The deadliest form of prostate cancer is the most difficult to treat, but an advanced new treatment offers flexibility and increased effectiveness.
Prostate cancer remains a deadly disease. It’s estimated that this year alone nearly 200,000 men will be diagnosed — and more than 33,000 will die from some form of the disease. Many of those deaths will be the result of metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer (mCRPC); up to 75 percent of prostate cancer patientswill progress to the metastatic form of the disease, and historically the median survival for men diagnosed with mCRPC is less than two years.
The good news is, treatment for mCRPC has improved dramatically. Prior to the introduction of docetaxel chemotherapy in 2004, there really was no effective treatment for mCRPC. Luckily for patients, that has changed.
Treating mCRPC remains challenging because the cancer has stopped responding to hormone therapies, grows despite low testosterone levels, and has spread to other parts of the body, including the lymph nodes, bones, liver, or brain. Recent years have seen the introduction of new therapies for mCRPC, including abiraterone acetate, which interferes with androgen production in the testes, the adrenal glands, and tumors.
While abiraterone acetate is an effective treatment for mCRPC, typical dosing of 1,000mg orally once a day (along with prednisone) requires the patient to plan their meals carefully in order to ensure they take their medication at least one hour before or two hours after eating. Failure to abide by this recommendation can lead to increased exposure of the drug and adverse reactions. There can also be blood level variations with traditional formulations.
A new formulation
Oral medications must be absorbed by the body before they are excreted — what’s known as the ‛window of absorption’ — and particle size matters because when you reduce the size of an object, its relative surface area increases. More surface area means an improved rate of dissolution; it’s been demonstrated that reducing the diameter of the particles in pharmaceuticals — a process known as micronization — results in higher dissolution rates and bioavailability, which in turn increases efficacy.
A new formulation of abiraterone acetate, Yonsa® (approved by the FDA for treating mCRPC), uses an advanced micronization technique to improve the efficacy and flexibility of the treatment — it is currently the only micronized formulation of abiraterone acetate approved by the FDA. Using a patented micronization process, the drug particles in Yonsa® have been reduced to 0.1–0.5 micron, which is up to 200 times smaller than conventional drug particles.
This process allows a lower dose — just 500mg once a day (along with 4mg of methylprednisolone twice daily) — but the increased efficacy and bioavailability means the drug’s performance is comparable to 1,000mg of another abiraterone acetate, and Yonsa® also results in more consistent blood levels and drug absorption. It is important to note, however, that as a result, Yonsa® must be taken properly — the tablets should not be chewed — and the medication may not be comparable to other formulations of abiraterone acetate, and thus should not be mixed.
Yonsa® has also been found to have no food effect — meaning that patients can take Yonsa® with or without food, giving them increased flexibility in their lives and one less thing to worry about as they battle their disease. Men taking Yonsa® do not have to fast, and do not have to take the dose at specific times — they can do so whenever it is convenient. Studies have also shown that Yonsa® offers 50 percent longer time to chemotherapy than placebo.
Metastatic Castration-Resistant Prostate Cancer is a challenging disease to face. Its treatment should be as effective and flexible as possible. For more information about Yonsa® and mCRPC, speak with your oncologist, and visit www.yonsarx.com.