One of the biggest stories so far this week has been about abiraterone – an experimental new drug for prostate cancer that could potentially treat “80 per cent of patients with an aggressive form of prostate cancer“.

So what’s the story all about, and should we believe the hype?

To answer this, our CancerHelp UK team have put together this fact-packed page about abiraterone.

The key thing to bear in mind is that these results are from a small, ‘phase I’ clinical trial involving just 21 men. As with any drug, much larger trials are needed before we know for sure if abiraterone is a safe and effective treatment for prostate cancer – in fact, a phase III trial of 1,200 men with prostate cancer is currently underway.

But because this trial isn’t yet completed, the drug isn’t generally available in the UK.

Abiraterone was originally developed and tested with help from Cancer Research UK. The drug is now owned by Cougar Biotechnology, an American company that is running the phase III clinical trial.

Sally Burtles, our director of Drug Development said she was “delighted that this drug, originally developed by us is continuing to show promise and has the potential to make a real difference to men with an aggressive form of prostate cancer.”

So watch this space.