Janssen Trinidad & Tobago

The Chemistry, Food & Drugs Division of the Trinidad and Tobago Ministry of Health has approved Janssen’s first orally administered androgen synthesis inhibitor (testosterone) medication ‘Abiraterone Acetate’ in the country for treatment of patients with metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer.

The clinical trials have showed that the new therapeutic option for the standard therapy of patients with hormone-resistant tumours reduced the risk of death by around 35%.

In Trinidad and Tobago, abiraterone acetate will be available under the trademark Zytiga, which is administered orally as a single daily dose.

The drug prevents androgen from being produced at their three sources: testes, adrenal glands and the tumour itself, through the strong block of the CYP 17 enzyme.

Janssen said that androgens are hormones that promote both male development and sexual features, and prostate cancer cells have been shown to need them to grow.

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Prostate cancer leads cancer statistics in the population with 22% of all cases, according to the National Cancer Registry of Trinidad and Tobago.

"Approximately 20% of all patients with prostate cancer progress to a severe stage of the disease and could now benefit from this new therapeutic alternative."

Janssen’s Venezuela, Central America and the Caribbean medical director Carmen Martinez said abiraterone acetate is an androgen synthesis inhibitor (testosterone) treatment that reduces the risk of death by about 35% of patients already treated with hormone therapy and chemotherapy.

"Approximately 20% of all patients with prostate cancer progress to a severe stage of the disease and could now benefit from this new therapeutic alternative," Martinez added.

Compared with other oncologic treatments, one of the most salient aspects of abiraterone acetate is that it possesses a novel method of action, with a benefit as to the overall survival rate, and a tolerable toxicity profile.

In addition, abiraterone acetate also provides relief for bone pain that often afflicts patients at advanced stages of the disease.

Prostatectomy, hormone block, or radiotherapy, are some therapeutic possibilities available for the treatment of prostate cancer.

The primary objective of treatment in these patients is to block the action of androgens such as testosterone, since this may result in the regression of the tumour whose development is stimulated by this hormone.

Image: Janssen Caribbean area manager Rishi Maharaj, Janssen country manager South Caribbean Joan Craig, Krishan Ramsoobhag, Urologist and Oncologist Trinidad and Tobago; and Janssen oncology medical manager David Muschett. Photo: courtesy of PRNewsFoto/Janssen.