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HomeBlogTwo New Cutting Edge Treatments Approved

Two New Cutting Edge Treatments Approved

Two New Cutting Edge Treatments Approved

Ovarian and prostate cancer patients have cause for hope following NICE approval of two new targeted cancer medications

The past few months have been extremely exciting for anyone involved in cancer treatment and research. While scientific breakthroughs are constantly occurring, it is not often that they are translated into an authorised, fully effective drug. Despite the rarity of such an occurrence, December brought with it NICE approval of two groundbreaking drugs; Olaparib and Enzalutamide.  
 
Olaparib has been authorised for treating ovarian cancer after a long journey of trials, some disappointments and finally success. The drug itself and the science behind it were developed over more than two decades by the Institute for Cancer Research in London and British pharmaceutical company Astra Zeneka. 
 
The main reason that Olaparib is so exciting is that it is the first drug that has been created specifically to treat cancer patient with a BRCA mutation and does so successfully. BRCA was discovered in the 90s as the mutation responsible for hereditary and specifically aggressive breast and ovarian cancers. Besides preemptive surgery, no serious treatment has been available; until now.
 
Authorisation has given hope to thousands of patients and has even been called "a defining moment in the history of targeted cancer treatment" by Prof. Paul Workman the Chief Executive and President of the ICR. This however, is not the end of the journey of Olaparib. Success and ensuing authorisation for breast and ovarian cancers have spurred more studies to try and identify olaparib's efficacy on other kinds of malignancies.
 
Enzalutamide is the second cause for celebration in the world of oncology. This prostate cancer drug received extended FDA approval back in 2014 with NICE taking a little bit longer to give the final green light. Oftentimes breakthroughs are a gradual process, with the science improving the use of medication step by step. Enzalutamide is a perfect example for this process.
 
The drug itself had been previously approved for use in specific cases; only after 3 rounds of standard chemotherapy. Treating in this way was effective, however it bore the disadvantage of forcing the patient to cope with the severe side effects of chemotherapy. The decisive reason for the recent extension was a large clinical trial that studied 1,700 patients conclusively showing that treating before chemotherapy yielded longer survival with fewer side effects.
 
In this sense, authorization has further promoted a novel and innovative treatment while at the same time improving the use of combination therapies and directly impacting patients' wellbeing.  


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