will soon get an effective remedy in the form of a new injectable medicine that recently received approval in the United States.

The new injectable drug Jevtana has been approved for the treatment of metastatic hormone-refractory prostate cancer (mHRPC) by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) following a priority review sought by the developers Sanofi-Aventis.

The European drug major announced that when administered alongside another common drug prednisone, Jevtana's active compound destroyed the microtubules of the prostate cancer causing cells making them incapable to divide and proliferate as they normally do in aggravated tumors.

Hormone therapy is frequently the first treatment offered for patients with metastatic prostate cancer. Once they stop responding to hormone therapy, chemotherapy is given.

Some patients, however, develop resistance to the drug chemotherapy which results in the cancer cells proliferating and continuing the progress of the disease. Till date, no other drug was available to treat the disease when it turned resistant to the standard chemotherapy.

“The prostate cancer community is thrilled to now have a new treatment option available for these patients whose disease is very difficult to treat,” says Oliver Sartor, M.D., Piltz Professor for Cancer Research at Tulane Medical School, New Orleans, and North American principal investigator for the pivotal TROPIC trial.

Jevtana will help fill a critical treatment gap, since it is the first treatment approved for patients with this stage of metastatic hormone-refractory prostate cancer, he added.

TROPIC clinical study tested the drug in 755 patients with mHRPC previously treated with a docetaxel- another treatment for the disease. Analysis of the trial data showed that Jevtana could reduce the death rate from the disease by 305 compared to the other standard therapy for mHRPC. The patients treated with the new medicine also experienced the benefit of increased survival time.

For many years, treatment of advanced hormone refractory prostate cancer after docetaxel-containing therapy has remained an unmet medical need,'' says Debasish Roychowdhury, M.D., senior vice president, global oncology, Sanofi-Aventis. Now Jevtana can overcome the problem to some extent.

Early testing with the new medicine, however, caused some deadly blood disorders and kidney failure. Prostate cancer remains the second most common cause for cancer deaths among men in the United States after lung cancer.