Prostate cancer: How a full stomach could improve treatment

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Prostate cancer: How a full stomach could improve treatment

Zytiga, a prostate cancer medication, is more effective when taken with food.

People with prostate cancer may soon be able to decrease their daily dose of medicine and avoid side effects simply by taking the drug with food, rather than on an empty stomach.

This is the central claim of a new study recently published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, which also suggests that this approach could cut costs of an expensive cancer treatment by 75 percent.

Abiraterone acetate (Zytiga) was approved in 2011 for the treatment of metastatic prostate cancer.

It has to be taken with prednisone to minimize the risk of side effects affecting the digestive system. However, it is currently the standard medicine for the treatment of metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer.

However, with the recommended 1-month dose of Zytiga coming in at $8,000–$11,000, it is an expensive drug. Many people with prostate cancer take Zytiga for 2–3 years, so the costs associated with their treatment can run into hundreds of thousands.

Currently, it is recommended that people take four 250-milligram Zytiga pills when they wake up, but that they should not eat any food overnight or eat breakfast for at least 1 hour after taking the medicine.

According to study co-author Russell Szmuletwitz, who is an associate professor of medicine at the University of Chicago, IL, “[T]his schedule is not only inconvenient for patients, it’s also wasteful, in several ways.”

Read on: Prostate cancer: How a full stomach could improve treatment

Read on: Prostate cancer: How a full stomach could improve treatment

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