It is interesting that Dr. S. Meyers just produced a video on the issue of using the newly approved drug Zytiga (abiraterone acetate) prior to chemotherapy instead of post-chemotherapy. I find it interesting because like him, I have been receiving a number of questions about this same issue.

Like Dr. Meyers, I too have been concerned about this surprisingly common question. Two different people have told me that their doctors at Sloan Kettering Memorial Hospital in New York City have been recommending this protocol, starting Zytiga prior to chemotherapy. They have also told me that their insurance companies have agreed to pay for this despite the fact the FDA has not approved it! I am glad that the insurers have been flexible, but I am not convinced that in this situation this is wise.

There has been no studies, small or large, to demonstrate that Zytiga is effective in this situation. As a matter of fact, it has not been demonstrated that Zytiga is even safe at this stage! Dr. Meyer’s video discusses this issue better than I am capable of, so I suggest that you view the video yourself.

See his video at:

Joel T Nowak, M.A., M.S.W.