New drug therapies for urological cancers
Urology Sydney Medical Oncologist, Dr Patricia Bastick, says there are several new drugs available, or on the horizon for treating advanced prostate cancer. These include Jevtana (Cabazitaxel) which is used to treat people with prostate cancer that has progressed after treatment with other anti-cancer medicines, including Docetaxel. Jevtana was approved and listed on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) in August.
“There is another new drug available called, Zytgia (Abiraterone) for men with advanced prostate cancer who have previously been treated with Docetaxel. This is drug is administered as a daily oral therapy option rather than further intravenous chemotherapy. It is hoped the treatment will be listed on the PBS after the November meeting of the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee ,” says Dr Bastick.
A new bone strengthening agent, Xgeva (Denosumab), was also added to the PBS in 2012 and can be given as a monthly injection under the skin by the patient’s GP rather than via intravenous infusions in hospitals that are required for other bone treatments such as Zometa (Zoledronic acid).
For kidney, or renal cell, cancers until recently, the only PBS listed approved therapy for advanced cases was Sunitinib. However, a new oral agent, Votrient (Pazopanib), received PBS listing earlier this month, giving doctors an alternative treatment option for their patients.