May 06, 2020: “The Institute of Cancer Research, London, has broadly welcomed the approval of targeted hormone therapies enzalutamide and abiraterone as first-line NHS treatments for men with advanced prostate cancer.
Its experts said newly published interim guidance by NHS England was an example of how modern treatments that can be taken at home could relieve pressure on the NHS during the coronavirus pandemic.
But The Institute of Cancer Research (ICR) was also critical of NHS England for taking so long over its recommendation, and for limiting use of abiraterone only to patients who could not take enzalutamide.
Tablets taken at home
Standard treatment for men when they are first diagnosed with advanced prostate cancer is hormone therapy – either on its own, or together with docetaxel chemotherapy.
Docetaxel is normally given as six three-weekly infusions in hospital and can significantly weaken patients’ immune system and cause inflammation of the lungs – putting men at risk during the current COVID-19 pandemic.
Treatment with enzalutamide or abiraterone can not only prevent patients having to receive docetaxel chemotherapy but is also given as tablets which men can take at home – avoiding unnecessary pressures on the NHS.”