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Johnson & Johnson Drug Slashes Prostate Cancer Death Risk By Nearly 40%

Jun 05, 2017

Johnson & Johnson's cancer treatment Zytiga significantly cut the death risk for newly-diagnosed, advanced prostate cancer patients by 38%, according to data unveiled at the ongoing American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) annual meeting this weekend. The results are impressive enough to change the very shape of prostate cancer treatment, according to ASCO officials.

Zytiga was first approved by the FDA in 2011 and has since been cleared to treat advanced prostate cancer in certain patients. But the new data could help J&J win a regulatory expansion allowing the drug to be used much earlier in the process. "Those results, maybe not from an investor standpoint, but from a general standpoint, were pretty impressive," biotech investor and cancer immunotherapy fund runner Brad Loncar told Fortune in an interview.

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Prostate cancer is one of the largest oncology markets. It's the most common cancer afflicting men other than skin cancer, is diagnosed in more than 161,000 Americans every year, and kills nearly 27,000 annually (making it the third deadliest cancer for American men), according to the American Cancer Society.

And, as Reuters reports, thee therapy could prove even more promising for patients outside the U.S. who typically don't have the same kind of access to prostate cancer screenings.

The ASCO meeting will conclude on Tuesday. Make sure to check in with Fortune's ongoing coverage of the world's largest cancer conference.

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