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There were more cases of high blood pressure, fluid retention and heart problems among men on Zytiga. Like other hormone-blockers, it can cause hot flashes and sexual problems. And Zytiga is expensive -- $5,500 a month in the United States.
The study was sponsored by the drug's maker, Johnson & Johnson's Janssen division, and some study leaders have financial ties to the company. The company plans to seek approval later this year to sell the drug for men like those in the new study.
Michael Wells, 65, a retired construction worker from Oakville in California's Napa Valley, was diagnosed nearly 12 years ago with prostate cancer that had spread to his bones. Standard hormone and radiation treatments kept it in check for many years, but when it started growing, he enrolled in the study.
Zytiga gave him high blood pressure but other than that, "I have not noticed any difference taking the pills -- I've always had hot flashes" on prostate medicines, he said.
He has now been on Zytiga for nearly three years, and scans show his cancer is in check.
"It's worked for me, and it's still working," Wells said.
Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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