Cancer is the third leading cause of fatalities in the UAE, with prostate cancer attributing to 20% of cancer cases reported in men in the emirate of Abu Dhabi


Dubai, United Arab Emirates; March 7, 2015

A recent study by Health Authority Abu Dhabi revealed that male UAE nationals were diagnosed with cancer at a rate of 75 in every 100,000 of the population. The total reported cancer incidence in men (expatriate and UAE national) was 805 people with the total reported cancer incidence of UAE nationals accounting for 181 cases.[1] Overall, cancer is the third leading cause of fatalities in the UAE.[2] The report also indicates that of the cancer cases reported in Abu Dhabi, 20% were cancer of the prostate gland.[3]  While the survival rate of prostate cancer is high if diagnosed early, many patients in the UAE visit their doctor presenting symptoms in later stages of the disease.




Around one hundred internationally and regionally renowned oncologists and urologists from the Middle East and North Africa, in addition to international speakers from Europe & USA, are meeting in Dubai to discuss new treatment options and modalities available for adult men suffering from prostate cancer. The Oncology Summit has concluded this weekend at the JW Marriott Marquis and was hosted by Astellas Pharma Middle East, North and Sub-Saharan Africa (MENA/SSA), a leading research-driven global pharmaceutical company with a newly established presence in the region.


Speaking on oncology and prostate cancer in the country, Dr. Ashraf J. Abusamra
Consultant of Urology and Oncology King Abdul-Aziz Medical City, Jeddah, Saudi Arabian National Guard Health Affairs
stated: “Despite the high prevalence of cancer in the country and the significant number of incidences of prostate cancer, awareness of this disease, especially in the Middle East, is low. Men in the region do not opt for regular prostate check-ups. Due to the delay in diagnosis, treatment is delayed. Common prostate conditions can lead to urinary problems and inflammation of the prostate gland, which in some cases can lead to cancer. Other problems include erectile dysfunction and/or infertility.”


Dr. Abusamra continued, “Currently in the Middle East we find that prostate diseases are under diagnosed, which causes serious problems among men. There is a lack of awareness about prostate cancer and other prostate diseases in the region. A simple blood test, called PSA (prostate-specific antigen) , is recommended after the age of 50 as early detection screening for prostate cancer. It is a tumour marker for the prostate gland. Based on the result of the test, a treating physician can decide on the frequency of repeat tests.”


“As a leading research-driven pharma company, we are committed to bringing innovative treatment options for this rapidly growing disease and to raise awareness on prostate cancer here in the region,” said Markus Weber, General Manager Astellas Pharma MENA/SSA.

Dr. Gerhardt Attard, Consultant Medical Oncologist, Institute of Cancer Research and the Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust, London, UK, commented:  “According to a recent study, the  new class of androgen receptor signalling inhibitor reduces the risk of death by 29 percent in men with metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer and slowed or stopped cancer growth in 59 percent of patients, delaying the need for chemotherapy by 17 months during the study period.”

“This is a significant development in prostate cancer therapeutics that will provide an important new treatment option for patients with advanced prostate cancer following chemotherapy,” Dr. Attard continued.


The new androgen receptor signalling inhibitor is used to treat adult men with metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer (mCRPC), which occurs when a patient is no longer responsive to hormone reducing treatment and the cancer continues to progress and spread to other parts of the body.[4]  In patients with this condition, and those who are not yet at the stage of requiring chemotherapy, androgen receptor signalling inhibitor may be beneficial in order to delay the need for chemotherapy further[5], and allow longer and better quality of life.


– Ends –





About Astellas MENA/SSA

Astellas MENA/SSA is an affiliate of Astellas Pharma Inc., a research-driven global pharmaceutical company with a simple vision – to produce safe and effective medicines that change tomorrow for patients in need. Astellas Pharma Inc. was founded in 2005 through the merger of Yamanouchi and Fujisawa in Tokyo, Japan. The merger combined nearly two centuries of heritage, innovation and collective experience in producing medicines, propelling this relatively young company to the forefront of the industry. Today, Astellas employs more than 18,000 people around the world and is a leader in the development of innovative new medicines.

Discovery and development of innovative medicines is the foundation of Astellas’ business. With over 2,800 scientists worldwide, Astellas produces a wealth of effective medicines, including a growing oncology drugs portfolio.  The company is committed to supporting the welfare and health of people by making these treatments more widely available to the patients who need them.

Astellas MENA/SSA aims to make a positive difference to the patients in the Middle East & Africa region, which is a key territory for Astellas. The new regional affiliate in Dubai, United Arab Emirates brings together a team of highly skilled people, with local knowledge and long-standing professional experience in the region. The regional affiliate serves as a management hub to further expand and develop Astellas’ business activities across the MENA/SSA region.













[1]Health Statistics 2013; Health Authority Abu Dhabi; 27 November 2014; page 17


[3] Health Statistics 2013; Health Authority Abu Dhabi; 27 November 2014; page 18

[4] Ryan C, Tindall D. J Androgen receptor rediscovered: the new biology and targeting the androgen receptor therapeutically. J Clin Oncol 2011; 29:3651-36580

[5] European Medicines Agency – XTANDI (enzalutamide)