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Early detection is key to increase the survival rate of prostate cancer patients

03rd May 2017 in Product Launches

  • 7% of the Egyptian male population are within the age group at risk for prostate cancer[1]
  • Egyptian men who are diagnosed with prostate cancer are 7.2 times more likely to die from the disease as compared with the USA[2]
  • Astellas Pharma launched Xtandi™ – enabling physicians to better tailor prostate cancer disease management according to patients needs

Cairo, Egypt; May 3, 2017: Prostate cancer is a growing concern in Egypt and currently ranks as the 4th most common cancer in the country[3]. According to GLOBOCAN data, approximately 65% of men who are diagnosed with prostate cancer in Egypt will face mortality3. As much as 9.7% of the Egyptian male population are over the age of 55 and within the age group at risk for prostate cancer1.

Prostate cancer is a slow-growing tumor, and some of the early symptoms are linked to other diseases that are experienced by men in their 50’s or above. If symptoms such as difficult and/or frequent urination, blood in the urine or semen, or erectile dysfunction[4] are experienced, it is advised to visit the doctor immediately.

Prof Hesham Badaway, Head of Urology Department Cairo University stated: “There is a lack of knowledge and awareness of the disease in Egypt, and thus, men are often diagnosed in the late stages of the disease. This is particularly frustrating as prostate cancer has a high potential for a complete cure if it is diagnosed early. We would like to see the level of awareness increase, with men in the risk group making proactive visits to the doctor.”

By 2020, prostate cancer related deaths are expected to increase by 28% across all MENA countries as compared with 20123. Data for Egypt indicates that while the incidence rate for prostate cancer is low (4.5%), the mortality rate is about the same(3.9%)3, suggests that majority of diagnosed patients face mortality. More disease awareness and better screening practices are required[5] to increase the patient survival rate. A recent study revealed that in Arab countries, Egyptian men, along with Saudi Arabian and Jordanian participants, lacked knowledge of prostate cancer screening practices5.

Prof. Hesham El Ghazaly, Professor of Clinical Oncology – Ainshams University and Head of the IGILUC Conference commented: “Medical advances have made it possible to administer effective treatment at every stage of prostate cancer, enabling physicians to tailor disease management according to individual patients’ needs. Novel hormonal therapy with Enzalutamide offers rapid and effective results, with relatively low side effects. Most importantly, patients can enjoy higher quality of life, as the treatment has been proven to delay the need for chemotherapy.”

Astellas Pharma launched its prostate cancer therapies in Egypt. It is a prescription drug used for the treatment of male patients diagnosed with metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer (mCRPC). Enzalutamide, the active ingredient, targets the signalling pathway of androgen receptors at three distinct stages, which prevents the growth of cancerous cells[6]. This therapy enables the patient to maintain their lifestyle, as the disease burden is limited by delaying the initiation of chemotherapy by approximately 2 years and 4 months7. Efficacy data shows that treatment decreases patients’ risk of death by 23% and the risk of disease progression is reduced by 68%[7].

“Up until three years ago, chemotherapy was the only option offered to prostate cancer patients once they reached the metastatic castration-resistant stage of the disease. At Astellas Pharma, we invest heavily in research and development – 16.4% of annual turnover to be precise, and work to develop pioneering treatments that will improve patients’ lives. We are proud to be able to offer the additional therapy option to the Egyptian patient population and the physicians, who work tirelessly to extend the best treatment options to their patients,” Dr. Mohamed Elshahawi, Senior Regional Medical Manager, Astellas Pharma commented on the launch of the new product.


[1] Egyptian Demographics Profile 2017. Last accessed April 2017

[2] Hilal L et al. Clin Genitourin Cancer 2015;13:505-11

[3] GLOBOCAN 2012 (http://globocan.iarc/fr) Last accessed April 2017

[4] Prostate Cancer Symptoms. Prostate Cancer Foundation. .
Last accessed April 2017

[5] Arafa MA, Rabah DM, Wahdan IH. Awareness of general public towards cancer prostate and screening practice in Arabic communities: a comparative multi-center study. Asian Pac J Cancer Prev 2012; 13:4321-6

[6] National Cancer Institute. Prostate Cancer Treatment.
Last accessed April 2017

[7] Beer TM, et al.(2016). Enzalutamide in Men with Chemotherapy-naive Metastatic Castration-resistant Prostate Cancer: Extended Analysis of the Phase 3 PREVAIL Study. European Urology. Available at Last accessed April 2017

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