Enzalutamide available on the PBS
From 1 December 2014, a new drug for advanced prostate cancer will be available and listed on the PBS. Enzalutamide is an oral drug used for advanced prostate cancer (metastatic castration resistant prostate cancer). It works by inhibiting binding of androgens (such as testosterone) to the androgen receptor (AR), as well as inhibiting the AR from entering the cell nucleus and from binding to DNA. It has had encouraging results in clinical trials.
What are the PBS criteria for enzalutamide?
The treatment cannot be used in combination with chemotherapy (docetaxel in the common chemotherapy agent used in advanced prostate cancer)
The patient must have failed treatment with docetaxel due to resistance (this generally means progression of disease or non-response to docetaxel) or intolerance
The patient must be unsuitable for docetaxel treatment on the basis of predicted intolerance to docetaxel
Patient must have a World Health Organisation Performance Status of 2 or less (this means good performance)
The patient must not receive PBS-subsidised treatment with this drug if progressive disease develops while on this drug
The patient must not have received prior treatment with abiraterone
Patient must have developed intolerance to abiraterone of a severity necessitating permanent withdrawal of abiraterone.