FRIDAY, April 29 (HealthDay News) -- Zytiga (abiraterone acetate), used in combination with the steroid prednisone, has been approved to treat advanced prostate cancer, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said in a news release.

The growth of cancerous prostate tumors is fueled by the male hormone testosterone, and the new drug combination blocks a protein that plays a key role in body's production of testosterone, the agency said.

Zytiga was evaluated in clinical studies involving 1,195 men with advanced prostate cancer whose tumors continued to grow despite chemotherapy. Men who received the Zytiga/prednisone combination lived an average of 14.8 months, compared with 10.9 months among men who took a placebo, the FDA said.

The most common adverse reactions to the drug combination included joint discomfort, low blood potassium, fluid retention, muscle discomfort, hot flashes, diarrhea, urinary tract infection, cough, high blood pressure, heartbeat abnormalities, increased urinary frequency, upset stomach and upper respiratory infection.

Zytiga is produced by Centocor Ortho Biotech, based in Horsham, Pa.

More information

To learn more about prostate cancer, visit the U.S. National Cancer Institute.