Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : April 13th 2014 Contents A17
April 13, 2014 www.guardian.co.tt Sunday Guardian
The Chemistry, Food and Drugs Divi-
sion of the Ministry of Health approved
the introduction of Abiraterone Acetate
to the country, the first orally adminis-
tered medication for the treatment of
patients with metastatic castration-resis-
tant prostate cancer.
Clinical trials have demonstrated that
this new therapeutic resource for the stan-
dard therapy of patients with hormone-
resistant tumors reduces the risk of death
by approximately 35 per cent. Abiraterone
Acetate is available in T&T under the
According to the National Cancer Reg-
istry, prostate cancer leads cancer statistics
in the T&T population with 22 per cent
of all cases. Among males, prostate cancer
accounted for 42 per cent of all new cases
of cancer. Worldwide, prostate cancer is
the second type of cancer most frequently
diagnosed in men, and the fifth type over-
all. Near 1.1 million new cases of prostate
cancer were diagnosed worldwide in 2012,
and more than 300,000 men died because
of the disease.
This type of cancer is the result of the
malignant transformation of certain cells
of the prostate, a gland located underneath
the urinary bladder in men, one of the
functions of which is to produce a part
of the seminal fluid. Although a slowly
developing disease, some prostate tumours
may be very aggressive and extend quickly
to invade other organs.
Abiraterone Acetate is administered
orally as a single daily dose, which prevents
androgens from being produced at their
three sources: Testes, adrenal glands, and
the tumour itself, through the strong block
of the CYP 17 enzyme.
Androgens are hormones that promote
male development and sexual features,
and prostate cancer cells have been shown
to need them to grow.
"Abiraterone Acetate is an androgen
synthesis inhibitor (testosterone) treatment
that reduces the risk of death by approx-
imately 35 per cent of patients already
treated with hormone therapy and
chemotherapy. Approximately 20 per cent
of all patients with prostate cancer progress
to a severe stage of the disease and could
now benefit from this new therapeutic
alternative," said Dr Carmen Martinez,
medical director of Janssen for Venezuela,
Central America and the Caribbean.
One of the most salient aspects of Abi-
raterone Acetate that distinguishes it from
other oncologic treatments is that it pos-
sesses a novel mechanism of action, with
a benefit as to the overall survival rate,
and a tolerable toxicity profile.
Graduates wishing to pursue studies in risk man-
agement, climate change, property/casualty insur-
ance, or an MBA programme with risk as a major
can now access scholarships through the Caribbean
Risk Insurance Facility (CCRIF).
The "not-for profit risk pooling" facility announced
that it had expended its scholarship programme to
include Caribbean universities.
The scholarships were originally offered for study
at US, UK and Canadian universities under the CCRIF
extra-regional scholarship programme. However, the
scholarships are being offered to Caricom citizens
interested in pursuing a Masters or MBA in one of
four areas: (Catastrophe) Risk Management,
Property/Casualty Insurance, Climate Change, Other
Hazard/disaster related disciplines, MBA programme
with a major in risk management and/or insurance
or a related field.
The CCRIF said: "The scholarships are valued at
a maximum of US$20,000 each for Caribbean uni-
versities, or US$40,000 each for extra-regional uni-
versities and are specifically for those applicants who
would have gained admission to a Masters level pro-
gramme or an MBA programme fitting the eligibility
criteria presented above. Preference will be given to
individuals seeking to attend regional universities."
The scholarship programme "is part of its Technical
Assistance Programme, which has been developed to
help countries in the region deepen their understanding
of natural hazards and catastrophe risk and the poten-
tial impacts of climate change", the CCRIF said.
The aim is to create a cadre of professionals who
will play key roles in developing national and regional
strategies for improved disaster risk management and
increased climate change resilience.
New cancer therapy available in T&T
Risk scholarships expanded
to Caribbean universities
Discussing the merits
of the new cancer
therapy, from left, Rishi
manager; Joan Craig,
Caribbean; Dr Krishan
and Oncologist; and Dr
manager from Janssen.
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