The Zytiga is a drug anti-androgen, prescribed in the treatment of prostate cancer. It blocks the production of testosterone, but can have side effects including the onset of oedema or diarrhoea. Scientists from the university of South Australia have changed the formulation of the treatment in order to increase its efficiency while reducing the appearance of these adverse effects.
A drug binding
“Many drugs are poorly-soluble in watersays Hayley Schultz, author of the research. When they are ingested, they go into the intestine but do not dissolve, which means that their therapeutic effect is limited.” The Zytiga is part of this category of treatments, the scientific estimate is that only 10% of the total dose is actually absorbed by the body. “In addition to this, patients must fast for two hours before you take it and wait then a hour after taking the drug before eating, to ensure good absorption.”
A treatment that is less balanced, but more effective
The new formulation of the drug uses the oil to administer the dose : the abiratérone acetate is dissolved in a dedicated oil and then encapsulated in microparticles of silica, and then powdered and finally transformed into a tablet or in capsule form. “We use oils to mimic the effects of the food, we are able to enhance the solubilization of the drug and its absorption, making it more efficient and less invasive for patients.” After their pre-clinical study, the new formula was 40 % more efficient than the former, while the dose was less significant : it increased from 1 000 to 700 mg per day. The research team hopes to start clinical trials within two years. “This new formulation is flexible enough to be used for thousands of other medicationscomplete Clive Prestidge, director of the research group, its potential is exponential.”
A common cancer
Prostate cancer is the most common in men over the age of 50. It is due to the abnormal development of certain prostate cells. Each year, about 9,000 people die from the disease.
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