Scientists have developed a Vitamin D pill that could give a longer lease of life to patients in the advanced stage of prostrate cancer when given along with chemotherapy drugs.Patients taking the pill produced by US drug company Novacea lived for an average of an extra nine months longer than those taking chemotherapy drug taxotere alone.
The pill delivers a concentrated dose of the vitamin without running the risk of side effects from an overdose, it said.
Nick James, a cancer expert at the University of Birmingham, said the drug had produced impressive results in preliminary phase two trials. If clinical trials of the drug – Asentar (DN-101) – are successful, it could be available by 2009. “On an average, patients in the advanced stage of the disease survive about 18 months, so an extension of nine months would be very significant in my view.” James said.
Asentar provides 50-100 times higher levels of Vitamin D. Patients would be expected to take one tablet a week with their weekly regime of taxotere for three weeks out of every four.