FDA approves palliative drug for advanced prostate cancer

December 11, 2003

The FDA has approved what is said to be the first gonadotropin releasing hormone (GnRH) antagonist for prostate cancer available as a depot formulation. Abarelix (Plenaxis) is indicated for the palliative treatment of men with advanced symptomatic prostate cancer, in whom LHRH agonist therapy is not appropriate, who refuse surgical castration, and have one or more of the following: risk of neurologic compromise due to metastases; ureteral or bladder outlet obstruction due to local encroachment or metastatic disease; or severe bone pain from skeletal metastases persisting on narcotic analgesia.