Cancer Home > What Is Enzalutamide Used For?
If you have prostate cancer, you may be able to help slow down the progression of the disease using enzalutamide. This prescription medication works by preventing testosterone from stimulating the cancer. It is approved for use in adult men whose prostate cancer has spread or returned after certain other chemotherapy treatment has failed.
An Overview of Uses for Enzalutamide
Enzalutamide (Xtandi®) is a prescription medication approved to treat advanced forms of prostate cancer that has spread or returned despite treatment with medicines or surgeries that reduce testosterone levels. It belongs to a group of drugs known as antiandrogens.
Prostate cancer begins in the prostate gland, a small gland that is part of the male reproductive system. It is one of the most common types of cancer among men in the United States.
Compared with other cancers, prostate cancer tends to grow slowly. For this reason, men may not notice any symptoms until the disease is quite advanced. Eventually, the cancer cells may spread to other areas of the body. Prostate cancer that has spread beyond the prostate is called metastatic prostate cancer.
Metastatic prostate cancer is usually treated with hormone therapy, which lowers a man's testosterone levels. Because testosterone stimulates the growth of prostate tumors, lowering testosterone levels can help slow down the progression of prostate cancer. Hormone therapy can also alleviate symptoms of advanced prostate cancer.
(Click Prostate Cancer Treatment for information on other ways of treating this condition.)
Over time, prostate cancer may stop responding to hormone therapy and continue to grow despite low testosterone levels. Cancer at this stage is referred to as castration-resistant prostate cancer. It may also be called hormone-resistant prostate cancer.
At this time, treatment options for castration-resistant prostate cancer are relatively limited. Chemotherapy is one option and is usually reserved for men with castration-resistant prostate cancer that has metastasized. The standard treatment for men with metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer is a combination of docetaxel (Docefrez™, Taxotere®), which is a type of chemotherapy drug, and prednisone, which is a type of steroid.
Enzalutamide is approved to treat men with castration-resistant prostate cancer that has spread to other parts of the body. It is used in men who have already been treated with docetaxel.