Navigation Links
Hormone therapy for prostate cancer does not appear to increase cardiac deaths

Treating prostate cancer patients with drugs that block hormonal activity does not appear to increase the risk of death from cardiovascular disease, according to a study led by Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) researchers. While a 2006 report from members of the same study team found that treatment with gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) agonists increased the risk of diabetes and heart disease, the current study is the first to examine whether treatment actually increased heart-disease-related deaths. In their Journal of Clinical Oncology report, which has been released online, the researchers note that GnRH agonist treatment has a number of adverse side effects, which should be kept in mind when determining treatment strategies.

"Hormonal therapy for prostate cancer has become routine for many patients, so it's even more important to understand the potential adverse effects of treatment," says lead author Jason Efstathiou, MD, PhD, of the MGH Cancer Center. "Given recent concerns about the safety and impact on cardiac health of hormonal therapies particularly GnRN agonists our study is quite timely."

Since the male hormones called androgens can accelerate the development of prostate cancer, reducing their activity is a standard part of treating the disease. Most commonly this is done with GnRH agonists that block the production of all sex hormones. GnRH agonist therapy is routinely administered to men whose cancer has spread beyond the prostate gland, and its use in patients whose tumors appear confined to the prostate is becoming more common. It is estimated that one-third of the two million prostate cancer survivors in the U.S. are currently receiving this therapy, making understanding the potential adverse effects of treatment particularly important.

The earlier report from a Harvard Medical School team including Matthew Smith, MD, PhD, of the MGH Cancer Center, who is corresponding author of the current study found that men with localized prostate cancer who received GnRH agonist therapy had a greater risk of developing diabetes or cardiovascular disease than patients not receiving hormonal treatment. To specifically investigate the relationship between GnRH agonist therapy and death from cardiovascular disease, the current study analyzed data from a 1987-92 clinical trial in which almost 1,000 patients were treated for locally advanced prostate cancer with either the GnRH agonist goserelin plus radiation therapy or radiation therapy alone.

During the decade following completion of the clinical trial, more than half the participants died from various causes. Of the 574 deaths, 117 were from cardiovascular disease, but whether or not patients had received the GnRH agonist apparently had no effect on the risk of cardiovascular death. Instead, it was established cardiac risk factors including heart disease or diabetes that existed prior to GnRH agonist treatment that appeared to increase the risk of dying from cardiovascular disease.

"The absence of an increase in cardiovascular mortality does not exclude the possibility that GnRH agonists increase non-cancer deaths through other mechanisms," Efstathiou stresses. "In addition to the increased risk for diabetes identified in the 2006 study, we know they can raise the risk of fractures and anemia both of which can reduce survival and can have adverse effects on weight gain, cholesterol levels, mood and sexual function.

"While our study supports the continued use of GnRH agonists in situations where the benefit for cancer control has been established typically the treatment of advanced or more aggressive prostate cancer clinicians should keep in mind the risks of diabetes and cardiovascular disease and help their patients adopt strategies to reduce those risks," he adds. "Further studies are needed to evaluate potential risks for men with earlier stage prostate cancer, for whom the role of GnRH agonists is not as well defined, and treatment decisions need to carefully weigh potential risks and benefits." Efstathiou is an instructor in Radiation Oncology at Harvard Medical School.


Contact: Katie Marquedant
Massachusetts General Hospital

Related medicine news :

1. Drop in breast cancer incidence linked to hormone use, not mammograms
2. Researchers develop long-lasting growth hormone
3. One of the Largest Post-WHI Physician Surveys Shows More Education is Needed: Patient Misinformation About Hormone Therapy Remains High
4. Less than one-third of women aware of landmark hormone therapy study, Stanford researcher finds
5. Most Women Unaware of Hormone Replacement Study
6. Survival data presented from phase II study of hormone-resistant prostate cancer patients
7. Hormone May Play Key Part in Creating Memories
8. Hormone Therapy for Prostate Cancer Linked to Heart Risks
9. Wyeth to Appeal Nevada Hormone Therapy Trial Verdict
10. New data on hormone therapy must lead to re-evaluation of official guidelines
11. From Hot Flashes to Breast Cancer: ZRT Labs Hormone Testing Catches On As Women Consider Safer, More Natural Options.
Post Your Comments:
(Date:6/26/2016)... ... June 26, 2016 , ... PawPaws brand pet supplements ... was developed to enhance the health of felines. The formula is all-natural and is ... herbs in the PawPaws Cat Kidney Support Supplement Soft Chews are Astragalus ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... June 25, 2016 , ... Experts from ... at AcademyHealth’s Annual Research Meeting June 26-28, 2016, at the Hynes Convention Center ... care topics including advance care planning, healthcare costs and patient and family engagement. ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... June 25, 2016 , ... "With 30 hand-drawn hand ... project," said Christina Austin - CEO of Pixel Film Studios. , ProHand Cartoon’s ... within Final Cut Pro X . Simply select a ProHand generator and drag ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... June 25, 2016 , ... ... non-athletes recover from injury. Recently, he has implemented orthobiologic procedures as a method ... —Johnson is one of the first doctors to perform the treatment. Orthobiologics are ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... Los Angeles, CA (PRWEB) , ... June 24, 2016 , ... ... plastic surgery procedures that most people are unfamiliar with. The article goes on to ... known procedures, but also many of these less common operations such as calf and ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/24/2016)... --  Pulmatrix, Inc ., (NASDAQ: PULM ), ... today that it was added to the Russell Microcap ... set of U.S. and global equity indexes on June ... for Pulmatrix," said Chief Executive Officer Robert Clarke ... in developing drugs for crucial unmet medical needs, and ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... 2016 Any dentist who has made an implant ... process. Many of them do not even offer this as ... high laboratory costs involved. And those who ARE able to ... a high cost that the majority of today,s patients would ... Parsa Zadeh , founder of Dental Evolutions Inc. and inventor ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... Capricor Therapeutics, Inc. ... company focused on the discovery, development and commercialization ... in its ongoing randomized HOPE-Duchenne clinical trial (Halt ... its 24-patient target. Capricor expects the trial to ... 2016, and to report top line data from ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: