One of the frustrations faced by men in the UK has been the Guideline that restrictes the use of chemotherapy (docetaxel) to only men who have already failed hormone therapy (ADT). This Guideline directly contradicts the current, cutting edge evidence that, in certain circumstances, earlier chemotherapy increases survival.
The good news is that the NHS has revisited this Guideline and, in their wisdom, agreed to modify it so that men, with advanced prostate cancer, can now be prescribed chemotherapy immediately. Now, men in the UK are able to access chemotherapy even while they remain sensitive to ADT.
Given that prostate is the most common cancer in men in the UK, affecting one in eight men. In the UK more than 38,000 men are diagnosed each year and more than 9,000 men will die from prostate cancer each year. Docetaxel could offer hope of extended life for about 4,560 men in the UK each year whose cancer has already become advanced, and incurable, when diagnosed.
Under these new Guidelines both ADT treatment and chemotherapy can be started at the same time instead of men needing to wait for the ADT to stop working. Under this fast tracking of chemotherapy with docetaxel, men with advanced prostate cancer can benefit from this life-extending drug.