A decade –old cheap drug for chemotherapy was found to have extended life among those men who suffer from prostate cancer, a study says.
According to the researchers, when the drug was added to standard hormone therapy, the life of these cancer patients got extended by more than a year.
The drug docetaxel (doe-suh-TAX-uhl) allowed these cancer patients to live nearly 58 months.
During the study, the researchers divided patients in to two groups. The fist group was given the drug and the second were not fed with the drug. The first group lived 58 months against the second group which lived 44 months.
The drug treatment costs about $1,500 per treatment, which is very less than many newer drugs.
The study, sponsored by the federal government,was discussed on Sunday at a meeting of more than 30,000 cancer specialists in Chicago.
The impressive findings have once again build the trust of doctors and health experts on old drugs. According to the doctors, the study findings show the importance of testing older medicines, many of which are now available in generic form.
The drug Docetaxel is sold under the brand name Taxotere by Sanofi. Its generic versions are also available.
“Doctors were starting to use the newer agents before docetaxel, pushing chemotherapy further back in the sequence,” said Dr. Matthew R. Cooperberg, associate professor of urology at the University of California, San Francisco.
Dr. Nicholas J. Vogelzang, prostate cancer study author, said, “The findings would change practice. I have already started discussing this option with patients. The patients are ultimately the one who take the final call.”