Erleada- New Treatment for Non-Metastatic Castrate Resistant Prostate Cancer

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Erleada (apalutamide) has just received FDA approval as a drug for treating men with non-metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer.  
The proper pronunciation is Er ( Errr), (Like Her without the h) ) (lee) (long E) da. Now, repeat after me, “Erleada!”

It’s a pill that you take – I believe – four times a day (check with your doctor).  Many of the articles about Erleada will tell you how FDA approval came from the SPARTAN clinical trial and how that trial was conducted.  Don’t get lost in the woods on that one.  

The take home is this.  Erleada helped delay metastasis by a couple of years, which is a good thing.  But we don’t know yet how much longer those men in the trial lived with Erleada versus those taking a placebo.   And we don’t know how those on Erleada felt, day to day.  How was their quality of life impacted (or not).  We have the SPARTAN statistics on that, but we really don’t know until more men from our Malecare community report back to us regarding their Erleada experience.  So we have some questions.  Do men live longer while taking Erleada and, if so, will their increased lifespan be worth enduring whatever quality of life impact they may or may not suffer.    

African American men made up a small, 5.6% of the SPARTAN trial.  African American men seem to have a unique experience of advanced stage prostate cancer, as we have learned through our Twice As Many program ( https://twiceasmany.org ).  We will have to wait and see how African American men experience Erleada.  

We also don’t know what Erleada’s price will be and how many trips to the doctor patients will need to monitor the effects.  So, we have a prominant access to treatment question that is not yet answered.

Overall, Erleada’s approval is excellent news.  Speak to your doctor about it.  But, as with all prostate cancer treatments, we have to find our truth from the experience of thousands of non-metastatic castration-resistant men in Malecare’s online and in-person communities.

Erleada’s FDA approval imparts hope that Malecare’s goal of helping to make prostate cancer a chronic disease with minimal impact on our quality of life might well occur in our lifetime.

About the Author:

Malecare is the world's leading men's cancer support and advocacy nonprofit organization.

3 Comments

  1. GENE A. CELLA SR. February 16, 2018 at 3:23 pm

    I have stage 4 prostate cancer for 8 years. PSA has gone up recently to 70 then 76. Had chemo 7 months till i stopped that. Now taking ZYTIGA 500 MG TAKE TWO A DAY WITH PREDISONE. ON THAT FOR ABOUT 6 MONTHS. THE RECENT INCREASE IN PSA, HAS THE DOCTORS LOOKING A DIFERENT PILL, UNKNOW WHICH AT THIS TIME.
    QUESTION: IS IT REALLY THAT BENEFICIAL TO TAKE THE PILLS OR CHEMO, CONSIDERING THE SIDE AFFECTS?
    OR COULD YOU LIVE AS LONG WITHOUT THE MEDS BUT ALSO WITHOUT THE SIDE AFFECTS?
    MY AGE NOW IS 84. like on borrowed time, huh??

  2. Al Pfadt May 14, 2018 at 3:14 pm

    Hi Darryl
    Just came across this post from 3 months ago.
    My oncologist agreed with my assessment that it makes sense for me to start Erleada( apalutimide) since my response to Firmagon is leveling off, even though I already have bone mets.
    There is no evidence- based support for this but as a N=1 empirical trial we have sufficient data to determine if it works in my case.
    The problem with the so called , gold standard research designs, is that by the time the results have been analyzed patients who might have benefitted have missed their opportunity
    I haven’t started yet- still waiting for insurance approval and for the pills to be delivered.

  3. Anna May 25, 2018 at 3:06 am

    Nice post.

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