he FDA has approved the Johnson & Johnson pill Zytiga for use in combination with the steroid prednisone to treat a certain type of late-stage prostate cancer in men who have already been treated with chemotherapy.
The medication is to be used to treat patients with metastatic, castration-resistant prostate cancer.
In men with prostate cancer, the male sex hormone testosterone stimulates the tumor to grow.
The FDA says in a statement that drugs or surgery are used to reduce testosterone production or block the effects of testosterone, but that prostate cancer sometimes continues to grow, even when testosterone levels are low. Men with such cancers are said to have castration-resistant prostate cancer.
Zytiga (abiraterone acetate) targets a protein called CYP17A1, which the FDA says plays a key role in the production of testosterone.
The agency says the drug works by decreasing the production of testosterone that stimulates cancer cells to keep growing.