Janssen said Tuesday that the government began providing health insurance benefits for its prostate cancer therapy Zytiga (ingredient: abiraterone acetate) as a first-line treatment for high-risk metastatic hormone-sensitive prostate cancer (mHSPC).
Patients who satisfy at least two among the following conditions – Gleason score of eight, three or more lesions identified through bone scans, and visceral metastases confirmed by computed tomography or magnetic resonance imaging – can benefit health insurance coverage for Zytiga in combination with prednisolone and androgen deprivation therapy (ADT).
The Health Insurance Review and Assessment Service (HIRA) decided to provide insurance coverage based on the phase 3 LATTITUDE clinical trials of combo therapy of Zytiga, prednisolone, and ADT in mHSPC patients. The combination treatment significantly prolonged overall survival and radiographic progression-free survival (rPFS) compared to the group that received placebo plus ADT therapy.
The combination therapy group’s overall survival period was 53.3 months, extending by 16.8 months compared to the control group, and halved the rPFS and mortality.
Zytiga combo therapy also prevented an increase in the prostate-specific antigen level, a clinically significant prostate cancer progression indicator for about 33 months.
mHSPC is a stage that still shows a therapeutic response to hormone therapy or androgen blockade (ADT) among stage 4 prostate cancers that cannot be operated on because metastases to other organs have already been confirmed.
“Prostate cancer is a representative carcinoma expected to increase further amid the population aging, and the incidence rate has been rising every year since 2000 in Korea to emerge as male cancer with third highest five-year prevalence in 2017,” Samsung Medical Center Urology Professor Seo Seong-il said.
Zytiga’s health insurance coverage will provide mHSPC patients to receive treatment with lowered medical expenses and improve the overall survival and quality of life, Seo noted.
Janssen Korea CEO Jenny Zheng also said, “We are glad that Zytiga’s reimbursement has enhanced medical access for mHSPC patients who have had limited treatment options.”
Zheng added that the company would continue to provide innovative treatment options for metastatic prostate cancer patients at various stages to extend their survival period and maintain a high quality of life.