ASCO: Taking Abiraterone Acetate With Low-Fat Meal Can Cut Cost

Research indicates high-fat meals raise levels of the drug more unpredictably


MONDAY, Feb. 20, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Eating a low-fat meal when taking an expensive prostate cancer drug can cut the cost of the medication by three-quarters, according to research presented at the American Society of Clinical Oncology's annual Genitourinary Cancers Symposium, held from Feb. 16 to 18 in Orlando, Fla.

Zytiga (abiraterone acetate) costs more than $9,000 a month and patients typically remain on the drug for 12 to 18 months, researchers said. Even patients with the best health insurance can have copays of $1,000 to $3,000 a month.

The authors of this study found similar outcomes between 36 advanced prostate cancer patients who took 250 mg of the drug with a low-fat breakfast and 36 patients who took the standard dose of 1,000 mg on an empty stomach. For both groups, the time to disease progression was about 14 months. The researchers noted that taking the drug with a high-fat meal increased absorption of the drug even more. But high-fat meals raised levels of the drug more unpredictably than low-fat meals did, they said.

"Our results warrant consideration by doctors who care for prostate cancer patients, as well as payers," study author Russell Szmulewitz, M.D., an assistant professor of medicine at the University of Chicago, said in a university news release.

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